Tina Francis Tapestry copyright 2014
So last time I was talking about the craft leyline that seems to be forming in London over the weekend 19th - 22nd September in London and this time more connections!!
I am a member of The Slow Textiles Group and last Friday we launched a pop up shop focussing on geometrics, the shop is part of the current programme which ends with the launch of the latest geometrics book. It was a great way to meet other members of the group and also to speak to people who love textiles and especially geometrics. I use only second hand wool in my art work and wherever possible all kits components are sourced here in the UK, I am trying to do my bit but after meeting Zoe Mill Burt or Seeds of Fashion I think I need to try harder!
Seeds of Fashion aims to plant the seed, grow the seed, harvest the seed, process the crop and finally use the resulting fabric to create garments. All well and good I hear you cry but this process is not happening far away it is happening here in the UK more precisley in and around the allotments and spare spaces of London town! We no longer grow Flax here in the UK on a commercial level but it used to be everywhere now I am not sure of the history but its production seems to have petered out when we needed land for food in 1950s but hey read the blog and find out the facts. It is a fantastic idea lets cut out the airmiles and grow the clothes we need here in the UK! The crazy connection here is that the seeds used for the project came from Wild Fibres whose studio is right opposite mine in the Custard Factory Birmingham. I am hoping to work with Wild Fibres in the future to create a tapestry from UK grown fibres more soon!
So with my head filled with Flax and its uses I struck up a conversation with Vicky Putler from Thorody. Thorody make the most fantastic screen printed linen homewares and accessories, their linen is woven in the UK. We talked about provenance of the fabric and Vicky explained that she had wanted to try and grow her own flax to make the linen they print on, hold on a minute grow your own flax (?) you can see where I am going here with connection number two! A smaller link is that Thorody live where I used to in London!
So I travelled from Birmingham to London, met someone who lived where I used to live she prints onto linen but hankers after producing her own fabric from the seed she met someone who does just that in London who got the ball rolling with seeds and advice from a woman in Birmingham - that is a full triangle of connections!