Helen Foot is woven textile designer and maker of traditional craft with a rebellious edge. From her studio in the heart of Shropshire’s county town, Shrewsbury, Helen handweaves fabric for her growing array of fashion accessories. Her current range of scarves include a collection inspired by the 1951 Festival of Britain, a lightweight striped cotton collection and a collection produced in collaboration with spinner Irem Arig. Helen’s strong sense of colour has become a signature of her work and her passion for contemporising traditional skills is what drives her to keep pushing the boundaries of her craft. She received a Masters from the Royal College of Art in 2010 and trained before that at Winchester School of Art. In 2011 she was selected by the Crafts Council for their Hothouse program which supports emerging designer makers and has since worked for the organisation as a ‘buddy’ on the scheme. She has designed fashion fabrics for Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen and now regularly undertakes commission weaving for other designers and artists. Helen accompanies her making with curating (including a seminar for Stroud International Textiles) and lecturing (Hereford College of Arts and Birmingham City University).
For more information please contact Helen via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Making for the Challenge
For the Cambrian Wool Challenge Helen wanted to develop new work that would intersect the disciplines of weave, knit and stitch. Breaking away from her usual style of working with highly colourful yarns, Helen chose instead to work with the Cambrian wool in its natural tone. The creation of the fabric was concentrated around the development of texture and unusual 3 dimensional effects. Having looked at intricate cable knits, macramé and rope knotting techniques for inspiration, Helen developed some fabric samples which combined French knitted tubing with finer spun yarns on the loom. The ideas for the formation of the two scarves then grew from there. The first scarf, which is the more complex, had over 20 meters of French knit woven into the piece. The cord weaves through the cloth and then links back on itself, snaking its way through the entirety of the scarf. A central cable was added into the scarf once it had been cut from the loom, which runs from a central knot, through the loops created during the weaving, down to the ends of the scarf. The second piece concentrates on creating a complex textured border as a highlight on either end of the scarf.