Monday, 12 March 2012

Sketchbook Peeks - Alison Yule

Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now

I discovered weaving at the age of 8 and was given a Spear's Loom for Christmas. I wove everything in the instruction book and more. I was lucky enough to pass my 11+ and went to a technical grammar school in Derby where they did weave as part of the Craft department. I obtained an “O” and “A” level in Craft - Design and Practice (Weaving) which is unheard of nowadays!
I continued to weave for friends and family until 2002 when I went back to Collage to study for an HNC in Hand Woven Textile Design. When I graduated in 2004 with a distinction I also won two awards from the Bradford Textile Society which gave me a real boost to set up Alison Yule Textiles.
Since then I've been building my reputation for quality sustainable textiles with unusual colour combinations and textures and have been selected to exhibit across the UK and Europe, including 100% Design in London and Maison et Objet in Paris.

How long have you been using sketchbooks?

Started flirting with them in the late 80's, but seriously began to use them when I started studying for my HNC.

How often do you sketch?

Whenever I get new design ideas.

How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook?


When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages?

Anywhere and anytime!
Unusual natural forms, particularly with unusual colours and textures get me really excited.
I like a challenge and try to get curves and fluid shapes into my woven structures.
Love the idea of inspiration from a hard surface (buildings, structures, etc.) translated into a soft structure.

How would you describe your creative process?

Methodical, but fluid!
I have a set way of working, but as soon as the suggestion of a woven structure begins to emerge from the sketches I will move with those ideas. I often revisit sketchbooks that had lots of emerging ideas and find that the simpler the inspiration the more ideas flow!

Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how?

They used to be just “jotters”, exploring lots of different ideas as and when they presented themselves and whether or not they lead to weave projects. Now they are work in progress, full of sketches, colour studies, collage, notes, etc. I have a sketchbook for each design idea.

What is your favourite medium to work with?

Particularly love the softness and fluidity of watercolour and the tactile nature of collage, but will explore all sorts of medium depending on the subject.

Do you have a favourite sketchbook?

I love each one as I'm work in it.

If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why?

I love the page I did the collage of my Euonymus wall panels. As I did it, I felt that I'd arrived at the design, it felt good and when I look at it now, it still does

A very special thanks to Alison for taking part in Sketchbook Peeks. If you want to find out a bit more about her and her work, please check out her website here where you can find links to her blog and shop.

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