Isabelle Jourdan – “Wild Woman Weaving” – September 2016


After our summer break we welcomed Isabelle Jourdan to speak about her great interest in spinning and weaving.
It started when she and her husband were running an olive farm on the Greek island of Lesbos and she visited a shop exhibiting local weaving.  Each Saturday for the next six months Isabelle attended a workshop and became totally enthralled with the craft.  A lot of her inspiration has come from Kirsten Glasbrook who has written several books on tapestry weaving.

Isabelle does not believe in conventional weaving methods but follows the simple approach using a basic wooden frame and not a loom – an old picture frame, an old window or door frames for large pieces.  An embroidery needles to weave rather than a shuttle and she uses a knitting needle to knock the weft rather than the recognised tools.  Isabelle used the expression “wild weaving” and in some of her work she does not start at the usual place, her weft threads do not necessarily go the width of the work and are often curved.  Finishing adds an interesting dimension and she hangs her work on driftwood and uses a variety of wrapped tassels, beads and even feathers. 

As a result of her introduction to weaving the next step was to create her own yarns and Isabelle passed round a basket of raw wools and finished yarns from a variety of animals – merino, alpaca, Jacob, Jacob cross and goat.   She does not sell her work, she teaches her techniques to encourage people to use their own ideas, colours and wools to make hangings, cards, brooches and bookmarks.

Tomorrow, Isabelle will be leading a workshop entitled “Frame tapestry weaving for beginners” so we look forward to hearing about it and to seeing members’ samples.

Report by Ros L

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