Based on the sunny shore and bustling streets of Brighton, Lucy Davidson spends much of her working (and free) time indulging in one of the world’s oldest crafts. With tranquil spaces, second-hand materials, and aesthetic inspiration aplenty, she’s perfected the art of textile weaving. Her Instagram feed (@peasandneedles) catapults us into a world of dreamy woven displays, punch needle wall-hangings and - a woman of many talents - beautiful handmade ceramics. Now, in a carefully curated space of art, plants, and good vibes, Lucy is bringing her woven haven to life right here at NGNG, with a “Basics of Weaving” workshop.
Hi, Lucy! We’re so grateful to be hosting you in our little corner of South Devon. How long have you been weaving and what first inspired you to take up the craft?
I'm so excited to be making my way to your store to pass on my skills. I have been weaving for about 6 years now and I am a self taught weaver. I grew up in a very crafty household and learnt knitting at a young age. I was (still am) a big fan of wool and so when I found a small wooden frame loom on Ebay I thought I would give it a try. I rented books from the library and was hooked from then on.
We were amazed to find out that weaving can be traced as far as 27,000 years ago (back to the Paleolithic Era!) and, yet, it remains as popular as ever. What do you think it is about weaving that makes it so durable and relevant to a new wave of creatives?
Weaving is extremely calming, the repetitive motion of the process can be really relaxing and you can get lost in it for hours. For me this is very addictive and I love to switch off and just weave. There are so many techniques and different styles of weaving and think this is why it appeals to most people.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made and what’s the story behind its creation?
It's definitely the weave I made for our wedding. When we got engaged I was quickly making plans for things I wanted to make and this was the first thing I thought of and got planning straight away. It was large enough for us to get to married in front of and was made from wool that was gifted or past down through our families which just makes it even more special. I am so glad we have something that can now remind us of our day that we can now pass down through our family.
We’re in love with the sustainable approach you take to your work. What are your thoughts on art being used as a political tool and is this something you consciously incorporate into your makes?
I think its so important to keep your work as sustainable as possible, I use a lot of recycled wool in my work and I think that it creates a more unique piece as well. I encourage the people who come to my workshops to use up old materials, weaving is great for this as you don't need to use much and so its perfect to use up all those old scraps of wool.
Your workshop at NGNG is specifically designed for beginner weavers; what can your students expect from the class you’ll be giving?
My aim is for everyone who attends the workshop will go away with a finished piece. I think thats really important, to feel like you have really mastered the skill and accomplished something is a great feeling. I will teach the basics including how to warp up the loom. Getting the tension just right to start weaving. We will cover a couple of different techniques to add texture to your weave, and then finally how to take it off the loom.
Finally, what’s one piece of advice you’d offer to anyone who wants to try weaving but may be a little daunted or unsure about how to get started?
I think it would be to just watch some videos (or attend my workshop) and just have a crack at it. Theres no wrong really in weaving and I love seeing how everyone has a different approach to it. Once you know the basics the options are pretty endless and I think that can be one of the most exciting things to learn in a new craft.
Lucy's class will be running on Sunday 3rd June, from 11:00-13:30, or 14:00-16:30. You can book a place here, and find tonnes of inspiration, as well as new products and blog posts over on Lucy's website, Peas and Needles.