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April Showers Bring May Flowers

Welcome back to the OWS community update! This month we are looking back at how we were sowing the seeds in April, for what is to come in May!


A look back at April...

April was a quiet month on the communication front as we were busy getting together lots of ideas that we are wanting to shout about in May and preparing for our first London event in over 2 years! More on that shortly...

International Red Cross logoColourful Kilcarra tweed photographed at an angle in yarn cakes Ukrainian Flag 

While we weren't in touch as often, we did have a successful Yarn Sale where you lovely people helped support Ukrainian refugees with your 10% donation to the International Red Cross. We have sent off that donation and you can feel all warm and fuzzy for your contribution and helping those in need. THANK YOU.

3 wool yarns stacked inside a clear package with The Oxford Weaving Studio sticker Wool roving twist with west coast title across the image Skein of super chunky yarn in duck egg colour with title written across the wool Kilcarra tweed yarn cake with lime colour title across the wool 4 cotton yarns stacked up inside clear packaging with The Oxford Weaving Studio sticker 

We also updated hundreds of images on our website to include better photography (with more to come!) and names of the colours on our yarn photos so you no longer have to search for the right one. How do you like them? Are they helpful? Send feedback to info@oxfordweavingstudio.com. 

A deep dive into our mission

With so much is happening around the world, prices are increasing and businesses are struggling to transition from a Covid-centric world to the new normal, the month of April was a month of reflection, where we have been taking stock of what direction we want to take The Oxford Weaving Studio. This has always been an organic process as needs changed (Covid!), but the mission to help people in our community to learn to weave, discover their weaving style and potential while delivering the resources they needed to succeed has always been the main focus.

Cass demonstrating how to weave a circular shape in a workshop

Whilst we have identified a number of ways we can do better (the list is long!), we have enlisted the help and support of another talented designer to add to our tiny team of 2 (me + Ellen, my PT studio assistant) to work on a PT basis, helping to move us forward in terms of the look, feel and design of our printed materials. This includes better instructions for our kits and clearer designs for our packaging that will enable us to roll out all those ideas that have been blocking up my brain for the last 18 months!

While this is in progress, we are also wanting to share more behind the scenes of what is going on in our studio, how we are trying to build our community and help support you in your journey. To do this, we will be ASKING FOR YOUR HELP. There are so many new members (yay!) with diverse needs (yay again!) and we want to be helping you in the ways that matter most. So, we will be asking for your feedback and working towards getting this more aligned in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Finally, I am looking for some accountability by writing this Blog Post and saying that I plan on showing up here on a more regular basis! Writing has never been my strength (too.many.words.to.write) and YouTube videos seemed far easier (until editing became a thing), but I want to try and keep you all in the loop! So, there will likely be a bit more of both going forward and if not, I’m hoping you’ll all remind me what I’ve put in writing! =)

An update on The Oxford Frame Loom

Last month some of you may have been hearing me hint on social media that I have some news to share about The Oxford Frame Loom. This past year I have continued to be on the lookout for a new supplier to help build my looms and after months of dedicating myself to researching manufacturers and speaking to just about everyone I know about how to move forward with the production of my looms, I may have found a wonderful woodworker to continue where I left off last June!

Cass sat weaving with The Oxford Frame Loom on the desk with a colourful cushion project work in progress

We have been working together to source the right material, tweak the design to get even more accuracy and we are working on building that first prototype. Although we haven't received one yet, we have been crunching the numbers and for full transparency, there will be a definite price increase. With the inflation of materials costs, the war in Ukraine and more accurate supplier pricing, the looms will now be priced more competitively.

For those of you early adopters, it seems you have been given the steal of century! But the good news for those of you new to The Oxford Frame Loom is that we will be running a pre-order when I am satisfied with the quality of craftsmanship. You will be getting the best price when I re-launch the loom! And all you must do is stay tuned to my emails as I always let my subscribers know first when the big news happens. =)

An appeal for help improving delivery of The Oxford Frame Loom

While those of you who already own The Oxford Frame Loom have videos to help you get started, my plans to develop this further is still a work in progress. And so please stay tuned as I will be asking for your help on how best to do this! This will be your opportunity to share your knowledge, ask questions and give feedback to help me to devise the best way to deliver a better product and the follow up help you need. Stay tuned!


...and a look ahead to May!


In May we have 2 events kicking off the month! We have been invited to participate in London Craft Week at the Maker's Market held at The Royal Exchange in London and we have joined forces with other Makespace residents to create a group exhibition for Oxfordshire Artweeks. While these two events are overlapping slightly, I will be bringing along all my beautiful handwoven designs and sharing more about all the products, workshops and courses I have for you to take part in.

 

Logo of the Maker's Market at The Royal Exchange      Logo of London Craft Week from 9 - 15th May 2022

London Craft Week @ The Royal Exchange, Maker’s Market, London

May 10th – 13th

11:00 – 18:00

8 established Makers/ Craftspeople have been invited to participate in this event, showcasing their work and the complexities of their chosen craft. Workshops are being held throughout the week (bookings essential), so there is still plenty of variety for you to come along and take part in or to browse and shop the work on display.

Image of a stone bunny showcasing the Artweeks event with details of Oxfordshire Artweeks 7th - 29th May with over 400 venues to visit & online art showcase

Oxfordshire Artweeks @ Makespace Oxford, Oxford

May 13th – 15th

11:00 – 17:00

6 of the makers & artists based at Makespace Oxford have come together to showcase their latest work and collections at this annual Oxfordshire event. With work available to purchase across textiles, ceramics, painting, print and drawing, there is much to see at this lively exhibit! Stop by my studio on the weekend and I’ll be there to show you the looms at work!

New workshops and products for May!

2 girls sitting next to each other while weaving in a workshop for the Textile Arts Club at The Oxford Weaving Studio   

We have also been promising you a new workshop for the Textile Arts Club for kids! We are trying to find a date for half term at the end of May, so stay tuned for when this workshop goes live. It'll be a fun one! =)

Finally, we have new yarns and packs to share with you... shhhhh! These unique yarns will be dropping some time mid-May as the web updates are happening this week... we are actually ahead of the game this time!

So if any or all of this sounds exciting, please make sure you are signed up for our newsletter so that you are the first to have advanced notice and when things go live!

Happy Weaving!
Cass