Meet the Maker: Amy of Weave Love AmyPosted on 19th May 2022
Tell us a little about your business – what is it you make?
I am a self-taught handweaver making unique hand woven wall hangings and cushions on wooden handmade looms. My products are sustainable using locally resourced driftwood, and vegan friendly yarn including banana yarn and recycled sari silks. Each piece is bespoke and one off.
I sell through my Instagram page and website but you will also see me and a selection of my pieces in my beautiful permanent space at East St. Emporium in Bedminster, Bristol. I love making commissioned pieces too.
How did you get started in your creative field?
Weaveloveamy began back in February 2018, where I was taking time out for myself after selling my childcare business due to alcohol dependancy. I nearly lost everything. After three months in a residential rehabilitation centre, my priorities in life have significantly changed, including slowing my pace and taking the time to enjoy the nature around me.
With time for self-care I am now enjoying how my sobriety is stimulating my life and re-igniting my dormant love for creative design. After making a couple of handmade wooden looms and watching many online tutorials, I haven’t stopped weaving! I have continued to develop my skills and techniques over the past three years, and I push my designs every time.
Talk us through your creative process…
The creative process for a commissioned wall hanging or cushion will always begin with a conversation with the client, where we discuss the space in which it will be used or displayed. I will ask for a photo to get my inspiration. We then discuss styles and designs from my Instagram portfolio, then colours and sizes. Once I have selected the wool for the colour palette and price is agreed then I will give a lead time of approximately two weeks depending on how busy I am.
Creating a piece for my website is usually a process of letting my creativity flow organically, as I make my pieces up as I go along, however I generally have the colour palette in mind.
What sort of space do you work in?
At the moment I have a very accepting son and daughter who allow me to get creative in our lounge. I have many clever storage solutions for my ever growing wool and fibre stash. Working from home does have its benefits as everything is on hand when I need it, however the space can be challenging as I’m running out of storage, wall space and floor space as the looms I make are getting bigger the more adventurous i am getting!
I love weaving outside when the weather is on my side, I have my music on with the sun shining, and there’s no better place than that!
What are the values behind your business?
All pieces are unique and hand made by myself using recycled materials and vegan products when I can, such as banana yarn, okra fibres and recycled sari silks. I also love to use all my scraps to get creative which emphasises zero waste in the work I produce.
I personally value the principles of perseverance and passion and therefore have grown my small business slowly and organically.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
During school I found so much pleasure in working on my design projects in pottery, and I was pleased to get my A grade in this subject! Unfortunately I didn’t continue my creative path until later on in life.
I love working with my hands and turning something in my head into something visually stimulating and tactile to the touch. I love playing with colour palettes and textures.
Having slowed my pace and enjoying the world around me, I am inspired everyday, whether i’m on the beach collecting driftwood, walking in the woods with my dog, checking out Pinterest or watching Escape to The Chateau!
Are there themes that run through your work?
When I look back on my grid on Instagram or see my wall space at the shop, it is evident to me that my style is both very neutral and natural for sure, using subtle colours. I do however make the odd adhoc colourful piece when I am in the mood for it. All my pieces are so very different but display familiar organic textures.
One of the biggest compliments that I have received, that suggests that I have my own style, was a lovely message on Instagram, from a lady who instantly knew a piece was mine before she even saw my name!
I think it’s best to make what you love rather than trying to please others, so my style is very organic and unique.
What do you love most about making?
I love that there are so many aspects to the process, but first and foremost, I find weaving itself very therapeutic. It takes me into my creative zone and it’s actually quite addictive! I love that I use handmade wooden looms that achieve exactly what I want, and still refuse to purchase expensive pieces of equipment.
Come rain or shine, I love beachcombing for driftwood under Clifton Suspension Bridge, along the River Avon, and along Rest Bay in South Wales.
I love trying new textures and have recently made a piece using Okra fibres. Trying new ideas excites me and I go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it!
I also love liaising with clients and creating bespoke statement pieces for their homes. And having returning customers makes it even more rewarding.
Which piece of work are you most proud of?
I have recently made the most beautiful wall hanging called ‘Dreamer’ as it uses natural wispy okra fibres and soft oyster merino cloud like detailing. It’s one of the bigger pieces I have made, and it perfectly demonstrates the style I love. Simple, natural and neutral.
I was recently fortunate enough to be invited onto Charlotte Church’s new project at Rhydoldog House, Rhayader in Mid Wales, called the Dreaming Retreat. Charlotte is creating a beautiful wellness retreat, and I taught her how to hand weave for her new TV series to be aired at the end of 2022 on REALLY. Charlotte chose this piece to put up in one of the beautiful rooms.
Describe your work in three words…
Organic. Subtle. Unique.