Stretched

I have been well and truly stretched by the last few months. Behind the scenes there has been much activity and anxiety – sometimes more of one, sometimes more of the other – and 90% of it has been outside my comfort zone. Indeed, I have frequently been in an entirely different planetary system from my comfort zone of studio practice back here on earth. The mission that has taken us on this journey has been the complete redesign of my Bonny Claith brand, which is the label I use for my handwoven scarves, cowls and other functional textiles.

‘Brand’ is not the easiest word to love in the era of social media, so it was a stretch for me even to start. But it comes down to a very simple idea. Having spent the last couple of years doing all the thinking about what I wanted to make and why I wanted to make it that way, I needed to express these thoughts clearly in the way I present the finished pieces. That includes the way I present them physically, when I am at an event or they are displayed in a shop, and the way I present them online, on my website and – of course – on social media.

I’ve had a lot of help with this. I’ve taken workshops with the Design Trust and Craft Scotland. I have hired intelligent creative women with amazing skills. And I am really delighted with the results. Among other things I have a brand new Bonny Claith logo which is the partner to my Cally Booker logo. I have a portfolio of gorgeous photos of my work being worn by the most elegant model imaginable. I have new swing tags printed on card made from recycled cotton and new sew-on labels made from cork. There are one or two things still in the pipeline, but my refreshed website is now launched and I will be taking my new look to CLOTH#19 in August. By the end of September I plan to re-open my little online shop.

 

Huge thanks are due to wylliecat design for the logo; Anneleen Lindsay Photography for the model photography and styling; Naomi Baxter for make-up artistry and Shayne Brodie for modelling.

The gallery above includes a couple of close-up-to-the-textiles photos which were taken by Stuart, to whom thanks are due for that and for All the Other Things.

La Vie en Rose

I don’t get a lot of weaving time in May, as it is a busy month for other commitments; but when I did get to the loom I was working on a warp I named La Vie en Rose.

I have been using my second warp beam with another natural-dye-painted warp threaded parallel with a plain warp. For the piece with the red weft I pegged a twill tie-up, and for the piece with the cream weft I used a turned taqueté tie-up. Then I made up a networked liftplan as I went along, which really is my favourite way to weave.

The photos below show some of the process and a glimpse of the finished pieces. A couple of weeks ago both of them took part in a photoshoot, and the results will be revealed when I relaunch my Bonny Claith website very soon…

La Vie en Rose” was posted by Cally on 23 June 2019 at https://callybooker.co.uk

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Studio 405

A new address! Same building, but my looms have climbed back up to the fourth floor.

Dundee’s situation – a steep hill (the Law) overlooking an estuary (the Firth of Tay) – means that it is pretty hard to find a place anywhere in town that doesn’t have a view. However, in the fifteen years I have been weaving, this is the first time my looms have been exposed to such distractions. Will they be able to concentrate, I wonder?

Looking east I can see almost the whole history of the city’s industry, including both jute and journalism (if not jam), as well as the current specialism of oil rig maintenance and decommissioning.

Things are looking pretty good inside the studio too, in spite of a very hasty moving process. More of that later: right now, I have to get it ready for a workshop tomorrow.

Studio 405” was posted by Cally on 8 March 2018 at https://callybooker.co.uk

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