KOEL Stories

Meet The KOEL Kids: Hazel Muir

KOEL Stories
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Where embroidery meets weaving. At first sight, fibre artist Hazel Muir’s bold and colour art pieces might seem like embroidered hoops. But if you look closely enough, the entire canvas of the artwork is carefully woven and then further embellished with metallic gold embroidered shapes. Specialising in weaving during her university days, Hazel recently rekindled her love for it and since started creating simple yet stylish pieces woven hoops that are sold via her Etsy shop, H.Muir Designs. We had a chat with her on her creative process, favourite design and more.

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1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving and needlework as a craft?
I have always had a passion for design and have been the creative sort. Since young, illustration was where my talents and interests lie. Going on to study Textile Design at university, I initially thought I would go down the print making route, but in fact I went on to specialise in weaving, which I then grew to love.

The technical process of weaving is something I really enjoy, as well as the slower relaxing side of it. I love working with colours and shapes and also adding lots of texture to my designs. I have only recently gotten back into weaving again after many years of being away from it, and it has been great to explore more design ideas through colour and pattern use.

I love working with geometric shapes, and after experimenting with some woven samples, I wanted to further embellish my woven work. I loved the effect embroidery creates, and also the contrast between the coarse wool and smooth embroidery yarn, which really helped to bring my designs to life.

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2. What makes you a Koel Kid?
Color is what sparks my ideas and imagination. I love choosing and working with different rich colour palettes. I feel that incorporating bold geometric shapes through needlework, helps my designs to stand out and gives them a modern and contemporary look. I try to keep my designs bold and simple, so that they have a unique, yet stylish feel to them.

3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your projects.
Inspiration comes to me from many different places – it can be something in my house, to something I see outside, flowers and buildings with lots of colour and texture.

Often I will see colors sitting next to each other and I will love the combinations that are created. It can sometimes be something as simple as a collection of colourful books stacked on a chair, or a shelf of potted plants. Ideas will then start to flow in my mind, and that’s normally when it’s a good time to reach for my sketch book.

Also I always try to envision a room or space that I can see my woven designs hanging in, and then I get to work bringing them to life.

4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these questions.

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The inspiration behind this design is… Once I got my hands on floss in burnt orange, and I knew I wanted to create something really bold and rich. The color makes me think of Bohemian interior decor, which played a large part in inspiring me to create this piece.

The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… Somewhere like Anthropologie or Oliver Bonas, as I love their style and homeware collections.

Which celebrity house can you picture your design at… In the Instagram world, it would definitely be Jessica & Fleur of @prchtg. I love their home interior images and often imagine one of my designs displayed as part of their decor.

If this design made it big, I would… Become even more addicted to the process and look to get a bigger studio (which has always been my dream!)

If this design could talk, it would say… Cherish me… as a lot of time went into creating me!

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5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving & needlework and where do you see it in the next five years?
As weaving and needlework are slow process crafts, developing ideas and trying out new things does require a lot of time. I am always trying to improve my needlework and have started to try out different shapes. Recently, circular shapes have been what I’ve been focusing on, as they are always a challenge to master. I would say I am a bit of a perfectionist, so upon completing a design, if the shapes aren’t quite right, I will unpick them and start again, which can be frustrating after having spent so long stitching them.

It’s hard to say where I see myself for the next five years, but ideally I’d like to think I will still have an excuse to be create these designs or put together a new product range - let’s see!

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Photo credits: Hazel Muir