Simone Landwehr-Traxler – ‘Spinning the Yarn’

Simone Landwehr-Traxler  –  ‘Spinning the Yarn’

I went along to see Simone Landwehr-Traxler’s ‘Spinning the Yarn’ exhibition, displayed at House for an Art Lover in Glasgows Bellahouston Park a couple of weeks ago. ‘Spinning the Yarn’ hopes to travel to Shetland in 2018 along with a performance piece which I hope to see at home, however I took the opportunity to see the exhibition while it was on display.

Simone’s exhibition of textile, installation and wax works came to life in the almost outdoor setting. The ‘boat house’ like interior really juxtaposed against the fragile and translucent looking textile pieces which were suspended from the roof in different ways. I really enjoyed the way the pieces moved in the wind, (thanks to the weather that day!) as they reminded me of the way boat sails move with the weather, or a calm sea with a soft flowing tide. On her website, Simone speaks of the themes of her project:

Investigating Fair Isle designs’ reputed origins, Andalusia, and migration to the Outer Hebrides, the project challenges the assumptions underwriting our cultural identity. This project will explore if there are similarities of thought and creative processes linking Islamic/Spanish Andalusia and Scandinavian/Scottish Fair Isle.

You can follow Simones journey here. Some pictures of the exhibition at House for an Art Lover below:








Shetland Summer…

Shetland Summer…

I managed to get home for a few days in August, which was lovely. I really appreciate how special a place Shetland is when I return, there really is no where like it.
The open space and the sea. The pictures speak for themselves…



November and being home…

After my Masters finished in September I decided that I really wanted to go back to Shetland for a bit, just to take some time out and to have a break.
So far, not much of a break has been had, between working part time for Jamieson and Smith – The Woolbrokers here in Lerwick and also doing some more weaving. I don’t seem to be able to keep away from it after weaving daily for most of this year.

Global Yell – a weaving studio up in the northern isles of Shetland, (I did a project with them one summer: you can read more here) is fantastic resource here in Shetland that I use to produce larger lengths of cloth. They have great weaving facilities and have just set up a new loom so they can start to produce small production runs for designers. (check them out here).
It takes a 40 minute drive and a Ferry crossing to get to the studio, and all the driving has made me appreciate being back in Shetland again, and notice all the little things that make Shetland so special….including the colours of the Shetland landscape in November.

The hills are a lovely red colour at the moment and I managed to capture them in a few different locations on different days.


At the same time as weaving a collection of scarves which compliment my recent Masters collection (you can see them here) I have taken up hand knitting again. I first learned in Primary School and have knitted a few (unfinished) projects since but when my work started the Winter Woollies KAL in October, we thought we should knit along too.

I recently finished my hat, where I used the Winter Woollies colours 203, FC41, FC43, FC38 and FC34 to make my version of the Brooklyn Tweed Season Hat. The colours really remind me of my drives up and down to Yell this last month.
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Weaving and more weaving…..

The last time I blogged I had started to create artworks for taking ideas into sampling….which was back in November. This year in Glasgow has gone so quickly and its somehow it’s May already! I have just handed in my work for the stage two assessment….which means the third and final stage of my masters is approaching so thought I’d take the chance to write a few blogs over the next week to show you whats been happening here!

Weaving and the production of our toiles is in full swing now as we come up to the end of stage two of our masters course in Fashion and Textiles at Glasgow School of Art. I have decided that all my garments are going to be handwoven by myself (I might later regret deciding this…..) but I am sure it will be worth it when I see the end products.

At the moment I am still sampling and trying out lots of different ideas. I have been using some Shetland wool from Jamieson and Smith, for a heavy weight jacket fabric, which has turned out so lovely. Imagine this on a large oversized jacket in Grey.




While I was home at Christmas I started some initial weaving of the heavier weight samples which I am using for my jacket shapes. These are using the Shetland wool from Jamieson and Smith. I’ve used Shetland wool for the past few years while weaving for different projects and it is a lovely yarn to work with because it is so durable. As well as this when woven, washed and pressed I really like the quality of the fabric.  (You can read more about my other projects using Shetland wool here: Farlin ProjectASF – Contemporary Shetland Tweed and Industrial North Collection)





More recently I have been sampling for a shirt shape that I have developed so I have been weaving a lighter weight fabric which could work with this idea, I will update you with this in the next few days!


Shetland Summer….

Had a lovely couple of months at home, which was unexpected as I didn’t know how long I was going to get home for when I got back in July….I managed to get some work during August, not textile related, but have been outside most days and have got some great photographs taken and will hopefully be able to use them in my next collection….
131415Heading down to Glasgow in a couple of weeks, so have been starting to get all my ideas back together so that I am ready to embark on what will probably be a busy year at Glasgow School Art….I’ve continued to use my journal this summer to help record my ideas and information, this includes a hilarious trip up north to Hillswick, where me and my friend Ella learned to natural dye yarn (read Ella’s blog here: Natural Dyeing) and I hope to share some of my ideas with you soon.


London, New Designers and the Worshipful Company of Weavers Associate Prize

A few week have passed since I was down in London, and everything seems to be very exciting at the moment.
London was again, fantastic. The city has such an amazing atmosphere which I love, and I hope I will be back again soon.
New Designers seems like a dream now that I am back home in Shetland, however, it was an amazing experience which I will never forget. And it was made even more special by winning the Worshipful Company of Weavers Associate Prize.

1The Worshipful Company of Weavers is the oldest of the City of Londons 110 Livery companies, and the WC of Weavers has the earliest date of existence, dating back to 1130 AD, which is incredible.
It was such an honour to be chosen as the winner, and I think for me this has been one of my biggest achievements so far. The support from everyone has been over whelming.


I have been back in Shetland now for 2 weeks and I am slowly getting back into the swing of the slow paced life here. And the cold weather. I am also trying to get used to doing nothing as I haven’t had ‘nothing’ to do for a while.
I have had a few decisions to make, but have decided to go on to do my Masters and will be studying at the Glasgow School of Art, on their Masters in Fashion and Textiles from September, which I am really excited about!

So the adventure continues…..



The Bonhoga Open 2014

I had a great week home, it was so nice to be back!
I had some weaving to finish so spent the first week driving up and down to Yell. I always forget how weird it is when you go back to Shetland after being away because everything is just exactly the same.

Before I left Gala…I decided to submit a piece of work into the Bonhoga Open. As a first time exhibitor, I wasn’t sure what to put in, but because this year was the 20th anniversary ‘home’ was the theme…and since my final collection has taken inspiration from Shetland, then I came up with something to submit.

At the start of a project, I often create a number of artworks to get design idea’s for weaving. Over the last 4 or so years I have developed a way of working that works best for me, and these artworks are a major part which lead onto my fabrics.
I thought it might be nice to let people see my artworks for a change, instead of a fabric.

I usually start by wrapping yarn around pictures (love a yarn wrap!)….usually my own photographs, and this helps me to visualise how designs might work on the loom.
Normally I cut my pictures up into sections because I often work on a block draft repeat (sorry, weaver talk) when I am sampling. The sections which I cut resemble these different sections…some are larger, some smaller.
Below are pages from my sketchbook from last semester’s capsule collection which helps to illustrate my process.








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For the piece I submitted to the Shetland Open, I wanted to use local wool from Shetland and have used Jamieson and Smiths lace weight yarn. It is so lovely and soft, it must be lovely to knit with.
The photo which I used was one I took down at ‘Da Sletts’ which is a rocky beach/pier just down in front of my house, in Lerwick.

We used to play down there when we were younger, and when the weather was nice we used to go in swimming. Every couple of years depending on the weather during the winter usually a sand bank appears near the rocks, and I remember a few summers being down there a lot when the weather was nice…..which also makes me wonder why it isn’t sunny like that anymore?

So the picture which features in my piece is this one, a close up of the rocks there:


This picture has featured heavily in my design work for my final collection, with hints of the colours and surface pattern coming in. (Will be revealing my final collection in a post very soon)
As the exhibition opened on the 26th of April, I was already back down on the mainland so I had to send my mam along to have a look for me.

DSCI1468It’s strange to see my work in a different context, as usually these stay hidden away in my weave design development books….but I am glad I decided to share this piece for the 20th anniversary of Bonhoga.

My two friends Ella and Vivian, who I went to Shetland College with and studied an NC in Art, Design and Craft, also submitted work. It’s nice to see that we all started in the same place, have gone on to do different things, yet still use Shetland, our home, as inspiration in our work.

I interviewed them both at the end of last year for my dissertation research, and you can read more                                                                   about them and their work methods here.

I am writing this as I watch the live broadcast from the Shetland Folk Festival Foy in Mareel, from the comfort of my bed in Galashiels. Hope you are all watching! It’s making me miss home.