Katharine Swailes creates handwoven tapestry with a weftfaced weave, often with a supplementary weft drawn over the surface. Each piece is individually produced on traditional tapestry looms both static and roll on with a capacity to weave up to 2.4m in width. Swailes is an experienced commission weaver and works are held in national and international collections. The weaving materials are good quality, created for a diverse use in textiles. Cotton, linen, wool and gilt, are the main materials used.
Swailes works are minimal in materials and image, creating a quiet presence, described by the path of the weaving. She takes a conceptual investigation of the weaving process to create a weftfaced woven ground and to weave a supplementary weft over the surface, using a looping sequence and a cross sequence of embellishments. The cross sequence has an appearance of glyphs and Swailes has deliberately kept the ambiguity of its production with a humorous nod toward needlepoint. The random printed pattern illustrates the path the weaving takes. The looping sequence symbolise the consistent undulating unbroken path of the weaver.