Theo's show Weavelength opened at Craft Central, London from 8 - 13 November
Our Directory Maker of the Week, Theo Wright talks to us about getting into making, what inspires him and what he loves most about his work
Who or what got you into making
I’ve knitted since the early ’80s, just as a hobby, creating designs based on my favourite song lyrics. I started to take textiles more seriously from about 1997. I was doing a lot of traveling, in South America, Asia and the Middle East and was buying textiles as souvenirs. I was in Palmyra haggling over a camel saddle bag, when a fellow traveler (now my wife) suggested that maybe I had a deeper interest in textiles than I thought. A couple of years later, she bought me my first table loom. I did a weekend course at Handweavers Studio and I’ve been weaving ever since.
Tell us a bit about your work
I started my business in 2011, weaving scarves. I weave everything by hand, and it’s a slow process. My most distinctive designs are geometric with an internal logic that isn’t immediately apparent - I have a background in computer science and the systematic approach to design that comes from programming has definitely fed into my weaving.
What are your inspirations?
Over the last two years I’ve been making woven artworks inspired by a mix of weaving techniques and concepts in mathematics. Permutations is a series of doublecloth wall hangings that explores ideas of permutations and combinations. It started from thinking about just four warp threads and the different ways these could be ordered on a loom. My most recent project, When Waves Collide, looks at some of the possible interactions between two sine waves. It uses an interleaved weaving technique that superimposes the two waves within a single layer of cloth.
What is your favourite part of the making process?
It’s when I see an idea turn from a set of numbers into a woven pattern. It begins when I’m designing at the computer, but the real transformation happens when I move to the loom and can see how the yarn colours I’ve chosen work together with the woven structures of my design.
What are you working on right now?
My Weavelength show at Craft Central ends on Sunday. Then I’m getting work ready for the Craftspace touring exhibition Made in the Middle, which opens at The Herbert in my home city of Coventry in December. The run up to Christmas is my peak time for craft fairs and scarf sales, but I’ll soon be back at the computer developing a new project for 2017.