I first learned to weave in the USA while working in Boston, MA as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS to avoid the mouthful!) My first loom, which I still use, was a Harrisville 50″ wide 8-shaft floor loom. Today it feels like an extension of myself; I love weaving on it! That loom has travelled with me to Europe and now to England where I live and work in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Laura’s Loom became ‘official’ in 2002 when I moved to Sedbergh on the edge of Cumbria, where the Lake District meets the Yorkshire Dales and where I opened a studio at Farfield Mill, a former spinning and weaving mill now renovated into a vibrant Arts and Heritage Centre. The fit seemed auspicious. After 10 years of weaving as an occasional hobby fitted in around work and family I had the opportunity to focus on it full time and so I made the most of it, weaving lots of scarves and trying out lots of fibres, designs and colours.
In 2004 I undertook the ‘Bradford Course’, an HNC in Handwoven Design at Bradford College where I was pushed out of my comfort zone but started to truly experiment, trying new ideas and being as weird and wacky as I liked. Out of this course came my stonewall series of scarves and throws, which I’m still working on. A tweak here, a tweak there and the whole thing changes. I find this endlessly fascinating!
I have more recently added a new loom to my studio, a 16-shaft LeClerc Weavebird which I am sure will provide me with a lifetime of experimentation as I learn to play with more blocks and in more than one dimension.
Education and Awards
- 2019 Finalist, Heritage Crafts Association Made In Britain Award
- 2017 Winner, Blue Patch New Heritage Award
- 2012 Finalist (Textiles), Craft & Design Selected
- 2011 Finalist (Textiles), Craft & Design Selected
- 2009 Silver Award (Textiles), Craft & Design Selected
- HNC Handwoven Design, Bradford College 2005 (Distinction)
- Master of Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, USA 1988
- BSc Hons Human Environmental Studies, Kings College, London 1985
- 2014 ‘Home Ground’, Devon Guild of Craftsmen
- 2013 ‘Collect Cumbria’, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Windermere, Cumbria
- 2013 ‘Borders’, Arteria Gallery 23, Lancaster
- 2012 ‘Land, Sea & Air’, Forge2 Gallery, Oxfordshire
- 2011 Eden Arts Showcase Exhibition, Penrith
- 2011 Craft & Design Selected Winners Exhibition, Ferrers Gallery, Leicestershire
- 2009 ‘Genesis’, SDC Gallery, London
- 2008 ‘Celebrate’, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon
- 2007 Think Pink, Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria
- 2006 Marking Time, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Cumbria
- 2000 Filharmonie, Lausanne, Switzerland