About Chrissie Freeth
As an archaeologist I’ve been interested in historical textiles for twenty years and first learned to weave on a warp-weighted loom as an undergraduate. I now work on a vintage four-shaft counterbalanced floor loom and enjoy the technical demands of weaving as well as the creative process and am fascinated by its legacy. I am heavily influenced by the muted colours and strong textures of the Yorkshire landscape, its industrial heritage, archaeological and historical textiles, and the work of the early twentieth-century weavers who pioneered the resurgence of handloom weaving. I use natural fibres, mostly wool and silk. Tapestry weaving has become an increasingly important part of my practice. Whilst I love the act of weaving cloth and exploring things through form, texture, pattern and colour, I also value the ability to tell a story which tapestry provides. I work on an 8ft loom constructed from builders' scaffolding and on a vintage treadle-operated upright loom. I work with around 8 warps per inch, producing a fine woven tapestry. I use a cotton yarn for my warp and a woollen yarn for my weft, all of which is hand-dyed. I generally work to a large scale, and each project takes months to complete. I am inspired by the mythological, local stories, landscapes and my family's history and archive. I am also a hand dyer and hand spinner and I am committed to the promotion and preservation of traditional textile crafts and exploring them as a contemporary art form. For four months during 2014 I was Artist in Residence for the National Trust, based at East Riddlesden Hall, weaving a tapestry inspired by the house. I am also a features writer for UK Handmade and I am the weaving Features Editor for the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I am a member of the British Tapestry Group and previously sat on the advisory board for Stroud International Textiles. I'm also one of a team of admins for Craft Soup, a large and lively Facebook group which seeks to support and connect Yorkshire based designer/makers. I am also a trustee of the Heritage Crafts Association and help look after the monthly newsletter. I live and work in Saltaire in Yorkshire, once a model village to house the workers of a colossal textile mill and now a thriving creative community and World Heritage Site.
Maides Coign tapestry in progress at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire