THE JOURNEY SO FAR...
GETTING THE LOOM
In 2015, my husband Brian and I were planning an extended trip to travel around Australia. The caravan was decked out and the house was up for sale. We had a practice run in the caravan with a day trip to Clunes. It was here that I first saw the Saori loom and the possibilities of freeform weaving. I have always had a craft project on the go and I was looking for something new to do whilst we travelled indefinitely, around Australia.
I ordered a loom on the spot from the Dyeing to Weave Studio (Prue Simmons).
Only then did I book in for a workshop, to learn how to use a loom. Shortly after we set off on our adventure and I developed my own style.
TRAVELLING AROUND AUSTRALIA
We travelled around Australia for 2 years and the loom was always in use. I took with me all the yarns from home and my homespun yarns and dyed the skeins on the road. I taught myself different weaving techniques and started creating my own clothing. I had to handsew all of the pieces together as I didn't have a sewing machine with us (limited space in the van!)
As we travelled I depleted my stash of yarns, so this began the collection of yarns from the op shops. As we ventured North we found less and less wool, so I started buying clothes to cut up and weave.
On our return I held an exhibition, Landscapes of my Soul (Nov 2017) which showcased our journey and the pieces I was able to create. Each held a story of our travels, a growth in my techniques and a reflection of the personal growth that came about from our time away.
The weaving was a time for relaxation and mindfulness.
STARTING THE BUSINESS
In 2017 we finished our travels and began to find our place in a new town - Maryborough, Victoria. It was difficult to find work and after the success of the solo exhibition Journey of my Soul, I contemplated sharing my newfound passion with others. As I had never run a business before, it was a huge learning curve, especially the technology side!
In May 2018 Gypsy Weaver officially started!
The old building out the back was converted into the studio: downstairs for weaving and the top floor for sewing. We purchased 3 secondhand looms and began collecting lots of yarns!
Gypsy Weaver started having a presence at local markets, with locals remembering us and seeking us out. I harnessed my fears and began learning how to use social media, to great effect!
People connected with me and so began the workshops in earnest to give others the skills to create their own unique pieces and to trust their own inner creativeness.
Brian and I are planning on travelling again, in short bursts. We have converted the box trailer to a camper and look forward to weekends away attending festivals that promote sustainability.
I can then showcase what can be achieved from discarded textiles and inspire you to give it a try.
Do you know of any upcoming events near you?
Let me know!
As time goes on I am trialing new techniques, developing my skills and branching out in creative ways. And as always, I am happy to share this with you in the workshops that I offer.
Interested in workshops or want a commission piece? Get in touch!