An artwork collaboration with Jacqui-May Wylie of The Copper Otter studio.
I met Jacqui-May over Instagram and immediately fell in love with her work and warm personality. I had an idea of joining yarn and Italian plaster together, and Jacqui-May’s excitement sealed the deal. Next thing, I was driving to Lisburn, halfway between Belfast and Lurgan, to meet her for coffee and to show the pliable plaster samples. A few months and trials later, interrupted by summer, we made On The Shores, our first collaboration bespoke artwork.
Jacqui-May Wylie is a self-taught Irish weaver from Co. Armagh. Jacqui's studio is nestled in the townland of Toberhewny, where she hand-weaves using the traditional skills that have formed such a rich part of Ireland's history. Jacqui works with a wide variety of ethically and locally sourced yarn and textiles: some are naturally hand dyed; others are from the cutting room floors in India where seamstresses gather scrap sari material, tear it into strips, dye it and tie it together. They then sell it as ribbon to generate extra income, giving them independence. Using such a wide variety of materials gives each of Jacqui's bespoke pieces a unique richness and an individual story.
This work was inspired by the dramatic shoreline of Northern Ireland, the perpetual dance of the sea, the wind and the hills and the beautiful harmony of these contrasting elements married together by the nature of the land. The woven part of the work has a strong pronounced texture, echoing the region’s hilly landscape that is saturated with warm colours ranging from intense burgundy to various shades of clay. The plastered part is a reference to the milky skies and misty sea.
On The Shores is made with high-quality pure wool yarn and Italian plasters on a pine wood base.
You can find Jacquie-May’s work on Instagram @thecopperotter.
Image copyright Tanya Vacarda @ Vacarda Design