We could recognise Sarah Renwick’s dynamic weaves from a distance, and it’s not just because of its jolly colors. There’s so much more to it; the chunky textures, smooth wave-like curves, combinations of shades that reminds us of sandy dunes and carnivals filled with activity and life. Her weaving journey started only a year and a half ago, but it’s more than enough time for Sarah to discover her calling for this craft - she now runs her own shop, The Northern Loom, and conducted her first weaving workshop back in March. It’s full charge from here on out, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for Sarah. Read on for the full interview!
1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving as a craft
Growing up, I was always drawn to the more creative subjects in school and this is a path I followed through to university. I spent three years studying pattern design and printmaking, which I absolutely loved but once I graduated, life became a little more ‘real’ and I found myself doing a range of office-based jobs.
Weaving had been on my radar for quite some time, but I’d always thought it looked so complicated and I wasn’t sure where to start. I was given a small loom for Christmas in 2017 and whilst my expectations were low, I began to spend the majority of my free time engrossed in YouTube tutorials and weaving blogs, trying to learn as much as I could whilst trying to develop my own distinct style. Fast forward a year and a half, and here I am!
2. What makes you a KOEL Kid?
I think that my use of clean-cut lines, smooth curves and finer weaving, coupled with bold colors and chunkier textures makes my work unique and, hopefully, distinguishable!
3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your projects.
My creative process starts and ends with color, texture and shape. I am usually drawn to vibrant colors and enjoy combining different weights and types of yarn to create texture and volume in each piece. Whilst my work is considered structured to a certain degree, each piece develops organically and if I’m completely honest, I don’t usually have too much of a plan in place when I begin a piece.
4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these quick questions:
The inspiration behind this design is… Alleviating the Sunday evening blues.
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… A shop called RE in Corbridge, Northumberland. They stock the most amazing eclectic mix of colourful homeware.
Which celebrity house can you picture your design at… I’m not big on celebrity culture (they are just people like the rest of us). This design is for anyone who isn’t afraid of a bit of colour!
If this design made it big, I would… Drink a celebratory espresso martini.
If this design could talk, it would say… Life is too short for grey!
5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving and where do you see it in the next five years?
I’ve only been weaving for a year and a half so I still consider myself a beginner in the grand scheme of things, and I am constantly learning and improving. I’ve definitely seen my style develop and become more refined over the past year. However, I feel that I still have a lot of avenue left to explore and hope to find new ways of working outside of my comfort zone.
In March, I taught my first ever weaving workshop which I thought was going to be a super scary experience, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. It just felt so natural to be passing on this skill and sharing experiences and ideas with others, so this is definitely something I’d like to focus on over the next few years. A weaving community in the North East of England seems to be pretty much non-existent at the moment (please correct me if I am wrong!) so I would love to be the person that encourages this and help it to develop.
Photo Credits: Sarah Renwick