Image: Irene Bawer-Bimuyag.
In the run up to Selvedge World Fair – 3 – 5 September 2020 – a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity, we are profiling some of the 100 artisans taking part. Today, we look at the work of Irene Bawer-Bimuyag from the Philippines, Felicity Irons from England and Cheque Oitedie, a women’s cooperative from Bolivia. Selvedge World Fair early bird tickets are available for £10 until the end of June 2020. Fair tickets give you access to talks, shopping, demonstrations, articles and interviews as well as a prize quiz.
We profile Bawer-Bimuyag in Issue 95, here’s an extract: Hand-weaving is instinctual for Irene Bawer-Bimuyag. A master weaver, skilled embroiderer and intuitive designer, Bawer-Bimuyag embellishes handwoven fabric with embroidered motifs in her colourful collection of blankets and wall hangings. Organic elements - leaves, plants and underwater creatures - are combined with traditional geometric patterns. The textile is her canvas, as she recreates images from her imagination and dreams. A backstrap loom is found in nearly every home in Mabilong, Bawer-Bimuyag’s village. This is the ancestral land of the Kalinga indigenous people, Irene’s community, nestled in mountainous Kalinga Province, on the Philippine island of Luzon.
Image: Felicity Irons, Rushmatters.
Felicity Irons is a rush weaver, founder of Rushmatters, one of the last remaining rush weaving companies in Britain. Irons harvests English rush, Scirpus lacustris, on the Great Ouze, Ivel and Nene rivers from June to August. Working from flat-bottomed punts she and her workers cut the rushes under water with a scythe. The bundles are carefully dried in sun and wind, stored dry in a barn then damped down for plaiting. Rushmatters create floor matting, basketry and a range of home accessories.
Image: Cheque Oitedie
We profile Cheque Oitedie in Issue 95: Cheque Oitedie is a women’s cooperative in Bolivia set up to practise the Ayoreo tradition of bagmaking. Ayoreo mothers have taught their daughters the art of traditional bag making since time out of mind. The ability to weave tough but pliable fibers harvested from ground-growing bromeliads is an essential part of Ayoreo identity. Traditionally, only materials indigenous to the Gran Chaco forests are used: tree barks for browns and soft reds, resin-soaked barks and berries for darker browns and black.
For more information visit Selvedge World Fair early bird tickets.