HAND-WOVEN DESIGN

 

Known in her class as the "weaving wizard," Laura has an unwavering passion for woven structure and patterning.  

Since a young age, Laura was constantly creating. She began with pencil drawing, chalk pastels and fine art water color painting then later delved into photography. At sixteen, while studying at Sevenoaks School, she began weaving under the tutorship of Lesley Millar. Laura knew from this point on that she would go on to study and pursue a career in textiles. Lesley is a renowned textile curator whose research focuses on contemporary textile practice, particularly from the UK, Japan, and other countries where contemporary textiles play an important role in the artistic and cultural discourse. Through Lesley's mentorship, Laura came to realize the great and expansive world of textile art.

At Rhode Island School of Design, Laura received a broad and in depth education studying all aspects of textile art and design, from hand spinning fibers and controlling color in the dye lab, hand drawing and painting patterns in repeat, silk screen and digital printing, hand and machine knitting, CAD design, embroidery design and more...Yet her true passion remained in weaving. At RISD she gained further knowledge and expertise in not only hand woven but also partially automated (Dobby) and fully automated (Jacquard) woven design. 

Laura's creative process begins with a powerful feeling, derived from nature or a meditative space or state of mind. She takes photographic images, then later paints and draws with a sewing machine, to abstract the image and create a repeating pattern or stripe. She strives to convey her emotion that works in harmony with the surrounding space or final application. She often hand dyes the yarn to the color she needs. Further, she controls and manipulates color tones using the woven structure, alternating twills to reflect or absorb light, creating careful nuances and resulting in a gradation.

 

Her concern is to create fabrics that calm the mind and soothe the soul. Fabrics, when installed in interior or exterior spaces, create a sense of peace and harmony, both by sight and by touch. 

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© 2018 LAURA SHIRREFF