Just over a year ago – I was asked if I’d be willing to take on a landscape commission… as most of you know – I specialize in portrait tapestry weaving….so you can understand that landscape is a little different for me…. The client had a photograph that her husband took and cherished that she wanted to have as the inspiration for a tapestry… I decided to create a new design so the tapestry wasn’t just a copy of the photograph but became a little more layered – I added the longitude and latitude of where the photograph was taken and also added a secret ingredient of the constellations of the members of their family – secret because it can only be seen at night!
As the tapestry was a gift and the recipient didn’t know about it until it was finished and posted to him – I wasn’t able to post pictures until now….
Here is an image of the glow in the dark thread – whilst the tapestry was still being woven – you can see the bobbins with the glow in the dark thread hanging!
The tapestry has been woven using Appletons crewel wool and some polyester glow in the dark thread…The warp was cotton and all woven at 10 epi
The last 18 months have been amazing – I loved weaving up at Stirling Castle on the Hunt of the Unicorn (which was finished in December – will be on display in late spring). I do miss being there and the comradery with the staff at the castle. I don’t, I admit miss the drive there and back every day!
2 weeks ago I started a new part time job at The Dovecot Studios Edinburgh, I am delighted to be part of an amazing weaving team and have been welcomed very warmly!
Part time suits me very well as I am able to carry on with family life and commission commitments that I have. The pallette of colours that I’m weaving with at the moment couldn’t be further from the medieval pallette that I’ve been used to the last 18 months. The piece I’m working on just now as part of a team is by Victoria Crowe. It is a huge piece being woven in many panels and the colours are glorious!
Don’t miss out! This weekend is the last opportunity to visit over 20 artists in one space – we’ve all been working incredibly hard creating especially for you!
FREE PARKING and a great wee cafe! 11-5 both days!
This year our open studios are on the weekend of 4th and 5th of October- 11 – 5 both days Over 30 artists are taking part! It will be a fantastic event! Our studios are unique as we have many artists working in many disciplines and many mediums creating an ecclectic mix of styles and skills.
I will be taking time off from weaving ‘The hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries’ at Stirling Castle to take part -In my studio 106 come and say hello! and have a glass of Elderflower and a piece of homemade gingerbread – There will be tapestries, paintings scarves and small brooches for sale in my studio I will look forward to seeing you there! Emma Jo
I will be showing a selection of my scarves and tapestries at Cowanes Hospital Stirling from 7th til 15th of June – along with Iona Leishman, Gio Martin and Jaine Marriott.
I will be there in person on sat 7th, tuesday 10th ,wed 11th and sunday 15th – at all other times I will be up in the castle weaving on the Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries – We are having a small opening on sat morning of coffee and scones – hope to see you there!
Here you can view an online brochure of the forth Valley open studios - http://forthvalleyopenstudios.com/about/brochure/
Its nearly the end of January and I am only getting round to updating my website now! Weaving full time since August at Stirling Castle is really filling up my time! Its a fantastic job and an honour to be working on the project again!
In this picture I am at the very back next to Sandy the steward.. at the front is Rudi Richardson who is now working for the Dovecot in Edinburgh. In the middle is Ruth Jones the team leader – we now have been joined by Louise Trotter who like me worked on the tapestry project at the beginning.
Billie Dove 1920s Film Star – tapestry woven by Emma Jo Webster 2013
2013 was an unbelievable year of opportunities – including the Sky Arts – where I got interviwed by Frank Skinner and I took the chance and wove a portrait of one of my favourite film stars – Billie Dove for the programme- Frank Skinner even wove a bit of the back ground!
2013 was also the year of my 1st ever ecclesiastical piece of art work – I was asked to create the design based on my great granfathers window at lansdowne Church Glasgow. Alf Webster was a stained Glass artist who was killed in the 1st world War but had already made a name for himself in the world of stained glass. The design I was asked to weave was to fit onto a prayer scarf. Small commission but a very enjoyable one! I would love to do more!
Alfred Websters image from window which I based my design on
Roy Henderson modelling the prayer scarf.
SO – if 2014 is anything like 2013 then life will be fantastic! I love weaving and just can’t get enough of it!!!!
I am also taking part in the Falkirk and Stirling open Studios – so watch this space and I”ll let you know the details ……….
The weekend of the 7th and 8th of December is the last dates of our winter show – There will be new work by painters, stained glass artists , ceramics and textile artists – in fact so many gems of gifts its hard to choose!
The show is set in the main foyer of the Hanson st studios and starts at 11am each day – there is also a great little cafe for coffee and soup. Come along and meet the artists themselves! Come and buy handmade , unique gifts this year for your loved ones!
Here are some images of the show last weekend – this weekend there will be even more things to choose from! There really are some fantastic bargins to be had!
As some of you might know – about 11 years ago I worked as a weaver at Stirling castle on the tapestry ‘The Unicorn in Captivity’ which was the start of a long and inspiring project – to weave a set of ‘The hunt of the Unicorn’ for Stirling Castle. The project by Historic Scotland – who employed West Dean Tapestry studio to weave a set of tapestries partly to be woven at West Dean and partly at Stirling Castle I wove the top right hand section – almost down to the fence – we wove it on its side and I wove up to the tree before I left the project because of work commitments in my own work.
Since January 2002, the Tapestry Studio at West Dean College has been working on a recreation of The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries. The tapestries that are completed so far, are hanging in the Queens Inner Chamber at Stirling Castle, as part of a project to furnish the castle as it would have been in the 16th century. Historians studying the reign of James IV believe that a similar series of ‘Unicorn’ tapestries were part of the interior design of the castle at that time. The team at West Dean Tapestry visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to inspect the originals and researched into medieval techniques, the colour palette and materials. This project is due for completion in 2014. The weavers are working at West Dean Tapestry Studio and at Stirling Castle.
Well – today I had an interview to weave on the last tapestry being woven at the Castle! The last tapestry they are weaving is ‘The mystic capture of the Unicorn’ and is due for completion in summer 2014 – so – I am going to start practicing my medieval weaving skills again before I start!
Its a very exciting project and I feel honoured to be part of it once again.
Just back from a wonderful week away at my most favorite place in the world – Loch Fyne.. It didn’t matter about the weather or the midges – we had a great time!
While we were there I did a little day trip to Loch Gilphead to meet another contemporary weaver Louise Oppenheimer whose work I have seen online on various sites. She has a studio set up at her home near Loch Gilphead.
I had never met Louise before – she was very gracious in letting us visit out with her open studio times and it was a delight to talk ‘tapestry’ with her.
Her Studio is a very light and airy extension to her house – and the walls are literally filled with sumptuos flow of colour…..
Her wool and materials collection made me smile as its similar to mine and I often feel guilty for having so much – but I don’t now! It waqs great talking tapestry to Louise and its obvious she is very passionate about tapestry weaving – she is full of ideas and has many little pen line ideas in her sketchbooks – her tapestries as well as colour are full of natural rythm and pattern which seduce you as you look at them.
You can see an article on Louise in Sept/Octs copy of ‘Landscape’
Took part in the Sky Arts Portrait Festival – which was held in conjunction with the Sky Arts Portrait of the year competition – Glasgow Heats. The competition was held downstairs in the Glasgow Art Galleries and the portrait festival was upstairs. I had a lot of people coming and watching me weave my portrait of Billie Dove and I got interviewed by Frank Skinner – he even wove a tiny part of the background of the tapestry! During any breaks I got I ran downstairs to watch the contestants paint their sitters – it was fabulous to watch!