About


I weave poetic pieces, box framed for wall display.

©Philip King Photography

I have loved making, touching, looking at textiles all my life and used to design and make quite a lot of my own clothes right until my late 20s. I had a very simple loom I experimented with for a year or so after my parents brought back a small Chimayo weaving from New Mexico when I was 8. I can still picture the piece now, decades later.

My renewed interest in weaving got kick-started by a taster course with weaver and textile designer Margo Selby in London a few years ago. I have been working on an 8-shaft loom since, and a second table loom with 16 shafts was added in 2017. Discovering Sheila Hicks’ wonderful woven ‘minimes’ set me free to sketch and paint with yarn. Essentially self-taught and with the work of another favourite artist, Paul Klee, often at the back of my head, I am producing small evocative woven panels for wall display. I call them ‘weavescapes’, as in ‘mindscapes’, ‘soundscapes’, ‘landscapes’ and sell them mounted in beautiful, handmade wooden box frames.

I take great pleasure in experimentation particularly with colour. And the mathematical and construction aspects of weaving hugely appeal to the logical part of myself. Quite pre-occupied with movement in my pieces, I also enjoy the rhythmic, almost musical nature of themes and patterns, and find weaving to be a highly contemplative activity as it requires tremendous concentration. Some of the more unusual yarns I occasionally use are produced in Japan which has a hugely sophisticated textile culture. I understand that the Japanese do not distinguish between craft and art, and it is this territory my pieces aim to inhabit.


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Profile of Julia Engelhardt by Esther Lafferty, first published in The Oxford Times: Oxfordshire Limited Edition magazine May 2018