A long silence….

Half a year later, a new location and a new job, a lot has changed….

Now living back on mainland Scotland, I miss home a lot I am also loving the new adventures which are widening my learning experiences as well as  broadening my design skills.
More to follow soon, but for now, here are some pictures of my photo shoot from before Christmas with my lovely friend, Ella. Ella is this years patron for Shetland Wool Week, which is very exciting and I hope to get home to support her through the exciting week!

While I was home before Christmas, I did a bit of an experiment with my own label, which I hope is just the beginning for it, hope you like them 🙂 Special thanks to Liam Henderson, for his fabulous photography skills too…

Amy x

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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.

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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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Amy

 

Northern Edge Collection Photoshoot

I managed to do a photo shoot in the Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art before our final submission and fashion show. It was really good to see the collection all together and see how things worked together.

My collection, consisted of six looks, all made from my handwoven fabrics and used a combination of 100% Shetland wool from Jamieson and Smith in Lerwick, Cashmere, Merino and Lambswool.

It was really important for my collection to be made from wool, and I was especially keen to use my local Shetland wool. Since my collection was for Autumn/Winter you can see in the pictures below that Shetland wool works perfectly for the heavier weight garments.

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Special thanks to Storm McMurrich from Model Team for Modeling and Jamie A.M the photographer.

Amy

The Final Collection

This past year at Glasgow School of Art has gone so fast, it is hard to believe that this time last year I was just about to begin the course. As our Masters show was a couple of weeks ago now, and I am back home in Shetland I thought it would show the ‘before’ work before I put up the photos from the photo shoot which took place before the Promenade and the degree show.

The first stage from September till January consisted of initial research and creating a concept.
I wanted to carry forward some themes from my undergraduate collection which formed around the idea of creating fabrics which had a northern identity and crossed themes from simple Scandinavian design and traditional scottish woven cloth qualties, but also introduce some new ideas.

My initial concept and research ideas formed two different sections. Fabric ideas and Silhouette and Shape:

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This year I also had to design the shape of the garment as well as the fabric. As I was weaving my own fabrics I thought that it would be best to keep these quite simple. The images above shows the initial concept ideas of how I could translate my artworks and fabric ideas on to the garments which I would go on to create.
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The second stage which started in February and went through to the end of May was a busy time. Sampling and producing Toiles for review, and thinking thoroughly about what I wanted my collection to look like. As I had previously only produced samples for collections it was so exciting to see these ideas developing on into garments. As stage two still had a lot of experimentation in it, I think it was the most exciting part of the year.

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Stage three, the last stage, was a very busy time, but also a great achievement. From June until mid August we had the manufacture and create our collections. I planned out that I would have about two weeks for each look, to weave the fabric and then put together the garment. By weaving each look at a time, meant that I could change my ideas and add new discoveries as I went.
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I am back home in Shetland for a couple of months having a break and also working for Jamieson and Smith, the Shetland Wool Brokers in Lerwick. I have a few things up my sleeve for the next few months so keep an eye out for updates!

Amy

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.

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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)

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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!

Amy.x

Industrial North Final Collection

We had our Degree Show at the beginning of June, so we were finally able to reveal our collections to industry and the public! Here are some shots from the Degree Show showing my Industrial North Collection:

Industrial North
A collection of dobby and jacquard woven fabrics inspired by Shetlands northern identity as a small island located between mainland Scotland and Norway.
Capturing the movement of line, colour and geometric shape from my own mixed media artworks and the location of Shetland, the collection combines these aspects with traditional woven fabric qualities, such as herringbones, twills and checks and the use of 100% Shetland wool, lambswool and merino.
The final collection brings together influences from Shetland, traditional Scottish fabric qualities and linear aspects of Scandinavian design.
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As my project was based on Shetland and its identity, when I was home at Easter I took some pictures of my friend Ella, wearing my weaving.
We went down to Da Sletts, (the place where I took most of my photographs for my starting point, and also where I took the picture that I used for the Shetland Open at Bonhoga) and the Lodberries as they are two of my favourite parts of Lerwick.
Now, I want to get some of these actually made up into garments like my CAD simulations I used in my display.
I should also add that in some of my samples I used Shetland wool from Jamieson and Smith. It is so lovely and soft when woven and washed and I hope to continue using it in my work.

9 11 5 14 6All the hard worked paid off and I recently found out I will be graduating with First Class Honors at the end of this week!
I have set up a website for my work which is over at www.brownsroadtextiles.com if you want to take a look…..
Everything is very exciting at the moment and I will be displaying my collection at the New Designers part 1 Exhibition, which is held every year at the Business Design Center in Islington from the 25th till the 28th of June, so if you are near please come and say Hello!

Amy.x

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:

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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.