What a sobering week it has been news-wise. All lives matter and we must do what we believe to be right and to support each other against injustice and hatred wherever and whenever it shows up. I have posted my reflections in a video on my Facebook profile as I feel it is really important to stand up and be counted.
Although the death of George Floyd and the huge upsurge in the fight against racial discrimination and prejudice has dominated much of the discussions I have had with other people this week (and my own conversations with myself), it has also been a busy week in my weaving world.
Firstly, Heddlecraft March/April edition is out!! I’m so thrilled to have been invited by the amazing Robyn Spady to contribute to this edition which features Deflected Double Weave and we have had a lot of fun putting it together. She is a joy to work with and Heddlecraft is a fantastic magazine for weavers to learn and develop their skills. I have enjoyed reading every edition since Robyn launched the magazine in 2016. Thank you, Robyn – and apologies that I couldn’t get the header image to line up properly!!
Secondly, at the beginning of the week Belinda Rosee and I had to make the difficult decision to cancel the 6-week Australian trip this summer. Venues needed to know what was happening, the quarantining situation in Australia meant that I was going to have to quarantine for 10 weeks in total (2 weeks in Sydney before even getting to my first stop of Canberra, then 2 weeks at each new state!), not even counting possible quarantining in France once I finally returned home! Then, after the decision had been reluctantly made, the following day the flight from Singapore to Canberra was cancelled by the airline, meaning I couldn’t have got to Australia in any case!
This is hugely disappointing of course, for me, for Belinda (she has worked so hard to put the programme together and organise everything!) and for the participants and I have had some lovely emails from those who had hoped to attend, all looking forward to the workshop at some other time. If Belinda is up for it, I would love to go, but we will have to wait for the time to be right.
In the meantime, I now had a big hole in my summer schedule and I was wondering what opportunities might come up when the very next day, in a discussion with my long-standing French weaving student, Chloé, we figured out that we could offer a two-language (French and English) 4-day introductory course to four different textile experiences – spindle spinning (and making your own spindle), tapestry weaving on rectangular and circular frames,
felting (both wet- and needle-felting) and leatherwork, creating a leather bag to contain all the tools and textiles created in the week. France is open to European holiday-makers this summer and French people are being encouraged to holiday in France, and whilst we have no idea whether this will work, it’s worth a try. If you are interested in taking a look, here’s the web-page https://www.theloomroom.co.uk/stages-textiles.
We have also just created a Facebook fan page too https://www.facebook.com/textilesettextures/ which we have yet to populate, but it’s a start. My studio is now looking a little bare as I have cleared away most of my teaching looms to create room for tables where we can ensure social distancing for 4 participants.
So if you know of anyone in Europe who might just fancy an activity holiday having fun and learning new crafts in two languages, then do please pass on the information.
We are also going to open La Tuilerie to chambres d’hôtes (B&B) and have been decorating to spruce it up a little (pictures to follow on the website shortly). With a weaving studio and a micro-brewery on location, it makes for an interesting place to stay!
Also this week, the latest issue of the Journal for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers arrived. Full of wonderful articles, including an interview with Jenny Dean, three-shaft weaving on a rigid heddle loom by Dinah Clements, an introduction to Saori weaving, and exploring ice dyeing and primitive sheep breeds, there’s a lot to keep you engaged!
Finally, just to remind you that next week’s guest blogger on How I Got Into Weaving is Ann Richards, who wrote Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves and whose exquisite woven pleated jewellery is much sought after!