James Donald will be demonstrating the process of hand weaving this weekend at the Selvedge Fair in Edinburgh, we caught up with him ahead of the event...

Why did you start working with textiles? 

I studied textiles at art school in the nineties and weave was a support subject to my main area of study, which at the time was tapestry. 

What is it about your craft that captured your attention?

The differing techniques, finishing processes, which combined with a multitude of differing yarn types can give an infinite yield of possibilities when it comes to the finished cloth… the possibilities are endless and I am still exploring and finding out about my chosen field of making.

 What inspires you?

The lush Scottish land and seascapes… I don't think it is that obvious in my work but I enjoy looking at boundaries between differing surfaces that happen on an epic scale as well as the minutia of surfaces that often pass us by if we don't take the time to look.

Who inspires you?

The people I chose to hang out with, whether they are printed textile designers, glass artists, fashion accessory makers, fellow weavers, furniture makers, ceramicists etc… I am often inspired by the people who supply us, Concrete Wardrobe. When I hear about how they've moved forward with their creative practice and how they have kept going, that often inspires me.

What is your favourite part of the process?

The whole process gets me going really, but completing a piece and taking it out of the washing machine after it’s finishing process can often make me feel good about what I am doing. 

What’s the hardest part?

There really isn't a ‘hardest part’ to be honest… I take satisfaction in all that I do.

Where do you live and why?

I live in Leith, Scotland and always have done. My studio is a five minute walk away from my wee flat. I’ve lived in Leith since the late nineties and I have always enjoyed the vibe of this place and now that it’s been developed I'm enjoying it more with all the amazing cafes and restaurants. I feel very lucky to be here with a group of fellow makers who add to the whole vibrancy of the area.

If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why?

Tokyo. I never get bored of Japan, how could you? From the fish markets to Harajuku, to the 100 yen stores. Totally inspiring!

What’s your favourite colour?

I'm more inclined to talk about favourite colour combinations that may catch my eye. Presently, I'm thinking a lot about aqua and purple.

What are you reading at the moment?   

Lots of travel guides on Lisbon as I have a trip planned there for March next year… I like to plan ahead!

To find out more about the Selvedge Edinburgh fair and to get your tickets, click here.

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