About Debby Kirby
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" I hand dye all my silks, ensuring that each woven piece is fresh and original. The studio is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of vibrant colour and design."
Studio: Walford Mill Crafts
I was born in Poole and studied at West Surrey College of Art & Design gaining BA in Woven Textiles in 1983. I am the resident silk weaver at Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, and have over thirty years of textile knowledge and expertise. Visitors to my studio workshop can watch as I weave my distinctive colourful fine silk scarves, accessories and interior accents, wall-hangings and framed woven pictures.
I hand dye all my silks, ensuring that each woven piece is fresh and original. The studio is an
ever-changing kaleidoscope of vibrant colour and design. Italian, and New York landscapes and seascapes of my home county of Dorset all inspire me to create innovative designs. A love of architecture and proportion is apparent in many of the scarf designs.
A recent trip to Northumberland led to a new range of scarves based on the atmospheric coastline in tones of creams, sands, silvers and blue. I enjoy collaborating with other makers and for several years worked with calligrapher, Liz Farquharson, developing a method of weaving paper through the silks. This led to an extensive touring exhibition, Woven Words supported by South West Arts and other funding bodies.
Recently I have worked with Alison C. Board. This new body of work combines Alison’s experimental mixed media paintings with my love of colour and pattern. Many of these pieces are mounted and framed or transformed into wall-hangings. I also been work in conjunction with my husband Jez Randell. Jez documents his travels around the Dorset countryside with his camera aiming to capture a ‘moment-in-time’. Chosen images are then carefully cut into varying sizes of paper strips and woven through silk warps that enhance and emphasise the image. Dying the silks is done in a painterly way, the threads changing colours many times over the image.
I am a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and in 2001 won a bursary from the Theo Moorman Weavers Trust to develop my silk and paper weaving technique. The sound of my Harris Countermarch loom is often described as the ‘heart-beat of the Mill’.