Liz Clay

Work by Liz Clay inspired by Bradford College Textile Archive collections

"A background in weave and knowledge of wool felt influenced the creative impulse and my choice of material for the Pick and Mix project. I was instantly drawn to the weave patterns contained in the Bradford Technical College Student Collection dating from the 1890’s and the fastidious lecture notes and technical details painstakingly complied by Professor Aldred Farrer Barker.

My current practice explores the potential of traditional hand pleating processes to create new surface identities in handmade felt.

Inspired by these beautifully presented student workbooks, hand painted designs and woven samples, I looked at ways to transform design elements and re-interpret the weaves’ structural characteristics and symmetry within the felt process. How would I interpret and bring new life to these tinyfragments of textile history?

The rhythmical structures and repetitive patterning with their technical descriptions of checked crepons and extra warps, resoundingly mirrored the chevrons and twill patterns I had been investigating with my felt fabrics. An entry in Pattern Book 324 describes a Style of Fabric: Covert. What a delicious title for worsted suiting! I was no less inspired by the names of their creators: Reginald Greenwood Oversby and David Arthur Craven.

Undeterred by the technical boundaries and fundamental differences between these two textile types, the outcome for exposition reveals a cohesion and balance that is visually striking, contemporary, and to some extent, homogenous."