Weaving Workshop – Upstairs at Smug

July 25, 2016

hand weaving workshop smug bezalel
Last weekend I enrolled on a day course to learn hand weaving. I’ve been a big fan of the bohemian home trend with a tribal twist for a while now and admiring the various wall hangings I’ve come across. So when I saw a course come up in one of my favourite London design stores – Smug,  it was a bit of a no brainer. It was a fantastic thing to do, contemplative and relaxing in a way I’d liken to gardening which is in contrast to my experience of sewing or cross stitch which I find a bit frustrating. Weaving is therapeutic, it has less maths and more fun than other techniques I’ve learnt before so I thought I’d share my experience on the blog today. 

 

hand weaving workshop smug bezalel

Image: Design Soda

I think that at this point in life where things have speeded up so much, in part the endless run of social media and the time I’m spending behind the scenes on the blog and in part the result of moving house and having a young family, I find that I’m really happy and inspired but also missing some quietness in my life. At the same time I’m quite a flitty person with creativity, happy to give most things a go but not much of a sticker with anything. So I had a very vague goal this year that I wanted to try something new which would relax me and could be picked up during odd moments of quiet and not become something I was consumed by or impatient to finish (another bad personality trait that does have its positives).

hand weaving workshop smug bezalel

Image: Design Soda

Chrissy was a great teacher and provided a brilliant array of wools and materials with texture. In the class we learnt to make a loom (which was lovely in itself), the language of weaving terms, a raft of stitches from plain (or tabby) weave, pick-and-pick and blending to soumak, rya knotting and shape building. We were a small group of 6 (including Lizzie Evans who I’m a huge girl fan of!) which was lovely as everyone got direct tutelage from the very talented Christabel and got to know each other whilst we were all absorbed in our individual tapestries.

 

Smug Workshops, Upstairs at Smug

Image: Design Soda

Actually you can make quite a big sample during four hours, as you can see from the top image most made a lot more than me. I chose some quite thin wools so mine was slower to take form but actually I had a lot of fun slowly watching it grow whilst fighting my instinct to freestyle, conscious that I wouldn’t learn the new stitches if I went too far off piste! It was just lovely to produce something, I think most of us are so detached from traditional process of creating a finite object in our working lives that the novelty of holding something you’ve made is very
pleasing. Go on, give it a go, you may just find your inner calm and you’ll certainly have lots of fun. I’m going to take what I learnt to make a small wall-hanging for our bedroom, I’ll update you when I get there…

 

Learning to hand weave tapestry wall hanging craft

Image: Design Soda

There are more weaving workshops coming up by Bezalel at Smug, for more details check here.

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