A Meteorological Weaving Journey

Posted on 16 April 2017

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Weft Blown Blog and hello to all of you who have discovered Weft Blown over the past few months.

This blog has been in hibernation over the past few months as we've been so busy keeping up with day-to-day running of Weft Blown that we've not had time to post.

However, things are now settled down now with my husband Rob jumping onto Team Weft Blown full-time and this blog can be brought back to life.

So, I thought it'd be good to use this blog mainly for my handwoven textiles and the process behind weaving them and starting with where my inspiration comes from.

A long time ago at the very end of the last century (1999 to be precise) I finished my Masters degree in Applied Meteorology and started working immediately at the Met Office as a trainee Weather Forecaster. Getting onto the trainee scheme was tough and somehow I managed to get through, even after stumbling on a question about how tornadoes formed.

I joined 25 others on the Observing, then the Initial and Advanced Forecasting courses and after 14 months of training I finally became a qualified weather forecaster.

My on the job training was at Glasgow Weather Centre and I then worked at Birmingham and Manchester Weather Centres when I qualified.

I wasn't on TV but I did do the forecasts for aviation, power and gas companies, council gritting, newspapers, radio, and various other things. It was a great job and I loved having access to satellite images, radar data, weather observation data, and other information at my fingertips thanks to the access we had.

Due to a lot of reasons I decided to leave the Met Office after a couple of brief years and after bouncing around jobs and becoming self-employed I finally settled down and created Weft Blown.

Over the past couple of months I've been thinking a lot about my weaving and how I feel it's gotten away from where I wanted it to go a couple of years ago. My aim was to weave the weather but also try and explain about how the weather has formed to create the textures and the colours that I use in my weaving. However, I feel that the in-depth side of it hasn't really happened how I would like it to and I want to be able to push that side forward, and in doing so it should develop and expand my own weaving designs.

I really want to push myself more in what I'm weaving and get back into weather again as I miss studying about meteorological processes and analysing satellite imagery and data.

So, what I'm planning to do over the next couple of months is take a step back and start researching areas that have been in my head for a while that I want to develop. This includes the structure of warm and cold fronts in weather systems, the observational codes that are used worldwide for weather records, and also looking at satellite images that correspond to the photos that I've taken on the ground and tie-up why the clouds have formed and the processes behind it.

 

 My Weather Homework

I'm starting to collect information already and have joined the Royal Meteorological Society and the Cloud Appreciation Society to get both a scientific and artistic view of the weather.

I had already joined the Complex Weavers last year but not had a proper chance to properly look at what the weavers do until now. In their latest Journal there is a brilliant article by Theo Wright on weaving Sine waves which has really got me thinking of how would meteorological mathematical formulae work in weave.

I've also dug out my old textbooks, Met Office training books, and reading a book about how meteorology evolved in the Victorian age. I'm actually looking forward to studying things again and try and re-awaken my brain again.

I've no idea where this meteorological journey in weave is going to take me, and in a way that's really exciting me as I feel I need a change and want to look at new ways of working and weaving.

My aim is to keep this blog fairly regularly updated with what I'm researching and working on and through it I'll show you how my design and weave process works so you can gain more of an idea of how my handwoven textiles are created.

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1 comment

  • Julie Mackinder: April 17, 2017

    I am really excited by your line of thought! It should be a fascinating way to link your weaving with a passionate interest. I have an interest in weather beyond the daily ’What’s it going to do today?’ and am fascinated by its violent effects around the world while loving its tranquil beauty too. When I started weaving I had the idea of interpreting the sea and seascapes in all their forms but I keep getting pulled away to make other, more utilitarian weavings. I will be following your journey with great interest and maybe it will inspire me more to weave the thoughts that I started out with. Clouds are amazing! Enjoy yourself :-)

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