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MEET: Holly Berry by Bebe Bradley of Menina Feliz


The BBC series of Mastercrafts, hosted by Monty Don, celebrated the traditional crafts that built our nation and heritage, ranging from blacksmithing to thatching. Each episode introduced three hopefuls passionate about craft, who were put through their paces by the UK’s leading practitioners.


One episode concentrated on the art of handloom weaving, where fashion


ex-City business analyst,


designer, Holly Berry, Tref


Davies and craft writer, Momtaz Begum-Hossain, headed to the Sussex countryside to embark on an intensive introduction to the world of the handloom weaver.


The trainees grappled winding warps, setting


with looms,


headles and handling shuttles, 6 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


under the watchful eye of mentor Margo Selby, the renowned hand weaver and one of the few remaining artisans in the UK making a career from this most complicated craft.


Finally, having put all they had learnt into practice, they were asked to design and weave three- metre lengths of fabric,


to be


judged by Michelle Bowen from the Arts Council and Angela Swan from the Worshipful Company of Weavers.


UK Handmade caught up with fashion designer Holly Berry, to find out how the Mastercrafts experience had changed her and her business. Having worked in the fashion industry for 5 years specialising in sustainable design,


Holly is now setting up her own label from her South London studio with partner and fellow designer Osian Batyka-Williams.


We asked Holly to tell us about what she does and how she started: I am a new generation of weaver, celebrating


slow textiles, hand


making and traditional UK manufacture. I’ve always been a maker of things, that’s how I grew up; imagining and making. I then studied fashion and started designing garments, one off pieces and textiles, always with a focus on the materiality and romanticism (emotional connection) of the piece. I started weaving after I took part in the BBC Mastercrafts programme in 2009.


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