I found myself in a similar situation to many other makers: my planned selling opportunities and teaching work were cancelled. To overcome the initial and fortunately brief slump I experienced as a result, I adopted the methods I had used when establishing my practice in 2014. I basically said yes to every offer of help and opportunity that came my way. This included selling at local online markets, participating in the artist support pledge, meditation (those who know me will know that this is uncharacteristic), free coaching, listening to LOTS of informative and inspiring podcasts and online training. This re-set my head for the year and got the ball rolling.
Once I got over the discomfort of selling luxury woven textiles online during a global pandemic, I discovered that the marketplace was surprisingly buoyant. Strong sales meant that I was quickly in a position to focus on a new woven blanket project that had been on the back burner. As I took a leap into new territory during a time of uncertainty, I experienced a sense of responsibility as an artist to direct the conversation in a more positive way. I knew that my new project had to have an element of optimism, despite the awful events playing out on the news channels and in our lives.
From the end of February I’d been relocating yarn and sampling looms from my Bristol studio to our kitchen in preparation for a potential lockdown, so I could be in a good position to support our three children whilst balancing my work. Rather like when I started in business. I think the unexpected opportunity to change my priorities has been good and, as always, the time spent weaving was a positive part of my day.