British textile artist Sophie Graney was featured in our 2018 piece on TRANS-FORM, a show that was part of the London Design Festival. Based in London, Sophie’s work is inspired by psychogeography and urban wandering. Combining handwoven techniques with her passion for material exploration and unconventional yarns, Sophie values craftsmanship and allowing different materials to inform and construct her designs.
Sophie begins her process by documenting her surroundings, absorbing the colour, texture and compositions of urban environments which she translates into colour stories and yarn developments. Having learnt lace making from a young age, Sophie creates woven fabrics which have positive and negative space quite like traditional lace. These techniques allow Sophie to suggest movement and depth through her hand developed yarns.
“Knitting was my first passion, in school and college I continued to explore knitting and sewing. It wasn’t until I went to University that I learnt to weave. I was lucky growing up, I always knew I wanted to work in Textiles. I have my Mum to thank for this. I used to watch her knit and sew as a young child, we would then sit and knit together once I had learnt the technique.”
Whilst studying at the Royal College of Art Sophie’s dissertation explored the idea of how space can effect innovation within woven design. She came to the conclusion that space away from fast production and quick deadlines allows time for more experimentation and development of materials. From this she creates work focusing on innovative aesthetics using hand developed yarns resulting in hand focused techniques that celebrate slow craftsmanship.
“Being a weaver, Anni Albers is a huge inspiration to me, her book ‘On Weaving’ is one of my favourites. ‘PATTERNITY: A New Way Of Seeing’ has the most amazing photographs that show you just how visually exciting and full of pattern the world is. I really enjoy exploring colour so I am also frequently looking at books on Picasso and Rothko. I often create quite graphic work which translates from my love of drawing and painting.”
Sophie currently works from her studio at Cockpit Arts in London where she is working on developing new products – “Since graduating I have started my own business and I am currently developing products for interiors.”
You can find out more about Sophie’s work by visiting her website.
All image credits are courtesy of the artist.
A guest post written by graphic designer and illustrator Laura Heeks.