Hollie Ward

Based in South East London, Hollie Ward creates one-off pieces handwoven from surplus yarn, as well as British and Icelandic wool. Having recently graduated with a First Class BA (hons) in Textile Crafts, specialising in woven fabrics, Hollie's first interiors collection has been developed exclusively for The New Craftsmen. Hollie draws inspiration from fabrics woven with history, and incorporates experimental elements into her work.

Textile Weaver

Hollie Ward

London

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THE PROCESS

In 2018, Hollie embarked on a three month weaving residency in rural Iceland, hand-spinning and hand-weaving icelandic wool and washing in the local rivers. The research, colours and materials encountered during this experience inspired Hollie’s first collection for The New Craftsmen, with all designs incorporating Icelandic wool. Hollie's work is made with a particular focus on longevity, producing pieces that are intended to be passed down through generations, repaired, cherished and loved. With sustainability in mind, she works closely with natural fibres and uses surplus stock.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

Personally, making is my sanctuary. The creation of a world where I can exist at peace. I often think of my work as a way of emptying my head. It can feel pretty chaotic in there, and sometimes making a length of trippy colored fabric opens up a smidge of space to learn more. I’ve always wanted my pieces to speak to people, to create a relatable narrative for the kids who grew up as misfits, wanting to forge their own path. I try to view my work as a rebellion through the act of making, a rebellion against those who say living life this way isn’t possible.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

I think about this question so often and I’m never sure how to answer it. I’m endlessly intrigued by everything. This doesn’t always mean I want (or need) to delve deeply into each, but curiosity keeps me going. I guess my inspiration comes from an internal place, from life experiences, and all of those things I have learnt and discovered along the way. I grew up being very interested in DIY culture and punk and am endlessly curious about the experiences people have had and how they’ve forged their own paths to create worlds outside of the norm. I always had an overwhelming desire to “feel”, and I think my inspiration comes from navigating experiences and situations, using weaving as a means of expression.

A recent inspiration has been the work of Artemisia Gentileschi, after visiting the exhibition last year at the National Gallery in London I am hooked. Her work is full of depth and the emotion of portraying her power and passion, whilst constantly battling what life has thrown at her. She existed through horrifying ordeals and continued to pursue her passion and thrive momentously. She is notorious for writing in 1649, “I will show your illustrious Lordship what a woman can do.”

3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?

I make because it feels natural, like an extension of myself. For better or worse, I rarely think about the outcome of the fabric – I just trust myself and my process.

Recently I grabbed three cones of yarn and started winding a warp, the result is probably my favourite fabric to date. No planning, no over thinking, very little consideration. Working in this limitless way has allowed for maximum experimentation.

That being said, I have a huge commitment to exploring and understanding my materials and pushing them to their full potential. I work closely with natural, local, fibres and use surplus stock. Sustainable practice should be instilled within all of us.

I’ve also worked with the same piece of machinery for the past 4 years. I am so in tune with the machine and how it works that I notice the tiniest error, almost immediately, and resolve it without always realising. Weaving feels like the most natural thing for my body to do.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

In terms of practical work, I feel so unbelievably grateful for everything I do. I recently developed a new fabric for a collaboration which, once completed, I realised I was only able to achieve due to years of hard work, development and refinement of my skills. Those moments for me are my most proud, as well as the fulfillment which comes from creating the work, and being in tune with the materials and the process.

5. What is your dream project?

I would love to spend some time on the Isle of Harris working with the handweavers there. For me, dream projects are about planting myself in a part of the world with a weaving culture and being open to learning about the ways in which weaving has informed those places, and the people who live and work there. Alongside this, I have a dream project to have a whole flock of sheeps’ wool commercially spun into weaving yarn, and hand weave it into a special collection of one-off pieces. To help the woollen industry and create something beautiful.

ALL PRODUCTS

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16 Products found

  1. Esme Check Square Cushion
    Esme Check Square Cushion
    Hollie Ward
    £180
  2. Alice Check Square Cushion
    Alice Check Square Cushion
  3. Maggie Check Square Cushion
    Maggie Check Square Cushion
  4. Esme Check Rectangular Cushion
    Esme Check Rectangular Cushion
  5. Alice Check Rectangular Cushion
    Alice Check Rectangular Cushion
  6. Maggie Check Rectangular Cushion
    Maggie Check Rectangular Cushion
  7. Esme Check Bolster
    Esme Check Bolster
    Hollie Ward
    £380
  8. Haleen Rectangular Cushion
    Haleen Rectangular Cushion
  9. Haleen Square Cushion
    Haleen Square Cushion
    Hollie Ward
    £360
  10. Arcthine Rectangular Cushion
    Arcthine Rectangular Cushion
  11. Carelion Rectangular Cushion
    Carelion Rectangular Cushion
  12. Arcthine Square Cushion
    Arcthine Square Cushion
    Hollie Ward
    £360
  13. Ordahl Rectangular Cushion
    Ordahl Rectangular Cushion
    Out of stock
    Hollie Ward
    £320
    Out of stock
  14. Ordahl Square Cushion
    Ordahl Square Cushion
    Hollie Ward
    £380
  15. Ordahl Blanket
    Ordahl Blanket
    Hollie Ward
    £1,500
  16. Allin Rectangular Cushion
    Allin Rectangular Cushion
    Hollie Ward
    £280
View as Grid List

16 Products found