Left to right – Stacey Harvey-Brown (colour-and-weave); Marian Stubenitsky (double cloth); Andreja Zelinka (deflected double weave)

Hello everyone!

Two more weeks have gone by in our ‘lockdown’ and I hope you are keeping well!

It’s a worrying and unsettling time for a lot of people but quite a few of you have been getting in touch to share their creative hints, tips and their creative projects to keep calm, centred and optimistic.

For instance, Lucy is a spinner who is now taking to rigid-heddle to use her stash of hand-spun yarns. Victoria is learning tablet-weaving, assisted by her cat! Alice is trying new techniques out on her 4-shaft table loom, Mary-Ellen is weaving a rug from hand-dyed yarn from her own Shetland sheep and Denise told me that she is doing a turned honeycomb as part of her guild study group’s project on textured weaves. Leslie, Mandy and Tim have all be in touch to say that they are independently working through my Honeycomb Hybrids book which, as a teacher, is wonderful to hear! Thank you all for sharing!

Normally at this time of the year I would be teaching small classes in my studio here in the south-west of France but whilst that is not possible, I am diving in to a special project which has been hovering in the back of my mind for a while.

I have long been intrigued with optical illusions in graphic form and I wanted to explore how these graphic images could be translated into woven form. Many weavers have looked at elements of this over the years, and I was inspired by some of Marian Stubenitsky‘s early work when I was privileged to teach a weaving workshop at her home and studio in the Netherlands in 2016, so it is really down to Marian that the optical illusion ‘itch’ was re-ignited.

Back in the autumn, I started exploring different techniques through which to express optical illusions in weaving and I have devised a short 4-question survey which I would love your responses to. For anyone who participates in the questionnaire, I have a special thank-you gift. My aim is for this project to grow into a book and also, I hope, an online series. I would love to involve other weavers in various ways, to set up a gallery of your woven optical illusions projects and also to include hints, tips and even drafts, if you are willing to share and to participate. I don’t take any of this for granted, and there will be a very special offer for those of you who are involved.

You can find more details on my website and you will also be able to sign up to receive updates.

I so look forward to hearing from you! Wherever you are in the world, keep well, stay safe, and Happy Weaving!!