Meet The Makers: WIOUX

Posted by Drake General Store, March 12, 2015

Currently based out of Ottawa, Allyson graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. It wasn’t until the end of her studies that she started to find her focus drifting towards 3-dimensionality in particular, so she took her nimble fingers and the lap loom her sister got her for Christmas, and wove her way right onto Etsy. The rest is history.

Here she talks to us about the time and patience that goes into creating a successful weave; how she came to appreciate the textual elements of the art in the first place; and why in life, you shouldn’t always listen to your teachers. Meet Allyson, the creator behind WIOUX.

DGS: First thing’s first, what does WIOUX stand for? Is it an acronym for something?

AR: WIOUX was chosen initially as my Etsy shop name. I wanted something that, to me, was related to weaving without it being obvious. It's not an acronym, but sort of a “play on words”. WIOUX is pronounced "we-you", which came from something along the lines of "weaving for you".

WIOUX Wall Hanging 2

WIOUX Pastel Handwoven Wall Hanging, $200

DGS: You graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Do you have an era of art that you appreciate most?

AR: That's a tough question for me! I think I’ve always been most interested in Modern and Contemporary art, especially within my studies. Being that they are so recent (with some movements still ongoing), I find them the most applicable to my present day aesthetic taste.

DGS: How did you get into weaving? Was this something that was introduced to you in your studies?

AR: I became interested in weaving as early as November of 2013. I stumbled upon the work of MIMI JUNG of BROOK&LYN studio, and fell in love with the textural elements in her weaves. I was satisfied admiring from afar, but then, that Christmas my sister gave me a small lap loom, and I began to appreciate the craft in a completely different way. There is so much time and patience involved in producing a successful end result. If you don't have a successful design, the weave could be executed perfectly in technique and yet still be a failure! I was just experimenting for fun, when I decided to create a 4-weaving piece for a final drawing assignment in my final year of school. I know what you're thinking; a weaving is not a drawing. My instructor felt the same way and, well, my critique was not exactly positive (ha ha!). But my peers at school expressed an interest in owning one of my weavings, and after that I decided to open an Etsy shop and “have a go” at creating weaves for other weave lovers out the

WIOUX Wall Hanging

WIOUX Handwoven Wall Hanging, $200

DGS: What do you reference for inspiration?

AR: Everything! Lately I’ve been trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I'm currently focusing on producing "mini" weavings, as they allow me a quick end-result, which I can learn from. I don't necessarily “seek out” weave inspiration, I typically stick to colour schemes that appeal to my own tastes. As for the design, I may see a line somewhere and like the curve, and then I’ll try to reproduce it in a weaving. I actually try to stay away from others' work online when creating something new. I appreciate the value of being an active weaver in the weaving community, and while I know there is nothing new under the sun, I try to limit the chances of being influenced by someone else's weaving.

DGS: You primarily work with wool, cotton, silk and synthetic yarns. Where do you find the materials for your weaves? Do you source them from somewhere in particular? Or are you constantly finding and collecting textiles as you go along?

AR: I source most of my materials from local yarn shops, and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I find vintage yarns at thrift stores.

DGS: Currently, what are you listening to while you "work"?

AR: I actually don't listen to music a whole lot when I weave! I typically prefer having Netflix playing off to the side (which has allowed me to blast through nine seasons of Friends in under a week).

DGS: What do you enjoy doing when not creating?

AR: I’m still in hibernation mode, so I spend most of my nights and otherwise free time weaving, because I like seeing progress. I wish I had more free time to weave! I'm relatively new to Ottawa, and I want to be more active in the arts community here, but I’m finding it tricky with the time of year. I'll be less of a recluse once the warmer weather sticks, and then I can really get to know what this city has to offer.

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