One thing I love about putting together my monthly column for you all is the chance to seek out fabulous crafters from outside my own discipline. Working from home, it’s so easy to stay myopically focused on your own pursuits and miss all the wonderful things being made by others. Variety is the spice of life and I’m about to take you all on a journey into a whole new area for ‘Exploring Etsy’ – the wonderful world of weaving. Not just any weaving I might add, I’ve got a superb maker to introduce to you all this month, whose use of texture and colour is a joy to behold! I present to you, my needle crafting friends, Vanessa Lauria and her wonderful shop ‘pidge pidge’.
Vanessa Lauria is the maker and artist behind pidge pidge. She weaves modern scarves, accessories and home decor that merge the craft of traditional weaving with a passion for modern colour and texture. Her work is colourful and vibrant. She loves to experiment with unique fibres and play with unexpected colour combinations. Vanessa has also written a detailed, step by step guide for the beginner weaver (fully photographed) which she pairs with deluxe weaving loom kits available on her website (I spy a fabulous new learning opportunity). She teaches weaving workshops in Buffalo, NY and has previously taught in Joshua Tree, CA. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on Fibres from Syracuse University.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
Home Ec. classes in elementary + middle school were always my favorite. My first stitching memories took place in a large room with sewing machines at one end and kitchenettes at the other. We made pillows of our own design. I chose to sew a black pillow with the Phantom of the Opera mask, and red rose, appliqued in felt (am I dating myself? haha). I remember the skinny stem of that rose to be quite detailed and tricky.
What fires your imagination?
Curiosity and color fire my imagination. I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unexpected color combinations. I keep my phone and a notebook handy when I’m out and about to capture the way colors interact with each other. I love to garden, cook and take long walks; I’ve trained my eye to look for the beauty in the every day and think about how I can translate what I see into creative expression.
I absolutely love Vanessa’s use of colour and the way she incorporates them into the patterns she weaves. If like me you think you could happily look at her work for hours, make sure to pop on over to her shop and indulge your eyes. You can also sign up to her newsletter here, where you’ll be the first to find out about her new work and any sales.
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her Etsy shop.