Pre-recorded Show & Tell, Europe and Africa - Recording
To watch the recording on a larger screen, click on the expand icon on the bottom right of the screen.
Hosted by Anne Laure Camilleri, a Paris based Photographer and Journalist specialising in indigenous textiles and a regular contributor to Selvedge, this Show & Tell will travel through the textiles and crafts of Europe and Africa. Each of the artisans listed below will talk about one of their textiles pieces they have brought along. Anne Laure will lead the discussions, asking questions and creating conversations about textiles in the Europe and Africa.
Hocine Bazine, Berber Art
Hocine Bazine has been weaving Berber rugs since childhood, having learnt from his grandmother. Berber rugs themselves have a long and complex history, ‘The rural rugs are woven on vertical looms by women using the wool of the local white and brown sheep to create intricate geometric designs in supplementary weft and weft float weave, with two-strand twining exclusively a characteristic of Berber weaving in the High Atlas Mountains.’ Weaving rugs was, and still is today, the main source of income for many families, but Bazine is also motivated by the notion of helping keep his culture alive, and to someday pass on this craft to his grandchildren.
Karl and Maria Wagner, Blaudrucke Wagner
Karl and Maria are from a long line of blueprinters. To apply the designs on to the cloth, Karl and Maria use their handcrafted wooden blocks and depending on the desired depth and intensity of blue, the dyeing process can take up to 4 hours and requires up to 9 or more dips into the indigo vat. When textiles are removed from the vat and absorb oxygen from the air, they change from yellow to green to blue.
Hilary Burns, Hilary Burns
Hilary uses mainly natural materials including hedgerow materials, hazel, oak and ash which are all harvested locally. Working with a source of sustainable and renewable materials connects her to the seasonal cycle. She studies traditional basket weaving techniques and uses them to suit the available material and function and she continues to be inspired by European techniques associated with willow and wood.
Samrawit Kassa, Sabahar
Samrawit is representing Sabahar as one of its team members.
Inspired by ancient weaving traditions of Ethiopia, Sabahar creates exquisite handmade scarves and shawls, table linens, cushions, throws and towels, using locally sourced silk and cotton. All of their products are entirely handmade - from the spinning of the thread to the weaving of the fabric. Sabahar only uses natural fibres to create their range of cotton, silk, linen and wool products. All of the cotton is from Ethiopia and most of the silk they use is also Ethiopian. In fact, Sabahar is one of the only companies in the world making products with Ethiopian silk. Sabahar adopts traditional technologies to new fibres and products, remaining loyal to tradition while adjusting to contemporary tastes of the world market.
Hannele Köngäs, Waveweaver's Wool
Hannele’s textiles are all woven by hand. The wool she uses comes from a native Finnish sheep breed of Kainuu Grey. The lambs are born black, but after the first shearing, the colour starts to fade from black to grey as they grow older. The wool is shiny and curly, but neither too soft nor too hairy. The wool is sourced from a local organic farm. The fleece is hand sorted and then sent to a Finnish spinning mill to produce the thin and over-twisted yarn which gives the products their wavy character.
She grows her natural dyes using historical dye plants such as woad, madder and weld, which have good UV resistance. Using rainwater for her vats saves drinking water and to be economical with the water, she adds the mordant directly to the dye bath.
Christine Mayer is teaching the art of Draping and Upcycling on the tailors dress form. The Berlin-based fashion designer has built a fashion career on repurposing clothing and breathing new life into old garments. She is a pioneer of three-dimensional free draping with fabric, an art form she has adapted and developed from her studies in classical Japanese drapery. When it comes to clothing design, Christine’s style is recognisable for its collage aesthetics, where pattern and fabric constantly interrupt each other’s spaces; “material that has been marked by life” is one of Christine’s biggest inspirations. Christine’s technique takes draping in a new direction by using original materials.
Michel Henry Diljene Dioh, Djilene Creations
Diljene Creations was formed in 2017 as a partnership between Michel Henry Diljene Dioh and Bismark Yaw Osei, an artist originally from Ghana who made stylish plaited chairs. Osei had mostly worked on his own for 25 years as an artist but Dioh brought a long-term vision to the table and encouraged the Osei to pass down his skills to the younger generation. Diljene Creations currently provides work to 17 young men and lodging to those who come out of town.
Vedat Demiralp, Coban Rugs
Vedat Demiralp of Coban Rugs. We featured Coban Rugs in Issue 74, “Memories from his childhood in the Black Sea region came flooding back when Vedat Demiralp spied a remarkable rug on a friend’s floor whilst visiting Turkey twelve years ago [written in 2017]. He was reminded of the special rugs woven from goat hair which were, at one time, an honoured part of a woman’s dowry. Highly valued and painstakingly handmade, these deceptively simple rugs were considered an important part of Turkish rural culture.”
Matluba Bazarova of Bukhara Region Artisans Craft Development Center
Bukhara crafts development centre was established in 1997 with a mission to preserve the development of cultural heritage and traditional crafts of the Uzbek people, revive lost crafts, train women and young people to crafts, create new jobs in rural and mountainous area, advertise the products of craftsmen and artisans in the international market and to protect interests of masters, creative people before the government.
Matluba is the director of the Center for the Development of Crafts in the Bukhara region and a master in the production of silk products, heading the production of silk suzans, pillowcases, bags, women's jackets and scarves. National embroidery is one of the applied art types of Bukhara with striking designs that are composed of bold and bright colours and patterns. The embroidery has ancient roots in the region but the most of the historic textiles have been lost.