Exploring Swaziland

During the December holidays of 2014/2015 I went over to Swaziland for my experiential learning internship. I interned at a well established mohair studio: Coral Stephens Handweaving (www.coralstephens.com) that has been around since 1949. It is based in a rural village, Piggs Peak.

It was here that I was introduced to the loom and hand weaving techniques for the first time, as well as many other textile applications. The concept of weaving on a loom was the most exciting textile exploration concept, which I couldn’t wait to encounter.

As the days went I would spend hours– mixing fibers – from cotton to raffia, silk to mohair, trying out various combinations and creating beautiful textile surfaces. While noticing through the process that the easiest loom technique is a stripe formation.

I put together various sample pieces, which were then manufactured into children’s blankets and shawls. The pictures below show the connections I had with the local weavers.. It was a friendly environment to work in and were delighted to teach me there traditional skills on the loom.

It too was a great turning point in my textile vision – as I noticed how much time and effort is put into creating beautiful handmade creations.  A review on my internship from Murrae Stephens (Coral Stephens owner) is highlighted in the image below.

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