The Story of An Island Artist . .

renovating a stone cottage, building a studio and keeping the rabbits out


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Some of the Roughest Weaving You May Have Seen . . . And Proud of it!

ImageAfter many months of collecting, considering and construction, a weaving first . . . . .  “Ribbons Across the Countryside”.

An expressionist abstract artwork in hand loom woven textile, found and made objects by Andrew Herridge, Approx 400mm x x400mm

Much taken for granted, this thin strip holds together the majority of English fields. The artwork celebrates the form and varied function of an English hedgerow.  The basic weave is a mixture of acrylic and natural wools, also in the warp; lichens covered wood, leather, nettle fibre, jute, and plastics. All representing materials found in the natural state.

The weave is rough and it is meant to be that way. Hedges can be rough places where battles are waged between man’s boundaries , the weather and ecology.  These elements are a feature of the work.

The artwork is available to purchase through

Andew Herridge Contemporary Art

www.andrewherridge.co.uk

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Ashford Loom – Hedgerow Experimenal Weaving

As an artist the areas I am comfortable with are those concerning paint, especially watercolour and acrylic (see http://www.andrewherridge.co.uk).  I feel it is important to work outside that zone, maybe discover expression through other media.  What better than that of weaving.

The idea was to produce a woven piece to represent the hedgerows, that ubiquitous part of the British countryside to be seen everywhere from the Borders southwards.  I want to draw attention in this artwork to a vital part of the countryside so often taken for granted.  A home to hundreds of animals and plants, friend to farmer, crops, livestock and every food consumer.  One of the unsung inventions upon which we rely but often take for granted.

First attempts at weaving on an Ashford loom were ambitious . . . too much so!  My intention was to vary the warp using natural and manmade threads.  It proved to be unworkable.  The different characteristics of the warp were too much for the weft threads.  They snagged on hemp. broke nettle, jammed on heavy wool . . . .  Then I tried weaving across some of the warps, changing weft partway across.  Just was not going to work.

In my last blog I showed how I had restrung the warp, all in acrylic threads but with colours to represent the greens and earthy ochres of leaves, buds and branches.  Blues, whites, and reds of hedgerow flowers. All fine but what of the realities, the windblown waste and litter seen clinging the thorny hedges.  The waste wire and metal dumped amoung the grasses and toadstools.

So I have opted for colours of weft threads to represent the natural elements of a hedge.  Here I can experimnent with rough hemp, untidily drop spindle spun crimson wool, nettle thread, acrylic.  All pass fairly smoothly through the acrylic warps.  Creams to represent May Blossom, hemp evocative of knarled branches a key element of an old established hedge.  Then there is plastic netting,  twigs, metal foil, barbed wire.  The weaving is unruly . . . just how I want it, what hedge is not a little  overenthusiastic in its growth!  All will find a home in the piece,  help tell the story.

Come back again and see more of the experiment in a while. If I can find time, the work will be exhibited in the Northern Parishes Arts’  Week, East Berkshire, UK, at the beginning of November.

Andrew Herridge Contemporary Art


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The Hedgerow Weaving Experiment . . . Phoenix Arising?

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I imagine the top layer is blossom, then going down through layers of foliage, twigs, more foliage, until the lower, darker tone layer of branches and the occasional wild flower is reached.

The basic weft will build vertical elements to the hedgerow.

Finally, details are to be woven in with a bent end weaving needle . . . here the fun should start; bits of real found materials.


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Weaving an English hedgerow on a heddle frame . . . progress.

Getting back to serious artwork after a few months’ distraction on other things . . . that’s the trouble with being a self employed artist, just sometimes other pressing things have precedence.

Experimental weaving on my heddle frame has begun again. I am trying to use the frame to produce an abstract piece based on an English hedgerow.  Rather than using the shuttle weaving straight across the warp I am using a weaving needle to construct features. The weft gives a top to bottom structure.  The flowery coloured warp to the left of the image will be the ‘top’ of the piece, the foliage.  Imagine the picture here turned clockwise through 90 degrees, that is how it will be viewed.

The white area represents hawthorn flowers growing in May or June.

 

 

 


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An Ashford Loom artwork: Weaving a Hedge.

How I came upon the idea . . . . . .

Hedgerows have vertical stems and horizontal branches, very much like the warp and weft of a loom.

 

Since the increase of urban and farmed space Britain has relied more and more on the hedgerows to replace the bushes and small trees found in the woodlands that used to cover most of the countryside in times past.

 

Hedgerows are a vital part of the ecology that supports mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects that form a natural balance of plants and animals in our surroundings.

 

They are a man-made antidote to the acres of woodland removed to support our way of life.

 

To emphasise the importance of hedgerows, the warp of my Ashford loom will become the horizontal elements of a hedgerow artwork. The weft the vertical elements.

 

By twisting and knotting in extra textiles as well as other materials like wood and metal, the intention is to build up an artwork reminiscent of patterns and textures found in our British hedgerows.