Jane Erskine

Jane Erskine Howard
Artists Statement

Working with natural materials has always had a fascination for me. As a child I learnt to weave on a rigid heddle loom. I used fleece which I found caught on a barbed wire fence while on holiday in Cumbria. I twisted this into yarn and wove a small piece of cloth.

Weld dye vat
Weld dye vat

More recently in 2008, I kept a small flock of Herdwick sheep. After they were shorn, I had their wool spun by the Natural Fibre company in Cornwall. I dye the wool with acid dye and also natural plant dyes.

Esmerelda

I weave the yarn into floor rugs, which are hard wearing, and colourful. The natural grey colour of the wool enhances the dyed yarn and harmonises the colours.

Wool dyed with Weld (Reseda luteola)
Wool dyed with Weld (Reseda luteola)

I use a Scandinavian weave structure called Krokbrogd, for my design source. This enables me to weave colourful patterns with just three shafts.

I also hand spin Romney Marsh, sheeps wool. I dye this two ply yarn with natural dyes to weave into blankets. This is a slow and painstaking task, which produces a warm and comforting material, which is ethically produced.