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Hove
East Sussex
UK

07870564888

Amy Ilic is a Woven Textiles designer and maker. She plays with the balance of simple timeless design and playful, graphic personality statements.

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Welcome to my mind. Enjoy!

Meditation of a Maker Series // part two

Amy Ilic

Woven Wall Hanging

 

Weaving and any craft is so much about rhythm for me. I have been asking myself the question of why am I making? Why do I put in so many hours into weaving a piece of cloth when I can buy an already made one? Why have I chosen such a slow art…craft?

The slowness of weaving is my medicine. It is my counselor. It is my meditation. Weaving processes my thoughts and calms down my fast anxious mind.

Hand Woven Scarf

As many people in the world today, I am mostly in charge of my time and in that freedom I also feel trapped. I am most happy when I find rhythm in my day to day and in my life. I have always been a person moving. Moving in jobs, houses, studies, and countries until my late 20’s when I felt the need to root into a place and find my rhythm and ground.

I always thought the nature of my mind was wild, unpredictable and free from structure so I was surprised when weaving put a spell on me. That’s what it did. I don’t know what came over me but after realising that I did not allow myself to do creative things, I signed up to a part time foundation and even just reading the words to the weaving course made my cells dance up and down and pop with excitement. It was like I had already done it, loved it, lost it and found it again.

I booked on without researching any further and just followed the popping excitement I felt in my gut. When I met the other ladies on the course I felt completely naïve not knowing the basics terms of warp and weft and kept forgetting the words. I was oblivious and excited to get started.

The table looms were already set up and we were told we would swap 3 times to experience the different weave structures that were warped up. I did not understand ANYTHING. I felt stupid and had to have everything repeated to me but there was still that excitement that drove me. On my first day I even had tears in my eyes at one point because I wanted so much to understand this beautiful craft that I was so drawn to but was knocked by the mathematics and structures.

I drove home feeling disappointed in myself, explaining to my boyfriend that I needed to understand weaving but I struggled so much. I have a dyslexic mind and I still have not figured out when it is just my mind thinking differently or just plain and simple not understanding something.  He told me that maybe it wasn’t my craft and that was OK. Take off the pressure.

The next day I decided to have fun with colour and from that moment when I let go, it started flowing and that was that.

I didn’t have a loom or another course booked on and to my boyfriend’s confusion, I watched You Tube’s of weaving every evening to get my dose and researched read about it. Then I joined the guild, got set up and became a weaver.

The answer to my questions at the beginning is that anything hand made is worth so much more because the piece is unique even if it the same. You can see the emotion in a handmade piece. You can see when the crafts person got distracted by a call, customer, pet or studio buddy, the rhythm gets cut with a human hand and that is beautiful. It is human, and I think we long for that feeling of realness, of humanness. In some way we connect to that hand-woven garment or hand carved spoon because we can feel it was made by a real human being not a perfect machine. Handmade is a celebration of the imperfect in ourselves and in the world.

Hand Tufted Rug

A Weaver and Inspiration: Sheila Hicks, Interview and Work

Amy Ilic

Sheila hicks Forest
Sheila Hicks, wrapping

I am in awe of Sheila Hicks work. The scale of her work is so inspirational and her motivation and determination as a weaver and fiber artist even now at 80 something makes anyone get off their bums and make and do what they love!!

Hicks is an American living and working in Paris since 1964. She studied at Yale with the exceptional colour theorist, Joseph Albers and was inspired by his wife Annie Albers to explore textiles. Here is a link to the Joseph and Annie Albers foundation for some colour and weaving inspiration!

I have listened to this podcast interviewing Shela Hicks from The Modern Art Notes a couple of times and will listen to Sheila speak about her processes and work many more times. She has a calm, authentic voice that emanates wisdom and inspires my work.

Enjoy listening while you make or potter around and also peruse her inspiring work!

Here is an interesting article in The New York Times about the latest master piece by Hicks where she revisits a large scale commission she did 50 years prior.

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It is 30 feet 8 inches by 13 feet in the auditorium comprises 510 embroidered medallions; one 40 feet 2 inches by 9 feet 5 inches in the below-ground board room with 600 medallions. In the podcast she speaks about how her family urged her to not put herself through a year of back breaking repetitive work and they were worried it may be the last thing she would do and her response was that she will never stop working and she will keep doing what she loves and is important to her. Watch a meditative couple of minute clip on her process and see the mass of work that was involved and how much dedication is needed to produce such beauty.

Sheila Hicks Wall Hanging
Sheila Hicks Wrapping Weaving

The Yarn Inheritance project

Amy Ilic

Pinks

Pinks

My Life has recently been enriched with a stash a beautifully organised, extremely well looked after collection of quality yarns. My grandparents have played a huge role in teaching me craft as i was growing up. My grandmother was a fantastic knitter and my grandfather was a master sewer and director of a textiles Factory in Poland. They have both sadly passed away now and i am left with all their tools, equipment and most excitedly YARN! If only my grandmother knew that she was helping me at the start of my woven Textiles business!

All the yarns were natural fibers and beautifully organised in colour.

Pinks, yellows, white, black, grey, indigo and some fun specialty yarnsare some of the colours in wool, cotton and silk.

greys

greys

specialty yarns

specialty yarns

I would like to design and make a collection using these yarns. I am collaborating with a machine knitter Anna Daley where i will be making woven cuffs for her knitted jumpers and would love to collaborate with more makers to make some one off delights! Get in touch if you want to play or get involved!

Yarn Inheritance

Yarn Inheritance

It's a good day to dye...naturally.

Amy Ilic

Natural Dye Pots

Natural Dye Pots

Today my textile adventure buddy, Anna and I experimented with natural dyes. Well Anna had a little hangover from the red wine last night so I had another little helper whilst she rested next to us!

Anna sleeping

Anna sleeping

Little helper Liv

Little helper Liv

Flowered Rosemary

Flowered Rosemary

We did plan to plan but ended up winging it. I picked Rosemary and mint from the garden and we also used white onion skins and cut up turmeric root. We wanted to experiment using different mordants which fixes the colours as seen on this very inspiring blog. You can find alum from a chemist but we didn't order it in time and you can use an iron nail. We ended up decided to experiment with no mordant as we were using cooking pots and we're not sure of the safety of eating out of them after using a mordant. We used cotton and wool.

Cotton strips and Wool

Cotton strips and Wool

Here are the results, going from a dunk in to an overnight stay! love to hear any feedback, useful tips and general comments!

Colour Swatch Cards

Colour Swatch Cards

Thanks for the read. Happy Sunday!

Meditations of a Maker Series // part one

Amy Ilic

Hey! Here is a movie made by my little bro Philip Ilic; musings on making and meditation. I am in love with the simplicity of the repetitive rhythmic movements that a weaver gets into. It is very meditative and can get you into a flow state of mind where time stops and all that matters is the pattern slowly but satisfyingly growing in front of you. Weaving is my meditation and haven away from the world. I hope that it can be felt by others through my work. I love being part of a makers community where value is placed on where the product is made, by whom and with what rather than at the lowest cost for a throw away culture. I enjoy that weaving slows me down and brings me in the moment slowly stacking thread by thread line by line, each thread supporting the other by the weight of the two either side. Thanks for reading and watching if you clicked!

Open House Brighton

Amy Ilic

handwoven Cusions

Hi! This is my first blog post and i would like to introduce you to my work by inviting you to come to an Open House, Brighton in May. The House has many great artists, which you can see more of here. Mine is part of the great Dyke Road trail and is at 56 Tivoli Crescent. Moira Wills is the owner of the house and has done a great job curating lovely pieces for you all to enjoy!

The YAO collection of cushions will be on show. They are inspired by the YAO people from Laos traditional dress. The cotton has been dyed useing traditional indigo dyeing in vats.

YAO Collection, indigo dyed cotton cushions

YAO Collection, indigo dyed cotton cushions

The BASICS collection is a 100% cotton that will get softer with age and was made with excitement. Feel it!

Basics Collection

Basics Collection

Hope to see you there!