Born in Belfast, lived in Germany and throughout the UK, I have been weaving since ca. 1980. Much of the early days of learning were spent in abject frustration, not having many people around me who could help me further my skills and knowledge about weaving. In the early 80s I had the good fortune to work with a couple of weavers in London in a semi apprenticeship way. There I also did a small amount of adult education teaching, enough to realise that there was great value in sharing skills and ideas with other weavers.
I moved to Sheffield, UK in 1993 where I designed and taught weaving and spinning courses with the Workers Educational Association (WEA). These were Open College Network accredited courses using the principles of Development Education in both its teaching and learning.
I have lived in Kerry since 2003 and weave in a workshop at home. My work sells through a variety of outlets, and I receive commissions to produce more individualised pieces. Within this site you will see updated notices of any exhibitions that I may be involved in.
A lot of creativity is knocked out of us throughout our lives as if it were of any less value than mathematics. We start off as children drawing, painting and building things and then slowly we unlearn the ability to trust our creativity. If there were enough hours in the day I would still teach full-time AND weave my own work. Alas, I no longer teach. (however, see section on Weaving Support)
The weaving process itself has taught me a great deal about both the practical side of the craft and the design side of weaving. It has taught me patience (dressing the loom can take ages); taking responsibility for decisions (taking care to think through the design before starting to weave) and ultimately, that mistakes, or judgement errors, are wonderful learning opportunities.
Why buy a more expensive hand woven piece when you can buy it cheaper down the supermarket? Well, there are many reasons:
- Individuality and uniqueness
- Long lasting quality
- Knowledge that you have contributed to keeping an ancient craft alive and that the process stays manual and not mechanical
- Assurance that you don’t become part of a chain of global exploitation in the production process and you know exactly who has made it and where it comes from. No one has been hurt in the process
- If you commission a personalised piece, you get to become part of the design process and have a richer purchasing experience