Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Chair

What is this fascination I have for chairs? I just see them everywhere...This lady was waiting on the pavement - near the bins - waiting for somebody to take care of could I possibly not comply? I removed the old seat cover - then I thought a nice handwoven new one would be nice...but for now she's got a piece of dark grey wool fabric. I think it works ok - and I can use it in the meantime!

These are three scarves (still to be finished) from the geometric series - another four to go!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy December!

I just can't throw them I have a bin where all the thrums end up - it's nice to peek inside and recognize previous projects!

At the moment I am only having fun with block twill - I am weaving a series of 7 scarves with the same threading but different treadling. This is the first one which was promptly nicked by my sister - the others have a different colour scheme.

Some other projects are on their way, I need to find some time and study my drafts! Main inspiration is the work of fantastic Petra Borner

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've been thinking lately about some issues...or better, so far I just can't find a definitive answer...

Some time ago, and precisely while doing market research at Bradford, I came across a handweaver who is based in Italy but sells around the world, in exclusive boutiques and shops. The products were not quite my taste (please note this it is only a personal opinion, and thankfully we all like different things!) but I kept an eye on this designer, wondering when I would have the chance to get across some of those items...

Then, while in London in October, I had the chance to see some of the handwovens and finally touch them, and pay attention to the details. I have to say I was very surprised.
A throw, woven in plain weave, with very nice colours (but nothing daring), horrible loose selvedges, and a very prickly wool. The price tag was high - of course - according to the type of shop I was in.

Questions, questions, and more questions...
If you sell an item, what is the level of quality you aim to propose? Selvedges are to be perfect? The quality of your yarn is important?

That blanket was the perfect example of what I would never sell - or buy -
then I thought ' if that throw is there there must be someone buying it'

Maybe selvedges are less then perfect and the wool is prickly because this is a way of saying "look! this is handwoven! it's not perfect - you can imagine the trembling hands of a weaver throwing the shuttle! ".

If it were perfect nobody woud recognize it - and think of the long hours spent dressing the loom, weaving, finishing, etc etc - and would not be prepared to spend such amount of money for it.

I know the work of many talented weavers, but their pieces are on a completely different level, screaming "I'm gorgeous" from every single fibre of their warps and wefts. Yet they don't command the same price level.

So what makes low quality so appealing? Is the public educated enough to recognise what is well woven or what is not? Brand name is enough? Compromise is necessary?

Why should I spend hours designing, getting the best yarn I can, striving not to make mistakes and keep my selvedges consistent?

Because I couldn't do otherwise - I want to be proud of what I make.

Interesting exhibition about Home Decorating in the 50's - with textiles by Lucienne Day and Jacqueline Groag at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture

Friday, October 31, 2008

31/10 happy birthday to me me me

Today I had a pomegranate - I love them but don't often get them.
I thought it would be good luck to eat one on my birthday!

...not much progress today I'm afraid. I'm the queen of procrastination!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I just love October

I had the shape of this cushion in mind for a while - a simple rectangle with short ends stitched at 90° degrees, when I found a stripey piece woven some time ago and decided to have a go.
The good thing about this shape is that it's lovely to cuddle! Maybe now I'd need a matching throw...
October is always a magic month - I reckon autumn does good to me - even if it's raining -

Have a Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekend break

I finished the jacket - the simplest shape and no lining - the merino is so soft it's a pleasure to feel it brushing against the skin. I'm proud of it! - and am already planning the warp for the next woven length - maybe this time I'll try some more complex shape.

I managed to overcome my fear to cut and sew handwoven fabric - I washed the length in the washing machine - wool cycle - before ironing it and starting to cut, and as a precaution I zigzagged all the pieces before sewing. Then welcome bias binding!

Last weekend my husband and I spent three days in London - we went to see Origin, week 2 - quality of the pieces on display is incredibly high, and exhibitors are friendly and willing to share about their work.
Woven textile designers were there too - a feast for the eyes!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weaving and Thinking

What do you think of while you're weaving?
After the first ten centimetres the rythm is set, I know the repeat and I know when to change the weft - so I just go on automatic, while I listen to music or some interesting radio programme...

The weaving proceeds and I follow my train of thoughts.

It is usually triggered by the music, as I have my favourites (that I listen to over and over again) that recall particular moments, or just trivial things like 'what am I going to prepare for dinner?'

This time I tried to jot down a few ones, so as to have an idea of what goes into the weaving apart from warp and weft.
It starts with the memory of
- a yellow vintage coat bought in a sinister place in Koln when my best friend used to live there
- a series of mental pics of Germany
- a bouquet of flowers, possibly roses, yellow and pale pink
- autumn colours, we haven't seen them here, yet
- I'd love a new woolly hat, I can see the shape, maybe with some fantastic yarn from Noro - or Malabrigo
- my gran, who used to knit a lot - and wouldn't teach me how to crochet because I was (an still am) left-handed...

And so on, like this, for hours - until I get to the end of the warp.

I now got the habit to keep a notebook by the loom, so I can write down anything worth remembering - because most of the times, once I move away I will definitely forget what I was mumbling about!

In the studio I keep a photo of my gran when she was young - she is always with me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

it takes time

little mobiles
After so many days it was such a joy to be back to the loom!
...and to make it all the more interesting, a few warp threads decided to abandon me at the very beginning.
I now have these little mobiles hanging delicately from the back beam
, they look sort of cute - while the others are (for the moment) behaving.

this poster at Studio Violet

Friday, October 10, 2008

slow progress


I am stuck at home with an evil flu - and my warp is there, waiting for me... I don't seem to be able to do any weaving these days, or to be honest, I don' t seem to be able to do anything at all! Auf!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Catching up

During the summer, the Italian Grazia launched a campaign promoting the new look of the magazine.
A pleasant surprise was discovering that the illustrations were by Paula Sanz Caballero, a favourite of mine - whose work I first seen in Selvedge

I love her attention to detail - and her choice of fabrics. She's such a talented artist!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Me too!

Somehow I thought that in August I would need some time off - and I could see myself enjoying the project, relishing the moment I could wear such a lovely skirt...
How come nobody warned me that not only I wouldn't even take the fabric from the box but I would also turn into a mad woman trying to get in control of every single detail of her wedding? (Trust me, never organize a wedding in another country if you're not psychologically equipped)

Actually, everything seems to be very quiet now, I know we are all going to have a wonderful time.

...and I wove the fabric for the "bomboniere" !

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

After a long time...

...looks like we're getting married! He knows he's about to marry a weaver and there's no escape from it...

I spent a week in Trentino-Alto Adige to relax a bit before the final rush - as usual I can't avoid textile and pattern references!

This last one is a tablecloth I adore - on the tables of the Forsterbrau in Meran - representing the Forst beer brand - three fir trees

I hope to be back soon...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


How good it feels when you move out of your closet and see beauty surrounding you...
Turin is World Design Capital for 2008 and among the many events we decided to go and see the exhibition dedicated to the work of Roberto Sambonet just before its end.
Torino is a beautiful city and the exhibition was held in Palazzo Madama, right in the heart of the city.
I can’t say how much I appreciated this exhibition – Roberto Sambonet was a multifaceted artist and designer who worked on a multitude of projects, from poster and textile design to glass, porcelain and stainless steel.
I love his approach to drawing as an instrument to capture the structure of reality – the inspiration from nature – and the simplicity of his work.
Simple. Simple. Simple. but Stunning.

The amount of sketches on display made me think of all the pieces of paper where we usually jot down our ideas, where we try to capture the image of something yet to come…that moment when things just flow and seem to finally fit together…

...and the incredible strength of subtraction - porcelain plates designed for Bing & Grondahl inspired to the traditional Bla Malet
More photos here

Sunday, June 29, 2008


...a lovely parcel was in the post yesterday!
We are experiencing a terrible heatwave - the temperature itself wouldn't be awful, at 34°C - the problem is the high level of humidity - that literally knocks you down. I feel drowsy - no desire to approach the loom, actually no desire to approach anything at all! I just hope it will end soon...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


In my quest for Fifties-inspired textiles I found Angie Lewin and her fabulous linocut prints - together with her textile designs, available from St.Jude's - they are contemporary but have a distinct retro feel that I love

These cushions remind me of some other lovey designs from Heather, at SkinnylaMinx, that you can find on Etsy first reaction would be to go and put some golden yellow warp on the loom...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Me, the lurker

This is my next cushion - a piece of rather funny toile de jouy called "au loup!" in blue on cream with a piece I wove - simple plain weave with stripes in different shades of blue - some of the cotton in the warp was indigo dyed. I still don't know whether to add another piece of patterned fabric or not...

I've been thinking about blogging - and I realized that I have this tendency of always "lurking": I do enjoy reading blogs - especially those of creative people - but most of the times I am reluctant to leave a comment.
I don't know why, I could say because I'm shy, or because writing in English sometimes is not so spontaneous for me as it should be, it's something I need to work on. Sometimes I read long posts expressing serious thoughts and I wish I could do the same... there's a lot of introspection to be done just by reading a few pages on the web!

This is also what I like about weaving - once the loom is set you can wander away with your mind and think thoroughly about the smallest things...

Monday, June 09, 2008

more fabric please!

I completed the project with the second panel (...with all its "textile drafts" if I can call them so) - and it's time to change my threading on the loom, ready for the next warp. Actually "completed" is not the right word as I know perfectly well that I'll be mulling over the things I've done, thinking how to improve them or - as usually happens once you think "it's done!" - getting the best idea and get frustrated at the thought...why didn't I do it before?
At the moment I am completely fascinated by the world of Mid-century textiles - got my eyes on this book for reference - I particularly like colour combinations and "atomic" shapes of printed textiles.

There is an exhibition I'd love to see - from Atoms to Patterns - crystal structure designs from the 1951 Festival of Britain
- at the Wellcome Collection in London. Again, it's about getting inspiration from the forms and shapes in nature - however hidden and minuscule they can be.

So I've got the feeling that my next samples will reflect this influence - isn't it exciting when you have plans for the next thousand warps? - my gosh I'd better stop sleeping!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Last weekend (last week too!) was a long one - including Bank Holiday - so after a 400 km return trip to attend a wedding we just got lazy and decided to take it easy...

I also made it with the 'fifties' fabric - I covered the seat of the chair but I still have to finish sanding it down -
I think it looks good, or at least improved: the original cover was a terrible mustard colour - the loom was nicely threaded so I decided to take advantage of it and experiment a bit more. The wall hanging is waiting for its brother in reversed colours - at the beginning I had no idea how to manage the spacing of the dots, then I decided for a pointed entry of Fibonacci sequence, which I love -

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I'm here but sometimes I wish I could be in the UK or somewhere else
- it still amazes me (and always will) how people all over the world sharing the same interests can meet up and have a 'conversation' or exchange ideas on their blogs - even more so because I know how precious the company of like-minded people
can be . There are not many handweavers here in Italy - and less than the national average in the region where I live!

Today I've been to the depository of my local museum -where a kind lady showed me some textile fragments of damask and velvet from the XVIII and XIX century. The idea is to draw inspiration from the shapes and colours of these fragments - and of course have a chance to peek around! Some other textiles I found really inspiring: mezzeri - lightweight cotton fabric printed with flora and fauna motifs, with the most common the 'Tree of Life'. The name derives from the Arab word for "cover": women originally used them to cover their heads, but they were used also as shawls and bedcovers. They were particularly common in the XIX century in Liguria. Mezzeri are still used today as covers for bed/sofa but the modern versions have lost some of their appeal, as colour combinations are decidedly ugly and the patterns too big.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


About a month ago I've been to an exhibition on Antonia Campi (unfortunately there is not much about her on the web, I am trying to get my hands on the new catalogue...)
I suppose it's just one of those moments - when you realize just how much you love some specific shapes, colours and surfaces - they were there before, but now you are aware that they're special to you - and you crave for more...
Back to my weaving I fancied something black and white - then, after the exhibition where I saw the most lovely plate in white, black and pink, I decided for these three colours.
Pink had a lovely sort of "creamy" shade in the Fifties...

Above are samples - in wrong colours! - just to check the structure and colour&weave effects. As I want to cover a chair seat I need a strong and balanced fabric - plain weave still my favourite.
Today I've been threading the loom and hopefully tomorrow I'll prepare the warp.
Can't wait to see the fabric done!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Back Home

as usual, going to the UK for me is a feast - for all textile-y things and lot more -
we went...First, to the Savill Garden
Entrance - the roof is impressive both from the inside and the outside
Exhibitions at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham : "Makers & Movers" (with some samples by weaver Marianne Straub)
and "Meeting Places" by Carole Waller - her hangings were amazing, delicately floating in the air when you passed close to them -

...even the towel in the toilet was somehow matching the atmosphere of the exhibition!

Next on the list was a quick trip to Stroud for the Textile Festival; we only went there the first day, no chance for talks and workshops, sigh...
I particularly loved Claire Lane:
and the colours of Ptolemy Mann (to be honest, I had seen her work in photos before, but standing in front of the real thing - two whole rows of them! - is something that one has to experience - I was speechless)

Back home to the South it was nice to stroll around and discover new lovely places such as Sno, a Scandinavian design shop (grrr.....that day it was closed)
and Coastal Creatives - a lovely gallery/shop well worth a visit.
I wish we could have had some more time...
...and back home, flying over the Alps