Escola Massana welcomes Anna Champeney as postgraduate textiles lecturer / Anna Champeney, docente en la Escola Massana, Barcelona

(Eng/Castellano) We¬īre delighted to announce in our September 2021 journal that Anna Champeney is to join¬† textile artist, Francisca Pi√Īol and Nuria Bitria as lecturer in woven textiles at the Escola Massana, one of Spain¬īs best known and established Art Schools / Es un placer anunciar en el diario de Septiembre 2021 que Anna Champeney se une a Francesca Pi√Īol y Nuria Bitria como docente de dise√Īo y arte textil en la Escola Massana, Barcelona.¬†¬†

Jacquard textile by Francesca Pi√Īol / Tejido de Jacquard por Francesca Pi√Īol

Pi√Īol is known internationally for her creative art textiles and Jacquard weaving.¬† And Bitria is synonymous with the Teixidors, as the high end weave company¬īs Creative Director.¬† Both have been instrumental in establishing a focus on woven textiles as a discipline at the Massana Art School. / Pi√Īol est√° conocido tanto al nivel nacional como internacional por el arte textil y tambi√©n por tejidos Jacquard.¬† Y Bitria es sin√≥nima con Teixidors, donde trabaja como directora creativa.¬† Ambas han jugado un papel importante para establecer tejido en telar de bajo lizo como disciplina especializada el nivel del grado y posgrado en la Escola Massana, Barcelona.¬†¬†

Nuria Bitria, creative director of Teixidors (Terrassa, Catalunya)
Nuria Bitria, Creative Director of Teixidors Weave Company (Terrassa, Catalunya) / Nuria Bitria es directora creativa de Teixidors, Terrassa.

Anna Champeney will be joining the team led by Pi√Īol and Bitria at the Escola Massana in the heart of Barcelona as lecturer in textiles as the special subject on the MA offered in Contemporary Applied Arts.¬† / Anna Champeney empieza en octubre 2021 como docente del tejido en telar de bajo lizo, en el taller especializado ofrecido como parte del Masters de Artes Aplicadas Contempor√°neas.¬†¬†

Anna comments, “For two decades I¬īve been an admirer of the Massana Art School and the teaching post will give me the chance to share my skills and philosophy and encourage textile creatives as well as introducing those from other disciplines to weave.¬† My hope is to open up a vision of the multiple possibilities of weave by encouraging a deep curiosity for the interactions between textile materials and processes.¬† The aim?¬† To really get in close to weave and understand how a thorough grounding in the essential techniques and reactions between threads on the loom can act as a springboard for creative work with integrity and depth”. / Anna comenta “Durante m√°s de 2 d√©cadas he sido gran admiradora de la Escuela Massana en Catalunya y el nuevo trabajo me permitir√° compartir el conocimiento que tengo como dise√Īadora y artesana textil, y conocer y animar a estudiantes no s√≥lo del mundo textil si no de otros campos.¬† Espero poder fomentar una visi√≥n de las m√ļltiples¬†posibilidades que ofrece la creaci√≥n de tejidos en telar de bajo lizo, a trav√©s de una curiosidad profunda para descubrir y las interacciones entre materiales y procesos.¬† ¬ŅEl objectivo?¬† Acercarse al mundo textil y usar el acercamiento al material para crear muestras creativas i originales que m√°s adelante pueden preparar el estudiante para proyectos m√°s avanzados”.¬†

The Massana proposes the postgraduate program of study to “provide a space and a time for growth and maturation in skills and mastery of techniques and materials, while offering a shared place for reflection on the contemporary role of applied arts and their role in today‚Äôs world, from a transdisciplinary approach and in the common territory of arts and design”.

Interestingly, the MA course is open to both university degree holders and established high level professional craft makers who have taken an alternative route into contemporary making to that offered by universities.

The MA is an excellent opportunity to experience the rigorous and exploratory world of university level teaching and making, with its emphasis on critical thinking, collaborative working and discussion and presentation of work.  And for graduates it offers the possibility of experiencing the world of professional makers who are out in the market place.

And of course, being in Barcelona, it¬īs an extremely attractive proposition for international students as well as Spanish students.¬† What an exciting city to spent a year in as an international art student and immerse oneself in culture, art, design and of course the Catalan culture in Spain.

Sobre el Postgrado:¬† El Postgrado en Artes Aplicadas Contempor√°neas que ofrecen la Escola Massana y la Universidad Aut√≥noma de Barcelona propone una formaci√≥n que va m√°s all√° de los planteamientos disciplinares en el entorno de las Artes Aplicadas. As√≠, se orienta a estudiantes y profesionales vinculados a los campos de la artesan√≠a, el dise√Īo y las artes en general, y puede resultar de inter√©s para graduados en Bellas Artes, Arquitectura, Dise√Īo o Humanidades, para titulados de ciclos formativos en escuelas de arte y de dise√Īo, as√≠ como para profesionales en activo sin formaci√≥n universitaria.

El itinerario formativo es eminentemente pr√°ctico. Su centro de gravedad¬†reside en las actividades que se desarrollan en los talleres a los que cada estudiante puede optar: Arte Textil, Joyer√≠a y Artes del fuego (Cer√°mica y Vidrio). El Postgrado facilita un espacio y un tiempo de crecimiento y maduraci√≥n en las habilidades y el dominio de las t√©cnicas y materiales, al tiempo que propone un lugar compartido para la reflexi√≥n sobre la funci√≥n contempor√°nea de las artes aplicadas y su papel en el mundo actual, desde un enfoque transdisciplinar y en el territorio com√ļn de las artes y el dise√Īo.

A nivel de desarrollo profesional, el Postgrado en Artes Aplicadas Contempor√°neas promueve la realizaci√≥n de proyectos personales con un alto grado de implicaci√≥n social, ecol√≥gica y creativa, optimizando los recursos que ofrecen las pr√°cticas de las artes y el dise√Īo. Su¬†mirada interdisciplinar promueve, a su vez, la capacidad de nuevos y nuevas artesanas para el trabajo en equipos multiprofesionales vinculados a campos como los de la arquitectura, el dise√Īo de producto, las artes visuales, la moda, el audiovisual, las artes esc√©nicas y otros quiz√°s a√ļn por emerger. Se trata de generar oportunidades que desemboquen en una trayectoria profesional creativa.

 

 

Nice to meet you – In conversation with Yael Shmueli-Goetz of plainHjem studio

Styling by plainHjem

 

It¬īs especially nice to meet new faces especially when the pandemic makes face-to-face opportunities so difficult at the moment.¬† Yael Shmueli-Goetz and I “met” online when she requested samples from our merino throw collection.

As an ex-curator of contemporary craft and design myself (in the UK in the 1990s) I am particularly drawn to Yael¬īs sensitivity for selecting and displaying unique – often hand-made objects in her styling work.¬† Our love of natural tactile, high quality design is another thing we have in common.

Although the heavy paperwork and additional costs of the (ha ha) “frictionless borders” have prevented us from collaborating at the moment I do hope we can work together in future.

Yael of plainHjem studio

I hope you enjoy our conversation..

  1. Tell us about your work with plainHjem studio.

I formed plainHjem studio about a year ago….¬† I have always had a great love of design … it took some courage and conviction to take the plunge and make it into a career. As I was never¬†particularly¬†keen on social media, my first task was to engage with Instagram (plainhjem.design) and I must say it has given me great joy as I effectively use it as my scrap book, a place to tag my own designs as well as the wonderful and varied creative work of others’.

Establishing oneself in this new field is challenging enough in ‘normal’ times so setting up a new studio during a pandemic is optimistic and a little crazy! Alongside taking on residential projects as plainHjem I also freelance for another studio and that has been great as I love working with people and collaborating on creative projects.

  1. If you could choose a piece of furniture for your home right now what would it be and why?

It has to be a mid-century Danish furniture piece as I have a deep passion and admiration for Scandinavian design of the era. So many of the pieces are timeless, iconic and masterfully designed and built. I spent some of my childhood in Copenhagen, Denmark and I think that is where I developed an appreciation of Scandinavian design. I have a particular weakness¬†for chairs and daybeds and my all time favourite chair is the Seal (Salen) chair by Ib Kofod Larsen. It’s the curved arms and the incline that is so beautiful as well as the wonderful teak wood frame.

 

  1. How is Brexit affecting the interior design sector in the UK?

It is hard to fully appreciate but there is no doubt that Brexit is and will continue to have an impact on the sector. I have always sourced beautiful objects, furniture¬†and textiles¬†from smaller, perhaps¬†less established, designers and makers without any consideration to their geographical origin as long as it was within¬†the EU. This is no longer the case as there are various extra charges and tedious paperwork¬†that make these transactions much more complicated and costly. I am very hopeful that with time, a better and fairer system can be established so that both makers and designers can work together collaboratively without ‘borders’. Only time will tell…

  1. Do you think the Covid-19 pandemic is changing or enhancing certain design trends?

There is absolutely no doubt that the pandemic is impacting design though again, we are still very much ‘in it’ and some time away from it, to reflect and evaluate, may bring new insights. For instance, the need to have a dedicated space to work from home means that people are keen to carve out an office space, sit/stand desks are in high demand, and maybe we are moving back to slightly less ‘open plan’ and more¬†‘broken’ spaces that confer greater flexibility.

  1. Anna Champeney Studio (like other British-trained designers such as Eleanor Pritchard and Margot Selby) retains a strong crafts-based philosophy, testing out designs by hand-weaving prototypes in-house and even weaving some smaller products on hand-looms.  What do you and your clients value most about this approach?

I think this is a highly commendable approach and both designers and clients appreciate¬†the time and thought taken to develop new designs and ‘feel the love’, the dedication and the craftsmanship that goes into making beautiful and unique¬†textiles. It is an important process that cannot be hurried or done away with. I think most clients value this though not all have an understanding of the process and it is therefore the role of the designer to ‘educate’ clients on the merits of this approach.

  1. How did you come across Anna¬īs work?¬† Which of the throws is your current favourite?

I can’t quite recall when I came across Anna’s work as it was many years ago but possibly through a crafts fair in London. I definitely made a mental note to remember¬†Anna’s work as I immediately looked her up when an interior project came along and I felt that her pieces are right for the project and the space.

I LOVE the Optic pattern as I am generally¬†not a pattern¬†person but do love stripes. Moreover, the colour combination in Anna’s weaves speak to my love of the Scandinavian palette, and some do feel very mid-century inspired and very pleasing to me.

Optic Stripe – Aquamar – Anna Champeney

Celebrating 20 years of Anna Champeney Studio – looking back & moving forward

20 years of Anna Champeney craft textiles in the Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain 

In this special post we look back over the two decades since we came to Galicia in September 2000.

We also look forward and invite you to read our exciting 20th anniversary announcement about our future plans.

A change in vision?

In 2000 our original idea was to merge Galician textile techniques with contemporary design, use hand-spun local sheeps¬ī wool and develop “creative tourism” in the area by offering residential weave courses in the heart of the little-known Ribeira Sacra region.

We approached all of this with a somewhat utopian vision combined with a certain naievety; all essential Рin our case Рto generate the energy and momentum to initiate the project in  the Ribeira Sacra, Ourense, far from urban centres and our birth regions/countries.

2 decades on and the studio is known for its clean, original, modern style and the way it has helped to shape a new concept of what “handwoven” and “hand-designed” craft looks like in Spain and how and where it is presented.

Traditional Galician techniques no longer define the studio conceptually or stylistically but they have helped to shape the studio¬īs delight in pattern and meaning.¬† The studio is now present at events such as London Design week, Made London and Festivalet, Barcelona – testimony to how far we have come since 2000.

Despite the changes the studio actually remains true to its essence.¬† Because what has not changed is a commitment to projects, research, experimentation and exploration at the centre of everything it does.¬† This has always been the studio¬īs DNA, always lain at the heart of the studio¬īs products and also its teaching philosophy.

Originally it was our aim to be a production studio first and foremost.  But gradually we discovered we wanted every collection to go one step further than the previous one.  Although we fought this for a number of years, in time we have learned to embrace our curiosity and passion for exploration as our deepest core value.  We continue to create original collections sold under our own label but they are often outcomes of research projects and collaborations.

Focus on Textile Education

The research-based approach has also spilled over into the textile weaving and designing education services offered at the studio at www.textilesnaturales.com.

But the format of the studio¬īs educational work has also changed over the past 20 years.

Nadine Wilde, Loughborough University undegraduate and Nanae Kumaya, interned at Anna Champeney in 2019

Originally the studio collaborated more closely with tourism, opening to the public in the summer and offering residential “creative tourism” in the Ribeira Sacra through intensive residential courses.

However, over time this changed as Anna sought to encourage a new generation of weavers with a higher degree of technical and design skills.  After two years as a lecturer in the University of Vigo, teaching fashion students Anna started to offer internships to university weave design undergraduates, mainly from Loughborough University in the UK.

At roughly the same time we expanded the range and level of courses offered privately at the studio to include a design component.

We continue our links with further education and craft and fashion organisations through Anna¬īs work as conference speaker, most recently, the Ourense Rural Summit (2019), the Craft Jornadas in Menorca (2019) and this autumn with CEARCAL and Burgos Art School (November 2020).

In these numerous ways, over the past two decades, literally hundreds of people have benefittted from the studio¬īs teaching and expertise – from children right up to those who work in further education and research bodies and in fashion.

The studio also offered private courses until lockdown in March 2020.  Its students included industrial textile designers, doctors and nurses and entrepreneurs in other fields.  Whilst some came from Spain others travelled from Japan, Hungary, Portugal, Chile and Venezuela to the rural studio in Galicia.

The next 10 years:  Announcement

Above:¬† Anna Champeney is re-locating to Catalunya, Lluis¬ī native region.

The first 20 years in Galicia have been amazing.  What will the next decade bring?

On our 20th anniversary we are excited to announce that¬†we are re-locating the studio to Catalunya, Anna¬īs partner, Lluis¬ī native region.

The online textile store will still be open for business as usual.  But some of the other activities offered by the studio will temporarily cease whilst the studio moves and the new building is re-furbished and we prepare some new initiatives.

Our future textiles and teaching activities will continue to be based on our passion for learning and textiles.

It has been an incredible journey over the past 20 years and we hope you will accompany us on the next stage of our journey.

The dance of the handloom

Patience brings its own rewards

Slowly the cloth builds up, row by row

The shuttle rattles across the loom

The weaver takes the measure of the cloth

and rolls the yarn onto the cloth beam of the loom

Patience brings its own rewards

Slowly the cloth builds up row by row

 

 

 

 

 

Unique colour for a unique project

Spain¬īs bid for UNESCO recognition of the Ribeira Sacra as a World Heritage Site calls for a special textile collection with unique designs, materials… and colours.

As such, my collection of bespoke handwoven scarves commissioned by the Dept. of Heritage will feature colour highlights with yarns dyed specially with natural dyes, extracted using artisanal methods at the studio itself.

 

Design Play

Designing for a new handwoven textile collection is the best kind of play that exists for grown-ups in our view.

Photography, doodles, collage and playing with CAD (computer-assisted) design tools.

Blissful Tuesday.