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People


Botelho, plus two collections for Osborne & Little. “There was a time I was concerned about losing my handwriting. Is it OK to do stripes when I have always been known for shapes? But actually, if you are being authentic and your development and processes are there, the design ends up having your look and signature.” As well as the commercial pieces, Selby


produces handwoven artworks in her Whitstable studio using a technique called Lampas. Originally developed in the 17th century to weave decorative brocade fabrics, Selby uses it to create abstract colour studies with a modernist feel. “My love of colour was always very instinctive,” she says. “I remember colouring in books when I was a kid and really considering each crayon choice – was it the exact right yellow for that particular picture? I felt a deep satisfaction and pleasure from it.” Following the success of exhibitions such as Anni Albers at Tate Modern earlier this year, weaving is enjoying renewed interest – but Selby acknowledges woven artwork is still not viewed in the same way as paintings or


sculpture. “It is a hot subject at the moment, which is great for me, but it is definitely harder for people to understand,” she says. “Textiles are a perishable item – they can be eaten and wear away. When people are investing in art they want it to last.” Selby moved from London to Whitstable in


2012 primarily to focus on her lifestyle. But far from scaling back, her business has grown fourfold and she now employs seven members of staff, including five weavers. “I think the success has come because I am weaving more, being more authentic, doing what I really want to do and getting back to my roots - and also because I am happy. Whitstable is a lovely place to live.” Looking forward, Selby hopes to be taken


more seriously as an artist and get chances to produce larger textile installations. “It is so important to never stay still and never be satisfied with what you have done,” she says. “You can always make it more interesting – add more depth, see where that journey can go creatively.” But she is also committed to the commercial side of her business. “There is nothing more exciting than going into a


factory and seeing a roll of fabric coming off the looms, knowing that my designs will be accessible to a wider audience. I am very proud of the artworks, but they are exclusive – so much time goes into them they have to command a certain price point, and that narrows the bracket of who can actually enjoy them. I love industrial design, I love the idea that you have art feeding into industry – that was what the Bauhaus movement was all about, getting real artists to design products for industry. Celebrating that industry in a creative way and I think that is inherently part of what I do.”


Weaving workshops


If you are inspired to try weaving for yourself, Margo Selby runs creative weaving workshops from her Whitstable studio. The two-day workshop is suitable for all levels - from complete beginners to advanced weavers wishing to explore a fresh approach to their work. margoselby.com


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