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If you had the opportunity to learn a new craft, what would it be? Jewellery making! I own more than I ever let on to my husband and would love to work in something so different.


Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/makers? Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Art Nouveau, the Cubist movement, the painter Martin Brewster, ancient cave paintings like those in Lascaux and ancient calligraphy from China and the Orient. I try to never look at other weaver’s work as I think that, even subconsciously, there is a danger that I may then try to re- create their designs. I think it's really important to keep a strong sense of identity.


Is the "handmade" ethic important to you and why? I love a lot of contemporary craft that uses technology and feel that there is space for all of us, in 2011. I choose to use a loom that hasn't changed in centuries, resolutely low


51 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


tech and relish the challenges that such a piece of equipment throws at me! In 26 years, I have only spent about 40 minutes maintenance on the loom. It's not affected by power cuts....nothing major on it can ever break or wear out. I like to think that in years to come, when I retire, someone else will enjoy the loom as much as I have and will create their own living from it.


For more information please visit: www.debbykirby.co.uk www.walfordmillcrafts.co.uk


Images courtesy of Anna Morgan and Caroline Parrott


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