Meet the Maker - Angie Parker (aka DivaWeaver)

Thursday, August 01, 2013
We are over the moon to share today's Meet the Maker Interview.  Angie Parker aka DivaWeaver wowed us during the Southbank Arts Trail with her colourful woven seat covers and chairs.  We are delighted she is now part of the Paper Scissors Stone Summer team...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I'm Angie Parker and my business is called DivaWeaver. I design and hand weave fabric which I'm currently using to re-upholster chairs. After graduating in the 90's I was awarded Floorcovering Designer of the Year at London's New Designers for a traditional Scandinavian Rug from my final show. The same techniques still feature in my work, scaled down, to make a durable and textured fabric, ideal for seating.

Apart from creating things what else do you enjoy doing? 
As Mum to three daughters aged 3, 4 and 6 I'm still amazed that I've any time for the business, never mind anything else. Therefore, travel, theatre, live music, comedy nights and lazing on sunny afternoons in beer gardens with friends etc.. are currently happening only in my dreams. (I've tried most of the above with three kids but tend to spend most of the time taking children to the loo!) 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
At the moment I'm loving the blocks of colours used in the Artworks from Upfest which are adorning the sides of buildings and shop shutters in my neighbourhood. I do think that my approach to colour will always be strongly influenced by the time I spent living in India, but also find weaving itself an inspiring medium. I've always been comfortable working with yarn and fabric and like many textile artists I'm much more comfortable using my loom as a canvas and my yarns as paint. 

Describe your studio or workspace? 
That'll be the 'medium' sized loom in the corner of the kids playroom then. It's actually fine as I have natural light for those rare/brief weaving sessions in the daytime and a shelf above for yarn storage. (My large 'room-sized' loom is currently in my Dad's garage until I upgrade to a proper studio). One of the great things about my craft is that I can dip into it for short periods of time without having loads of clearing up to do, and the finished piece still flows as though it was made in one sitting. A symbol of fluidity in a world of interruption, if you like a poetic take on it! I also have the back garden for all the restoration work on the chairs which the kids often 'help' me with. As this is weather dependent I'm hoping to move into a workshop later in the year for this. 

What is a typical work day for you? 
Errr...pass. My in-laws are amazing and occasionally cart the kids off so that I can have a good solid weaving session or complete all the repairs and restorations on a chair. (Sanding, filling, sanding, priming, sanding painting, lacquering, upholstering etc.....). The rest of the time I try to 'encourage' a bit of quiet time for the kids in the afternoon and might manage between 20mins - 1.5 hrs on the loom then. After teatime I try to get the house organised so that once the children are in bed I can crack on. I usually do 2 hrs weaving each evening and then do a bit of admin, marketing, social networking etc before bed. Unfortunately I love sleep and like loads and I'm sure my business would be much further along if it wasn't for this! That said, from Sept/Oct I will have two days per week to devote to my craft and expect to turn the world around within a fortnight.... 

What do you love most about what you do? 
Where to start. What's not to love about weaving in natural light, listening to 6Music. Seeing a design grow before my eyes and having the option to stray from the original design if it doesn't 'feel' right. Finding chairs that are destined to be firewood and giving them a new lease of life. And although it's early days, doing the job I love and managing to fit it almost seamlessly into family life. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Kaffe Facette or Jason Collingwood. Both, to whom I will turn if I'm ever in a rut. (not literally) 

Which local artist/maker do you most admire? 
I do love the Broadway 'collective'. (Ruth, Hannah, Steve, Stuart etc..) Not just for their talent and passion for their respective disciplines but also their family ethos. Ruth particularly has inspired me when it comes to combining creativity and motherhood. I'm also a huge fan of Ava&Bea. I love their totally 'on-trend' range and the impeccable finish on their products. I also love that they live next door-but-one to me and I can text my order for free delivery in minutes! 

Tell us your current loves
* Shop: On my 'to-do' list...I currently avoid shops 
* Restaurant / Caf√©: Also n my 'to-do' list. 
* Blog: This one! Oyster and Pearl. (Just lovely). GwenLove (going back to my yoof) 
* Magazine: I devour Vogue every time I go to the hairdressers and usually spend £40,000 on new shoes and bags in my head. 
* Designer / maker / artist: Gaudi, Conran, Ptolemy Mann, Margo Selby, Charles and Ray Eames and most of the other fabulous chair designers of the 20th Century. 

If you were stranded in the wilds somewhere, what item would you need with you the most? 
My inflatable self-flying helicopter. I keep it under the pushchair in case of such emergencies. The wild, stranded and DivaWeaver do not mix.....

Wow, Angie, we LOVE the colour you use.  So, so gorgeous!  Thank you for such a lovely interview. If you have fallen for Angie's chairs, you can find them for sale in our Paper Scissors Stone SUMMER shop.

Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
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Sun:  11am - 5pm

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