Hopipola Handwovens is the studio of handweaver and textile designer Kirsty Odds, based in Aberlady on the East Lothian coast. She creates fresh, contemporary pieces, predominantly for use in interiors, on traditional looms.
Through my childhood, I remember playing in and around my father’s weaving space, whether trampling on the treddles of his tapestry loom or idly turning his spinning wheel. However, my personal interest in weaving didn’t manifest until after I started carrying my own children in woven wrap slings. I loved connecting with my little ones in this way, but also became fascinated by the fabric we were wearing, how it was created and designed. This led me to weaving my own and ignited my love with the craft.
I decided to take my studies into weaving further and undertook a Diploma in Handweaving at the Handweavers Studio, London, graduating in 2019 with distinction.
The fundamentals of weaving, interlacing vertical with horizontal threads, are extremely simple and constrained, yet are a foundation for endless design possibilities that have been explored for thousands of years. Weaving’s interplay of mathematical patterns with colour and design are a beautiful confluence of my formal scientific background and artistic creativity.
I often love to use the rigidness of lines and blocks, with architectural inspiration, to create my designs, mixing in lightness and fun to create fresh contemporary pieces. The seasons and how they make me feel are often reflected in my work, whether influencing colours, textures or yarns.
Autumn in East Lothian is filled with the honking of the geese that arrive in droves (some 20,000) in September and October, stopping off at Aberlady bay during their migration. This, along with the chill in the air and apples falling from our trees, mean that I tend to hunker down in the studio, concentrate with weaving in wool and tend to work on designs for interiors.
Come Spring, the bright, light airiness that flourishes tends to inspire me to brighten my colour palette. I love to have fun with colour in my work and the new beginning associated with the season always encourage me to ‘experiment’.
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Photographs by @Annamoffatphotography