"Beautiful location. Excellent instructors" - Alan (Burford, Oxfordshire)


Weaving in the Woods **NEW COURSE**

6th July 2019 | Ullen Wood, Gloucestershire
| £65
Course Provider: Cotswolds Conservation Board
A practical insight into the traditional Cotswold craft of Wool Weaving, in an inspiring woodland setting

Course description: Your tutor, Textile Designer and Hand-weaver Rebecca Connolly, will be relocating her Weaving Day Course outside for the summer. Inspired by a tranquil coppiced woodland setting, carpeted with wild flowers, you will be weaving on body-tensioned looms threaded with natural un-dyed British wool. You may choose to weave entirely in wool, reflecting the colours, patterns and textures that surround you to weave either a decorative piece or fabric which you can transform into something useful with a little stitching.

Alternatively you could create a woven piece which captures nature literally by trapping it into the weave.. think twigs, stalks, bark, lichen, tendrils of ivy; depending on the material you use, dried or fresh, woody or green plant, the living will gently degrade leaving the wool weave.

Following a demonstration of how to use the loom and get started, you will be weaving yourself with Rebecca's support and guidance. Weave techniques will be introduced with a view to participation at a level each individual student is comfortable with. The aim is to build on your skills and creativity throughout the day whatever level you start at.

All equipment is provided. Fibres supplied to include rare-breed sheep wool, hand-spun and plant-dyed yarns. Also an assortment of materials to supplement those found in the woodland will be available. Please bring a packed lunch and fold-up stool or similar should you prefer to sit rather than stand to weave.

Each topic will be introduced with a view to participation wherever possible at a level each individual student is comfortable with. The aim is to build on your skills throughout the day whatever level you start at.  

Historical background

The weaving of cloth was originally carried out in the stone cottages dotted along the steep sided valleys of the Cotswolds, using locally produced fleece, for local needs. As the trade in woollen cloth grew, the Cotswold breed of sheep was farmed on a large scale. The cleaned, spun wool was supplied to these home-based weavers and provided them with an income, they were paid for the amount of cloth they wove. Later in an effort to produce a uniform 'West of England Cloth' in quantity, hand-loom weavers were moved into ‘mills’; in 1840 Gloucestershire recorded over 1000 hand-loom weavers in such factories.

There is one sizeable company remaining weaving cloth (for tennis balls and billiard tables) but successful small studio weavers are dotted throughout the region responding to the resurgence in the appreciation of hand craft skills.

Course tutor:

In her studio near Cirencester, Rebecca designs woven textiles, and weaves cloth by hand on old wooden looms for exhibition and to commission. She teaches Weaving and Natural Dyeing at her studio, runs courses for Art & Craft organisations locally and does Weaving demonstrations. Rebecca is a graduate of Bath Spa University, where she studied Textile Design, specialising in Weave. She is a Licentiate member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and an Associate member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen. She exhibits with both Societies in London and in Bovey Tracy, Devon. She has received awards from The Bradford Textile Society, The Cambrian Mountains International Wool Challenge, The Campaign for Wool and British Wool with whom she continues to work, to promote the use of British Wool from both commercial flocks and from rare breeds of sheep. rebeccaconnollydesign.com .