Catarina Riccabona – Maker in Focus

The Guild at 51. 

Tuesday 6 January – Sunday 22 February 2015.

Catarina Riccabona is a textile designer and hand-weaver. She produces one-off designs and small editions of functional items such as scarves and cushions, but mostly she weaves throws and blankets.

I love working with my hands. Weaving by hand allows much greater flexibility than mill production. I consciously use this feature in my work, especially my blankets. They can be described as large compositions rather than made up of repeat sections. I observe and constantly re-assess how the patterns materialise in the fabric during weaving and can react spontaneously to this process with design decisions.

Memories of textiles from my childhood are a strong influence’

She predominantly uses natural (unbleached, undyed) linen in her warps. Weaving with linen, hemp, wool and alpaca, all produced in or sourced from the UK or Europe. These yarns are either the natural fibre colour or – if bleached or coloured – they have been re-spun from industrial waste.

During weaving the texture comes to sit all over the cloth and form a distinct design feature that is reminiscent of the hand-made look and feel of tribal textiles.

I love working with plant dyed wool! There is an expert in Finland who grows or gathers all ingredients for her botanical dye baths herself. Her subtle colours are similar to those in traditional flat-woven rugs – kilims – another of my textile memories from childhood’

Presented by SITselect in partnership with Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen