Why I do what I do… Angie ParkerIt’s unanimous. We are obsessed.
If you haven’t seen Angie Parker Textiles before you’re in for a colourful treat. Angie is an award winning weaver of rugs and vibrant textiles derived from traditional Scandinavian rug weaving techniques. Working in reclaimed high quality rug wool, she meticulously hand-weaves and finishes all the pieces on her Glimakra Floor loom.Take it away, Angie!…
Why I do what I do…
From an early age I loved playing with textiles. At fifteen my art teacher casually complimented my natural flair for this medium and embedded the seed. Then, the first time I used a loom, I knew I had found my calling. I instantly loved the processes and dependability of weaving.
I was in my early 20’s and studying Design Crafts under master weaver Susan Foster. Sadly Susan passed away part way through my course and this left me with the sense that the skills and knowledge she had passed onto me would always be a part of my life.
Although I didn’t go on to set up my practice for almost 20 years, the rug weaving techniques I’d learnt were always bubbling away in the background. Whilst pursuing a separate career, I designed and wove countless pieces and without the constraints of making to sell I developed the fearless and distinctive style which still feeds into my practice.
Where I do it…
I work from my space at BV Studios in Bristol. It’s an old print works where Viz and The Big Issue were first printed. It has over 160 artists and craftspeople working in shared spaces. I share with 4 Fine Artists and more often than not I have the studio to myself. I love losing myself in the rhythmic repetition of weaving whilst listening to 6music, knowing that I can pop along the corridor to meet colleagues who print, enamel, stain glass or paint should I wish to.
I especially love being based in Bristol. It’s such a hub for creativity and there is huge potential for sustainable collaborations.
What drives me on…
So many things drive me on. The fact that I had a different career for 20 years has made me massively thankful that I’ve got this second chance to pursue my dream to weave for a living. Whilst I’ve no regrets about the long and winding road I took (and think my work is stronger because of this) I do still catch myself trying to compete with people 10 or 20 years ahead of me career wise. Becoming a parent also drives me. I think it’s so important for my children to see their Mum with a career she loves and is passionate about. I hope my dedication inspires them in the future.
What I’m working on…
I’m currently designing a new collection of rugs which I’ll be launching in Jan 2016 in an exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen with Stu Low (stained glass) and Ruth Broadway (print). Our show is called Colour CODED and runs from 29 Jan-29 Feb.
The rugs are woven in a traditional Scandinavian design called Krokbragd (meaning crooked path; similar to my career path!) Its a gorgeous slow technique. Each solid row of colour takes 3 picks (where the shuttle carries the weft across the taught warp threads), which means I can bring in loads of colour and pattern. More often than not I design each piece whilst sat at the loom. The patterns simply flow.
I’m particularly excited about this collection as my colours are the boldest yet. I really want these pieces to get noticed and bring a new audience to traditional British rug weaving. Luckily I’m not short of ideas for the collections after that and am particularly looking forward to using locally sourced wool and natural dyes….
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