Marion Weymes is a self-taught textile artist and tapestry weaver based in Dublin, Ireland. She creates woven art on tapestry looms, viewing each piece as an experiment and an opportunity for learning new techniques.
Inspired by texture, colour and concepts of nature, emotions, and everyday life, Marion believes that a piece of woven art can reflect or reconstruct endless forms of crafts from oil painting to the moment a photograph is taken.
Initially a therapeutic hobby, Marion explains that working at the loom provides the opportunity and time to think, to talk and to listen. One of the reasons for this is that weaving presents an opportunity to take a break from screens and electricity.
How did your technique evolve?
Once I bought a frame loom from funemstudio, I started making bigger pieces and experimenting with different weaving techniques, using different designs, and adding different forms of texture. I find weaving to be very therapeutic.
I’m a tactile person and I like feeling and making things with my hands. I posted some pictures on my social media accounts and was really encouraged by the support and praise I received.
I decided to set up a new social media account under the name Muala Makes and from there I have been sharing my pieces, processes and taking commissions from around the world.
It is incredible what can come from sharing your work online. To have an instant and widespread audience means the artwork you create has a huge reach, making it much more accessible for those wishing to pursue their art and make sales and commissions from their art.
Where do you think your creativity is taking you?
What I love about weaving is the freedom that you have to create such a diversity of designs, and how the same basic format can be used in so many ways to create really diverse tapestries. It is a truly flexible art form, and you can make lovely small pieces, even woven bookmarks, up to really large-scale tapestries.
For me, each piece is an experiment. I am always looking at different forms of art, or even shapes and scenes from daily life, and thinking about how I can translate these into a tapestry.
What many don’t understand about textiles, is that it can be used much like photography and illustration, to be used on travels and to document spontaneous moments in time. These small looms that Marion uses (as pictured above) make weaving the perfect portable medium!
When I started weaving some of my very first pieces had some simple shapes and colours in them and I had some friends who studied art, design and architecture tell me it reminded them of Bauhaus Design, and Russian Constructivism.
I started to explore those styles of art and I really loved the shapes and straight lines and colours. I could see straight away how the style would work really well as tapestry art.
Recently, I have been enjoying experimenting with texture and how I can integrate sculptural forms into my woven pieces. I also love interior design and I have created pieces to fit into specific rooms in terms of their shapes and colour schemes.
Woven tapestries and woven wall art add such vibrancy, colour and warmth to spaces, in a way that is quite different to other forms of wall art like prints and paintings. I am looking forward to more opportunities to work with people to create pieces to fit in their homes and to grow my pieces in scale.
What other artists inspire you?
I really admire tapestry artists who make large abstract installations and explore texture and colour that are like woven sculptures. Some artists I admire are:
- Hannah Ehrlich who creates really dark and striking pieces.
- Mimi Jungs who creates simple but ethereal designs, and she always uses beautiful colours and has a very unique style.
- Emma Holmgren who makes colourful portraits and everyday scenes
- Hoxa Tapetsry Gallery who make amazingly detailed landscape and seascapes
- Natalie Miller – an australia artist who uses her own hand dyed wool to create colourful and textural pieces
- Ana Barboza Gudo who makes abstract landscapes often using mixed media.
What is your favourite tool to use in your practice?
There are a lot of different ways you can use basic weaving tools and techniques to create a really diverse range of woven art. Using the same frame and building on the same basic techniques, you can create really intricate, detailed works of art, almost like paintings, or you can make really vibrant, textured and almost sculptural pieces.
But they all build on the same technique – weaving horizontal threads above and below vertical threads, and building your woven structure from the bottom up.
I have a few frame looms of different sizes from funemstudio. I love these as they are so mobile. With my smaller looms I move them around the house with me so I can weave in my office and studio, or in the sitting room in the evening if I want to watch tv or be social.
I can arrange the loom on a table if I want to stand up, or on the floor or on my lap, whatever mood or space I am in. I also love that it doesn’t need any screens or electricity, which means I can take my loom and materials and weave in the garden when the weather is nice.
Recently I have been exploring using rope, cord and fabric strips in my weaving in addition to the traditional yarn, to bring sculptural and 3D effects into my pieces.
It really doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, whether you are working, travelling, studying. As Marion shows us, it can be really easy to integrate an artistic practice like weaving into our busy every-day lives. Just as we may reach for our phones, it can be incredibly soothing to reach for tactile mediums as an outlet for mindfulness and creation.
Can you share one creative tip with our readers?
Firstly, I think art and craft is for everyone. I am not a full-time artist. I balance making art with a full-time office job in project management and research.
I like having this balance, although of course sometimes I wish I had more time to dedicate to weaving! For anyone new to creative work or hobbies, I would recommend finding an art form that works for you and fits into your lifestyle easily.
For me, I love how weaving can be stopped and started, and the materials easily taken out and put away. Sometimes I might focus and do a few hours of weaving. Other times I might do 15 minutes here or there, whenever I have time.
When I’m weaving I’m usually half focussed on what I am creating and half listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Podcasts are definitely a weaver’s friend!
For those who have some more experience weaving, or in any other creative endevour, my tip would be to plan your piece really well before you start, and then to trust your planning process.
Sometimes when I am halfway through a piece, I start to doubt that it will look any good when it is finished. But if I know I have planned it well, I can trust the process and I’m much more likely to have a piece that I am happy with in the end.
Planning is something we don’t often ask about, yet it’s one of the most important steps in creating artwork. Even if you are not a thorough planner and lead with intuition, it is still crucial to ensure you have the right materials, colours and time to create the piece. Planning our artwork can help with confidence. If you have a vision in your mind to work towards, the feeling of seeing these visions come to life is unmatched!
Thank you so much to Marion for agreeing to an interview with us here at Mr X Stitch. We have followed her work for ages so it is a real pleasure to have been given a special insight into her practice. Make sure to support the artist on her website and follow her on Instagram.
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