Fiber Artist Feature: A Conversation with Anne Weil, Flax and Twine
We are thrilled to be in collaboration with Anne Weil, of Flax and Twine, this month and to launch the Sunburst Basket, a pattern designed by Anne using our 5mm Cotton Rope and Daytime Linen.
Anne is a fiber artist and the author of Weaving Within Reach which is available for purchase here.
I spoke with Anne about the importance of teaching, connection and the joys of fiber craft:
What was your introduction to weaving?
Like most crafts I love, I learned when I was a young girl. Pretty much any craft with fiber grasped my heart and hands at an early age. In those years, I wove on a cardboard loom. Five years ago, I began to explore free-weaving and making cloth on frame-looms. I am fascinated and enthralled with how weaving grows and fits together. I’ve found a deep love for making baskets and containers. With anything I make, and any craft, I love the idea of transforming a pile of raw material into something both functional and beautiful.
What value do you find in teaching weaving (through your books, blog, social media, etc) and how does teaching inform your work?
I love connecting with other folks who love to make as much as I do. The connection and community built upon sharing that joy feeds me. I learn every day from those I teach and make with. Sometimes it’s how to clarify the instructions I’m giving. Sometimes it’s a brand new way to think about working with fiber. Sometimes it's becoming aware of a creative problem and seeking the solution. Social media, books and my blog allow me to capture the beauty of made items as they are underway as well as finished items, which thrills me. Capturing the texture, feel and emotion around a made item finishes the process for me.
What role does craft play in your daily life? What do you find most enriching about making something by hand?
I can’t explain what I love about making, except that I feel most myself when I am creating with my hands. I feel a sense of rightness and completeness that I am building something beautiful and in line with my greater purpose. I am inspired by colors and textures all around me, both in the real world and in fiber more specifically. I know a project, sample, vista, room, or design is right for me when I get a little rush looking at it or being in it. That feeling that I get when I love a design is pure gold. I wish I had more time to make every day. Running my own creative business means that a lot of the day is spent at the computer!
You write about and explore many different types of fiber craft, where do you see these different methods and techniques overlapping? For example, how is weaving like knitting? Or knitting like knotting? What relationship do these processes have, if any?
All of these crafts, knitting, knotting, crochet, and weaving, contain the joy and satisfaction of using fiber and your hands to create something beautiful at their heart. I relish how fiber comes together in different stitches, knots, and rows and how each of these crafts incorporate raw material like yarn, rope, raffia, thread, into something entirely new. I love playing with scale, also. It’s so much fun to see these crafts at their tiniest and at their biggest. Still, each craft has its own special qualities. I love knitting for meditation, I love crochet for its structure. I love knotting for its texture. I love weaving for the way it builds. Each craft uses different muscles, which is good when your first choice is to make all the time.
What are you working on now? What project are you most excited about?
I am loving working on containers and baskets. I have so much in my head to explore. I love my recent Sunburst Basket design, but I have a feeling that I have just begun in this space. I have lots of material ideas, problems to solve and things to try. The best way to keep up is to subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you hear about my latest projects and classes.
Stay in the loop with Anne here: https://www.flaxandtwine.com/
And here: https://www.instagram.com/flaxandtwine/