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Maker in Focus - Rhian Wyman

Maker in Focus - Rhian Wyman

Rhian Wyman is a hand woven textile designer based in the Royal Forest of Dean. All her products are designed, hand woven, darned, washed and and tentered by herself, using traditional techniques throughout. Contemporary designs and colour placements are influenced by Rhian’s interpretation of surrounding natural environments that she finds inspiring.

What did you want to be when growing up?

Growing up I wanted to be a helicopter pilot.

When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist / maker?

At school art and textile classes were always my strong point, furthering this interest with a degree confirmed that this was an area that I wanted to explore and felt I could express myself through.

What training have your been through to get where you are now?

I have a BA Hons Textile Design Degree and furthered my understanding of weaving by undertaking a year of internships with 3 established weaver makers. This resulted in me becoming a weaving assistant for 1 year and then purchasing my own loom to commission weave for a company for a year. I started to design for my own brand in April 2017.

How long have you been a member of the Guild?

I have been an associate member of the guild for 2 years.

What does your average working day look like?

Designing the weft (the thread that goes left to right) colour way, winding bobbins then on to the weaving of a blanket.

Best thing about your work?

I like to think that I am creating a piece of work that is not only individual but will also become a family heirloom.

Worst thing about your work?

It takes 4 days to set the loom up but in a strange way that process can be rather therapeutic. I make the most of the 4 day set up by making sure the warp is long enough for 8 throws, 2 of each size.

What area of your work is challenging you most at the moment?

Utilising the width of the loom with other products.

Who or what is your inspiration/motivation?

My mother is Welsh and her family would give a Welsh blanket as a wedding present, so we have inherited quite a few beautiful blankets. Imagine if that fabric could talk! I like to think that I am creating a piece of art that could also be passed down through the family. I find it important to stress that no two throws are the same. Although part of the collection each throw is unique and has the quality to become a family heirloom.

Whilst designing I am inspired by the colour combinations and form structure that is created in nature from different places I visit.

Which artists work do you really admire?

I find that textures and colour placement from other makers work that I am drawn to. Colour in placement in Mark Rothko's work, the big sections of colours I can already see being interpreted into a woven piece. Peter Archer's detail and texture from the carving is highlighted even more by the use of colour within his work.

What do you do to take time out?

I am rather active, I like to run and walk my dog in the Forest of Dean.

If you weren’t an artist / maker, what would you be?

If I wasn't a woven textile designer I would like to have been a biologist.

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