England, Lark & Bower, Bernard
Product name: BERNARD (A4)
Type of product: Off-loom handwoven artwork
Description (story of the item):
‘Bernard’ is part of a series of artworks woven off-loom during lockdown, using only needle and thread, and industry waste yarn.
This piece is a study of a classic menswear houndstooth, typically used for tweed jackets or hats.
The dogtooth shapes are created by combining striped warp and weft yarns with a simple 3/3 twill structure. This weaving technique is called ‘Colour and Weave, and is used to create many variants of houndstooth fabrics, including the classic Prince of Wales check - as seen in another of my off-loom pieces ‘Henryk’.
Initially, these pieces were simply studies of different woven structures; twills, hopsacks, herringbones, houndstooth - but while i was making these, I started to wonder - why isn’t weaving more celebrated?
Why is woven cloth predominantly associated with industry, fashion, and trends, rather than craftmanship, culture, and history?
We have started to think of textiles as ‘disposable’, - in the fashion industry and in our culture, there is a constant cycle of buying and discarding - chasing trends - and as a result, the craft of weaving is perceived as devalued.
I wanted to shine a spotlight on craftsmanship and woven structure as an art form in its own right, but also to raise awareness about waste - to highlight the often short life span of the garments we associate with these fabrics, and to suggest that instead of seeing fashion as disposable, we start to place more value on it.
All of the yarns used to make this pieces are mill waste yarn and left overs, some of which I only have very small amounts. The beauty of using waste yarn is that once its gone, its gone - I often cannot source the same again, which means that each piece really is limited edition!
Being waste yarn, all the available colours are different qualities and fibres, and all are slightly different thicknesses - but weaving by hand allows easy manipulation of the spacing and packing of each stripe.
Hand-weaving is an often forgotten art, and one which deserves to be appreciated without necessarily being part of a functional or 'throw away' item.
Hopefully through these pieces we can help to reinforce the idea that cloth should be cherished and looked after, appreciated just like a painting or a sculpture would be.
‘Bernard’ is named after my grandfather’s best friend. Both Polish, both captured by the British as Prisoners of war after jumping ship. Both fell in love with Italian Au Pairs, who had also ventured to England after the war, one of whom is my grandmother Isabelle, now 95, and whose garage I started my weaving business from 6 years ago. Isabelle still demands to be the first to see all of my new pieces before anyone else does! Bernard was always smartly dressed, and this classic menswear fabric reminds me of him.
This piece took approximately 6 days to create.
PLEASE NOTE - This piece does not come framed. These pieces are sold without frames, to leave the choice of framing to their new owners.
Materials: Cotton, Wool, Mohair, all industry waste yarn and leftovers. Birch Plywood, FSC Certified.
Measurements / size: Height 30cm x Width 21.5cm x Depth 6mm
Please allow 6 weeks for delivery of made to order pieces.