November's weaver's profile is so exciting for me because it's my first profile for a weaver that I hadn't spoken to before the profile project. As it turns out, Cloth of Kin has its own project to connect weavers so we are very much of the same mind when it comes to community and connecting with one another! I will stop my gushing here so that you can read the profile!
1. WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS AND WHEN WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
Cloth of Kin, est. 2013
I started weaving in 1999 and have had a few business names since then, BellaWeave, and Solstice Studios and Farm, being the ones that I was most well known by. Cloth of Kin was initially a product name that grew into a production weaving business, the job of my dreams!
2. WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Our central Studio and Weaving Shop is located at 5016 50 Ave, Rocky Mountain House, AB. Come on by for a visit and check out our fabulous weft sampler of 60+ colours!
3. HOW MANY WEAVERS DO YOU HAVE AND FOR HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN WEAVING?
I currently have 4 weavers, including myself, and 3 apprentice weavers. They have all learned to weave at the Cloth of Kin studio in the last 2 years. You can view our mini-profiles in our etsy shop.
***Their Etsy shop actually opened November 1, 2014!***
4. DO YOU BABYWEAR AND IF YOU DO/DID, HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?
My philosophy in parenting has always been "attachment parenting", a term that I didn't know existed when my first child was born. Back then, there were no resources that I could find in my community for babywearing. I was given a ring sling and MEC backpack by a friend and found some instructions online to make myself a stretchy wrap and "woven" wrap with fabric I bought from a fabric store. I was soon making fabric wraps for my friends with fabric from a fabric store and never dreamed of weaving that much fabric! It seemed too daunting at the time! Years later I wove some fabric for a wrap for my third child and stumbled across thriving online communities for babywearing! What joy! It has been such a blessing to have siblings, grandparents, and aunties/uncles and of course, parents, carry and connect with my youngest using babywearing online resources.
5. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A WEAVER?
I have always been very crafty, making little fabric related things since childhood. At some point, my Mor-Mor (Swedish for grandmother) decided that I should inherit the weaving looms that had been in her family for generations. When she wrote to me with her decision, I didn't know anything about weaving but eventually was inspired to take a beginners course through the Edmonton Weaver's Guild. As soon as I started weaving, I knew it was in my blood and bought a loom wiith all the fixings before even finishing the beginners course.
I've developed a bit of a loom-purchasing addiction since then and have bought, restored, and sold dozens of looms in the last 15 years. There are usually 8-10 looms in different stages of use floating around me at all times :)
I still have not had the opportunity to travel to Sweden and weave on my grandmother's and great-grandmother's looms but I am dreaming of going there soon!
6. WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
The inspiration for Cloth of Kin came, in part, from the many heirloom linens in our family woven by various Swedish relative and ancestors. Inspiration also came from the loss of a beloved family member, as a possibility to cherish and remember them.
I find great joy in creating heirloom quality textiles that represent our lives interwoven, that tell a small story of who we are, a treasured snapshot of the connections shared amoung us.
7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE WEAVING PROCESS?
I like to say that I am a scientist first, and an artist second. The weaving process is where I can geek out as a scientist, using math, formulas, and scientific process to create a fabric that contains elements of mathematical patterns in nature and is intentionally developed for strength and longevity without sacrificing beauty or sensuality.
The loom itself is such a genius yet simplistic instrument, I enjoy observing the mechanics as they work together and tweaking here and there to get the highest quality production.
Weaving is a perfect balance of science, art, and meditation for me. On top of all that, it is also great exercise!
8. WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BABYWEARER?
Keeping our children close is a natural part of who we are. Even though it may feel strange and uncomfortable at first to wrap your baby and have their sweaty, drooling bodies pressed against you, it will soon be second nature if you keep on practicing and will create a memory that will last to the 7th generation. Carry on!
9. HOW CAN PEOPLE BUY YOUR PRODUCTS?
I incredibly amazed and humbled by the talented weavers who have stepped up to the Cloth of Kin Project since it first started in 2013. Thanks to a great team of administrators and weavers we will soon be able to open our doors for custom orders through our website and fabric purchases through our etsy shop.
We currently have a waiting list for custom orders and the fabric shop, you can find more info for purchasing at clothofkin.com.
You can stay posted with the latest designs and developments by liking our facebook pages
10. I AM A REALITY TV JUNKIE SO JUST FOR FUN, IF YOU COULD BE ON ONE REALITY TV SHOW, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING WOULD YOU CHOOSE? (Survivor; Big Brother; The Real Housewives; Project Runway; The Amazing Race; Naked and Afraid)