Time to introduce another of our talented female writers, Sarah Britton who runs a pictorial blog over at Sunday Best Journal and is a Visual Merchandiser at COS, Manchester (naturally, I love this!). Forever focusing on entrepreneurial women who have carved a career for themselves doing what they love, Sarah shares her recent interview with renowned textile artist, Maryanne Moodie.
With inspirational women at the heart of the Object brand we commissioned weaver, Maryanne Moodie to design and make some unique work for our launch. What Maryanne achieves with the warp and the weft are strikingly tactile wall hangings, each brimming with texture and personality. Her workshops and beginners weaving kits sell out on Etsy time and again and it’s no surprise she’s taken the Instagram world by storm (over 58K followers to date). I asked Maryanne some questions about her practice and how she made weaving her career.
Sarah: Maryanne, the vast array of different textures, materials and styles of work you produce seem endless, when you begin a piece where do you start? What’s your thought process?
Maryanne: I am constantly inspired by the fibres I find. Vintage fibres, hand spun and hand dyes yarns, sparkly and fluffy fibres. Each one can send me on a tangent of new designs. I like to put my ego to the side and try to let the fibres speak for them selves and dictate the flow of the piece as much as possible.
S: Makers and artists often have habitual rituals that aid their practice, do you have a particular studio routine?
M: I like to get up, grind the coffee and sit and have breakfast with my family. Once everyone has left for the day I like to take some time in front of my purpose built yarn case. I choose the fibres that are speaking to me that day and then decide which loom would be best to help create my visions. Then I pop on some vintage tunes or a podcast, sit on my sheepskin and let the day unfold.
S: At what time in your life did you begin weaving and at what point did you decide to make weaving your career?
M: I started weaving when I was pregnant with my son in about 2011. It was a way of taking some time to myself and connect with other women and the wider world. It was a way to make gifts for friends and family. I never really decided to make it a career, it just organically moved in that direction. I was open to the world and the possibilities and I listened to my heart and it has led me here. I like it here.
S: What’s your favourite fibre to work with? Do you favour modern or traditional materials? How do you develop new ways of working?
M: I love working with vintage fibres as you never know what you are going to get. And then if you find something that you really love, you have to really cherish it as there is only a finite amount and you cannot get more. I also love working with small batch producers through Etsy who spin and dye their own yarn. I like fibres that have an identity and a texture and a look that is all their own. I don't really like machine spun or acrylic fibres.
S: There’s been a real making revival recently and with it an appreciation of your craft, this renewed interest doesn't show any sign of waining, what is it about weaving that captivates people?
M: It is very approachable as a craft. I have made up kits and teach classes in the hope of bringing people into the craft. I have such a passion and find such enjoyment and solace in it, that I want to offer it to as many people as possible. I also think that there is a nostalgia in the final product that lends itself to memories of being at Nana's house, but in a new and modern way.
S: You’re weeks away from the birth of your second child, what’s your experience of modern motherhood?
M: I really enjoy balancing both my work and my family life. There are so many ways to make it work. I am able to work flexible hours and still feel like I am dedicating enough time and energy to the different aspects in my life. Lets see how the balance shifts with #2!