“There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.” 
 The Lady of Shalott

Rhythm and Breathing are extremely important in the art of spinning. It has been a important lesson that I am still learning.

My teacher Emma told me last time I saw her to “slow down and let it happen”, which at the time I didn’t fully understand but now I do.

I have now noticed that my impatience reflects on the quality of my spinning. Sometimes when I first start spinning, before I get into the rhythm of it. The wool will be wound to tightly and holds so much energy it appears twisted.

Almost like the wheel itself reveals my inner state of mind (who would have thought spinning would be so complex!).

It is a completely different story however when I relax, breath and let the spinning just happen at a easy pace. The threads become finer and more natural. It has also taught me a lot about myself as well, this being  that I do need to approach life in a more simplistic fashion and that like the action of the spinning wheel is to slow down, relax and breathe.

A space of my own has also been a progression, over the last few weeks I have turned my conservatory into a spinning den. I spin for hours not seeing a creature like The Lady of Shalott. This doesn’t bother me at all I have decided, in fact I tend to revel in the fact that I can surround myself with fleece and wool.

I have also gatecrashed a making day for another exhibition for Somerset Art Works called “Stitched” which consists of Artists Susan Wallis, Nina Grown-Lewis, Gary Dickins and my teacher Emma Riley, we tend to meet up once a month. There Emma teaches me spinning, however we also critique each others works and gives a much needed network of like minded people, who have a common interest in craft in general.

I have also just learned about plying wool and at the moment this seems to be a little bit of an obsession, amazing how mixing dull lifeless colour with a vibrant one totally transforms the wool, it is like mixing your own paints.I am also thinking about  plying all sorts different materials into the wool so watch out for the pictures of those experiments.

Next is learning how to dye wool and I cannot wait!



Stitched Website and Blog For Somerset Art Works –

Categories: Aller Farmhouse (Williton, West Somerset), Leah Hislop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About leah hislop

I am a site specific artist who lives in Taunton. My most recent work concentrates on building large intricate webs out of wool in a space.  Though there is some rough plan to what I will create. I never know how the work will look like because it is made on site and the work often takes the shape of the environment/space it fills. By using my own intuition and working within the space, I feel each work is a unique piece and also has a sense of connection to the place it has been created in. The subject matter of my work explores the boundaries (both physically and physiologically) that we as a society put between ourselves and the world. They also represent for me personally my need to find a sense of place within the world. 

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