INSIGHT : 2
: visiting Mên-an-tol
:the new Ottowin Shop opening
: inside the workshop
: repairing an old machine
: in conversation with Anne Schillings
: the finished Bristol cloth
: meeting Fairfield Yarns
: paused bespoke orders
The past couple of months have felt rich on all the levels I seem to go through, it’s been tiring, relaxing, cluttered, inspiring, refreshing, frustrating and rejuvenating!
Above is me in one of my favourite places, that field where the stones of Mên-an-Tol sit, it’s the place where ‘oB ‘ started and grew from:
Engaging with these rocks.
Engaging with these clothes.
I’m returning to this place and bringing 2 years of working on oB with me. It was early in the morning with no one around.
Toes on grass, toes on cold stone.
What struck me was what I failed to see to see last time, and the gaps I’ve filled in since. More stones lay than I could remember and the Lichen was so much more abundant.
Vibrant limes and dusty blues.
Purple heather and yellow Gorse mingle.
Ding Dong mine on the horizon line, you can see through it’s window.
INSIDE THE WORKSHOP :
This month I’ve been sewing non stop in the workshop! Custom garment making, meeting new wearers and I had Jess over doing some work experience [-] she’s a superb block maker!
I was visited by surprise by Anne Schillings, a Dutch artist from Utrecht, who I made a red Ritual wrap dress for a while back. It was so great to finally meet in person!
She gave me this embroidered piece of cloth which has hand stitched little oB garments and pleasing shapes, it’s such an object to treasure! I really enjoy how the stitched letters are when they're read from the back as so to enjoy the tangled underside.
We talked about the board games we like playing and scrolled the length of the beautiful Bayeux Tapestry on Wikipedia!
THE FINISHED BRISTOL CLOTH
I cycled to go collect my cut length of Bristol Cloth for the tailored garments I’m making for in partnership with the project for the wonderful backers of this project launch.
Seeing it all in finished in rolls was so exiting to see after this long journey which we have been following, the cloth is absolutely beautiful to feel, weighty and soft. I’m using some of the pressed finish cloth (which is when the cloth is put through hot rollers to create a flatter finish) which is what you see in traditional wool suiting It’s natural white and fawn jagged weave is broken up by the vibrant stripes in the strong orange tones of naturally dyed madder. This cloth is a completely localised from start to finish! It’s something to really celebrate! Starting at Bristol’s Fernhill farm, sheep are holistically reared, their wool is cut with hand shears (over electric shears, this leaves the sheep with more wool on their bodies after the shearing) It is then washed, carded and spun into yarn, which parts of were dyed with regenerative natural dyes at Botanical Inks, passed on across the road to The Bristol Weaving Mill to be woven together into the finished cloth. Here I join the trail, cycling to collect the cloth to be cut and sewn into a wearable garment..
My making process is going to be filmed by LandLore, to come in the next insight..
VISITING FAIRFIELD YARNS:
A traditional, family run, yarn merchants based in Lancashire. I’d spoken to David on the phone multiple times over the years and got into some wonderful informative chats about yarns - his knowledge in the field is astounding. Visiting this gem in person was a real treat and I would really recommend it if your ever that way. Overwhelmed by the selection the temptation to go mad is hard fight but for now I stuck to some very good quality linen threads to sew garments with and to set up a warp on the new studio loom, as well as a selection of some intriguing wools to weave into some winter pieces.
ONLINE SALES FOR MADE TO ORDER GARMENTS ARE CURRENTLY ON PAUSE:
Re-opening again soon with some nice new changes.
I’m currently working on reducing my environmental impact, revising garment patterns, sizing and materials. Teaching myself some new garment making techniques and working on a new coat design.
All to come soon…
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