It has always been our greatest belief that the continuity of our culture and the sustainability of our environment lies in the hands of the young. As we dream to grow another community among weave crafters, we put the spotlight on three amazing modern weavers in the Philippines- Jessica Ouano of Damgo Studio, Judith Basco of Art of Yarn and Mia Go of Miago Studio. Through various materials and techniques, they have creatively explored innovative ways to carry on our treasured living tradition through modern weaving.
Modern weaving takes a slightly distinct approach compared to our traditional weaving in a way where it is "more freehand because it’s much easier to set up with the use of a frame or lap loom making it easier for beginners to understand the fundamentals of weaving. Modern weaving also allows you to be more experimental and explore different techniques,” shares Judith. Although, traditional techniques of weaving are still being used in modern designs today. "I believe modern weaving is a unique interpretation of traditional techniques [or] woven patterns combined with the use of modern materials or equipment" Jessica adds.
With all the varying techniques, the classic plain weaves and soumak remain to be a favourite that both Mia and Judith share. These techniques bring fun, foundation and texture into a piece. On the other hand, Jessica has been fascinated with huck lace weaving and the use of the overshot weaving technique. This can be seen in Pinilian weaves where the weave structure allows both the front and back of the fabric to show distinct opposite designs.
As all beautiful things take practice before mastery, modern weaving also poses some challenges along this intricate process. Jessica shares the frustration of how one mistake would require you to do a piece and start over. “It's heartbreaking especially if you have already spent hours setting up your loom. This makes the textiles really expensive and because it's so expensive, not many people can afford them.” In situations like this, Mia grounds herself, “I always have to remind myself to take it slow, to explore one specific skill at a time and enjoy the process of it all. After all, art does take time.”
Mia also considers sourcing of raw materials as a limitation. Before she learned of Art of Yarn, most of the materials she used were imported. There’s also the challenge of where to look for inspiration or how to translate and weave inspirations to life. This is where the power of community comes in. Judith took this as an opportunity to create the Modern Weavers group on Facebook so enthusiasts and weavers alike can share experiences and interact with each other.
In this collaboration, our Proud Weave Crafters heeded to our circularity challenge and ingeniously incorporated our weave scraps into their unique and beautiful pieces. Damgo Studio weaves an ethereal collection of fine art inspired by exotic blossoms that surround us. Miago Studio creates a variety of wall hanging art pieces with a nature inspired colour palette that will truly bring warmth to any space. The Art of Yarn is hosting a weekend workshop on locker hooking to get more of us to weave and learn how to make cute fabric coasters for our homes.
"I’m a huge fan of ANTHILL and what they do for the weaving communities, as well as making it easy for customers to access a variety of woven fabrics made across the country. It’s my honor to be part of the Proud Weave Crafter! I’m one with ANTHILL to make learning about our culture more accessible through hands-on practices. " tells Judith.
"When I started weaving, I used a lot of old clothes, fabric scraps, and vintage yarns for practice. I thought about how amazing it was to be creating art out of materials people would normally just throw away. And that's exactly why I find this collaboration special – because ANTHILL thought about converting their scraps into something useful and beautiful." shares Mia.
"To me the collaboration is really special because I feel like it is a milestone for me. I started out working at ANTHILL not knowing how to weave and now I am so proud to call myself a weaver. Through my work as a textile and apparel designer at ANTHILL I have tried to explore ways to use ANTHILL's textile waste to create new textiles. The textiles I have made for this collaboration are really special because they are made with ANTHILL's Abaca Pinangabol scraps, which I have never tried using before. I took apart the fibers of the textiles and reused them to make an entirely new textile that doesn't look like it's made out of scraps/waste, which to me is a huge accomplishment." Jessica adds on why this collaboration is special.
We are so honoured to have craft ambassadors among these young modern artists who are passionate and proud in sharing and celebrating the power and beauty of weaving as a craft. Our modern weavers and Proud Weave Carafters take the lead in growing our craft community so we can keep weaving!