Amy Wilson is in her second year as a Fellow with Digswell Arts at The Fenners, Letchworth.
1/ How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?
My design work often explores concepts of time and fragility and I have been exploring pattern weaves based around these studies in my latest collection of hand woven scarves, working mainly in fine silk, British wool and some metal/steel core yarns. I aim to create luxurious items which combine traditional hand craft skills with the use of digital technology.
2/ What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?
I have been working on a collection of printed silk scarves and wraps for a new stockist. I have also been busy making in time for a few Christmas events in Hertfordshire…..An Art fair at the Radcliffe, Hitchin 2nd December 6-9pm, A Christmas fair, at The Red Lion, Weston 4th December 6-9pm, The Baldock Christmas Craft &Vintage fair, Baldock High Street, 5th December 9-6pm and of course the Fenners Christmas Art fair which is taking place at the Fenners building, Openshaw way Letchworth on the 5th & 6th of December.
I also ran a series of weaving workshops during the month of November which proved to be very popular – there will be more dates to be announced for further workshops in the Spring.
3/ What are your plans for the coming year?
In early 2016 my work will be focused mainly on developing a portfolio of woven textile designs. I will also be working on a range of intricate 3d woven structures which incorporate the use of precious metals and steel core yarns.
4/ What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?
Many people ask about the time involved in my work. They want to know how long a piece took to weave. Weaving can be a long process, you have to enjoy each stage to be a weaver. It can take patience at times, but for me this is where I find the pleasure in my craft. I enjoy investing time in precise work using technical research and sampling cloth designs.
5/ What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?
I knew very early on that I had an affinity for textiles, as fabrics and making always made me happy, and this has always been one of my favourite ways to spend time. I am fascinated by colour, texture, pattern and shape. They seem to give me an energy and create an enthusiasm in me. I was introduced to sewing and making at a very young age by my Mum, who loved to make clothes. She made up many ‘inventive’ art projects with my family when we were children.
6/ Which artist/designer do you most admire and why?
There are many Designers that I admire the work of, In particular Woven textile designers, Wallace Sewell & Margo Selby who have turned their weaving into a commercial enterprise, making it relevant for today but using traditional methods and techniques. Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood for her fearless approach, Alexander Mc queen for the drama and creativity.
7/ How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?
Being a fellow of Digswell Arts has enabled me to continue my creative development. I have a studio with space where all my looms and equipment can be kept, allowing me to be working on the various strands of my work all at the same time!
I have also had access to a room where I am able to run a regular programme of weaving workshops which are open to the public, this has been great experience for me.
More information about Amy’s work: