Review: Anni Albers On Weaving

A 52 yr old book by an iconic weaver has been republished – I haven’t yet got a copy, but at least I have a review for those weavers and artists who might be interested!
“Albers began her artistic journey by enrolling in the Bauhaus as a painter, but she was pressured by administrators to focus on the more “womanly” activity of weaving.”
Published on Friday, October 27, 2017 – by the American Craft Council
Anni Albers Black Mountain
Anni Albers in her weaving studio at Black Mountain College in 1937.

Courtesy of the Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Few craft books have had as inauspicious a start as On Weaving, by Anni Albers. When she was offered the opportunity to write an essay on handweaving for the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1963, Albers (1899 – 1994) was well-established globally as an innovative weaver who had transformed the ancient craft into modern textile art. That commission planted the seed for her book, which was published in 1965, but its arrival disappointed many craft-minded readers, who were frustrated that only a handful of weavings were illustrated in color. Over one hundred weavings, examples of masterworks ranging from the ancient Peruvian to Albers’ own, were reproduced in dull monochrome.

A new expanded edition, released earlier this month by Princeton University Press, replaces the earlier version’s 112 black-and-white plates with radiant color weaving reproductions. That alone is a reason to rejoice. The afterword by Nicholas Fox Weber, a writer and essayist who runs the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, is another illuminating addition. And if craft is a means of exploring the world for you, this travel guide beckons.

Even with its photographic shortcomings, the original On Weaving found an appreciative audience not only among crafters, but also among lovers of modernism. Albers began her artistic journey by enrolling in the Bauhaus as a painter, but she was pressured by administrators to focus on the more “womanly” activity of weaving. The book offers Albers’ memory of moving past the initial frustration:

In my case it was the threads that caught me really against my will. To work with threads seemed sissy to me. I wanted something to be conquered. But circumstances held me to threads and they won me over. I learned to listen to them and to speak their language. I learned the process of handling them.

This excerpt is marked by recollection, but the book is much more than just an artist’s memoir. On Weaving presents a taste of an artful retelling of a life, but it also reads on occasion like an encyclopedia article – appropriately, given its origins – and serves as a tribute to the ancient Peruvian weaving tradition that most inspired Albers. In all, On Weaving presents Albers as a daredevil artist, experimenter, and educator, often in tandem with her renowned husband Josef, himself a painter and educator. The preface makes clear that Albers considered her life to be first and foremost a creative provocation, a meandering adventure interlacing warp and weft, hands and mind. Albers writes, “Though I am dealing in this book with long-established facts and processes, still, in exploring them, I feel on new ground…Thus tangential subjects come into view. The thoughts, however, can, I believe, be traced back to the event of a thread.”

The fact that Albers frames a thread as a happening, a process-initiator instead of solely material, signals that this 52-year-old book is as fresh and vital as ever. It reminds us that craft materials matter as more than raw objects. From Albers’ perspective, materials are alive and on the move, speaking to us, demanding attention. Threads can take us anywhere.

Garment Labels for your Handmade Craft items



I have just spent a couple of hours putting the 9 designs of these machine embroidered iron-on labels into one listing  here on etsy and I thought I might as well put them up here so that you know they are available!  They are also listed on my new retail website here on JULZ CRAFT STORE .

You can use them for dressmaking, knitted garments and any other handmade item – if adding a name or writing to them, please remember to use a permanent marker pen, as ordinary pens will smudge in the wash.  If you don’t want to iron them on your carefully made item, you can sew them on – or even tack them onto a wooden object!

There are four labels in each pack – which sells for £3.99 – and available to buyers in the UK and Worldwide.

If you are buying them from JULZ CRAFT STORE – do remember to use the coupon code – which is on the right hand information area on this blog, so that you get your 5% discount.  Yes I know its not much, but if you are on my mailing list, I have sent you a coupon for 10% off, and once you have put in a order to my new website, you will get a coupon code for 10% off your next order!

Have Fun!

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A Fascinating Recycling Weaving Project from Australia


This is one of those posts that is so odd – and slightly confusing – that I just had to copy it here!

Indigenous artists weave their magic with Spanish designer for NGV Triennial display

A Spanish designer’s collaboration with Indigenous artists in a remote Top End community has produced an unlikely and beautiful cross-cultural artwork on display at the NGV Triennial.

The piece, which combines ancient Indigenous weaving techniques with recycled materials of the modern world, is the work of Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and Yolngu weavers from Bula’bula Arts in Ramingining.  (I had to look it up!)

Ramingining is an Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, Australia, 560 km east of Darwin. It is on the edge of the Arafura Swamp in Arnhem Land. The population is approximately 800 people, though this fluctuates and there is a significant housing shortage.More at Wikipedia

“I basically do product design, but quite recently I have been combining this way of doing it with craft, and mainly weaving,” Mr Catalán de Ocón told ABC Radio Darwin‘s Liz Trevaskis from his studio in Barcelona.

With his PET Lamp project, Mr Catalán de Ocón travelled to five art centres in as many continents, using recycled bottles and local weaving techniques to create brightly coloured lamp shades.

But learning about the kinship systems in the East Arnhem Land community prompted him to break with tradition.

Where previous collaborations had produced thousands of lamp shades, this one produced just two woven together by eight local women using native plant materials and ancient techniques.

The resulting works are large, irregularly shaped weavings in luminous, earthen tones, woven together according to the women’s relationships to one another.

Project born from mission to creatively recycle

In 2011, Mr Catalán de Ocón was travelling through Colombia and became involved in an art project about rising levels of plastic waste in the Amazon River.

“They were interested in having my perspective as a product designer, and I thought about instead of recycling, reusing, because there was no infrastructure in those areas for recycling, it was about turning the object into something else,” he said.

The object in question was a PET bottle, which Mr Catalán de Ocón noted had a short shelf life compared to the time it took to decompose.

While he could not single-handedly fix the problem of plastic waste, he thought he could use intelligent product design to make a statement about it.

Drawing inspiration from the shape of a Japanese tea whisk, Mr Catalán de Ocón recognised a similarity between certain looms and the shape of a plastic bottle that had been cut to pieces.

“You have a knot, which is the screw top, and then you have the body of the bottle, which you can cut in strips, and that becomes like a loom you can weave onto,” he said.

Taking this logic a step further, the product designer realised the issue of mounting plastic waste and the art of weaving were both somewhat universal.

There are few crafts, he said, as ancient or widely practiced as textile weaving.

“So we turned it from a container into a lamp through the use of local craft, which was very strong in Colombia,” he said.

“It’s two realities which can mix together.”

He travelled from Colombia to Chile, Ethiopia and Japan, weaving lamp shades with disfigured plastic bottles and local designs.

In 2016, after being commissioned by the NGV to bring the project to Australia, he decided the project’s next location would be Ramingining.

A cross-cultural experience

Over six weeks, Mr Catalán de Ocón became embedded in the remote community, consulting and collaborating through long working days with the Bula’bula artists.

He likened the experience of living in the remote community (about three days’ drive from Darwin) to travelling back in time.

“Little by little, we managed to get into that world.

“We know we only really arrived in the very surface of it, but you realise how deep it is and how different it is — the way of understanding the land, the way of understanding life and time.”

While the designer had produced about 15,000 lamps in previous workshops, Mr Catalán de Ocón decided this time they would work towards just two.

“They were telling us their stories, we were going out to the bush to pick up the materials, doing the whole process so we could spend a lot of time together,” he said.

“At a certain point, each weaver did an individual piece and we started joining them together according to family links and family bonds with the weavers which were doing the lamps.”

One of the pieces is now on display at the NGV Triennial.

The other hangs in the studio in Barcelona where Mr Catalán de Ocón fields calls from weaver Lynette Birriran every couple of days — an ongoing touchstone between their two very different worlds.

“She tells us what is happening in Ramingining, what the weather is like, how are things going on,” the designer said.

“We tell them how is the lamp, if it’s showing here or there.

“She enjoys it a lot — we send pictures and it’s quite an experience.” is now live! Go see!


This website, with it’s accompanying blog, is NOW LIVE!

This post is a copy of the one I wrote on the new website.  It looks prettier there!

So, it’s only fitting that I write this post from, and copy it over to my other blog –

jcsgrid_For logo

This is your first order Coupon Code


Please copy and paste it into your order on the Shopping Cart Page – if you don’t add the code exactly as it is, it won’t work!

It really has been an experience, setting up a new website, without knowing what I was doing – both technically, and with the constant question – will anyone actually buy from it!  I’ll find out the answer to the question very soon – smile.

The Good Stuff!

There are over 100 items for you to choose from, and lots of GIFT IDEAS.  I hope you will be able to find something useful that you like.  Go See at JULZ CRAFT STORE.

There are also a few oddities:-

please read this as it will save you some confusion!

When you come to fill in your address, either on the Shopping Cart page, or in the ‘My Account’ Page – for some reason it doesn’t give you a scroll down list of Countries to pick from.  Please start typing the country, and it should autofill – if it doesn’t, just enter the full wording.

Please note that for the UK, Great Britain or whatever you would normally use, you have to start typing United Kingdom, as it won’t accept any of the other names.

The same goes for USA – start typing United States of America – it should autofill before you get all the way thro’!

There is nothing I can do about it, and as the Shopping Cart Page is a standard fixed page, I can’t edit it to tell you to ‘Start Typing’!  I had trouble with this feature myself, and so have the friends I have asked to test the site! 

Also, there is no “Continue Shopping” prompt – but don’t worry, you can add as many items to your order without visiting the shopping cart each time!


Trying to help you find what you are looking for –

Because there are so many listings, it’s difficult to know how to make it easy for you to find them,  especially when you don’t know what I stock!  I have sorted them into a growing number of  CATEGORIES. 

In fact, many of the listings fit into several categories, and so they may seem to have got duplicated.  I have given you suggestions on how to find what you are looking for on THE STORE page.  If in doubt – you can always get in touch with me by clicking on the TALK TO ME page.

Trying to give you the best postage rates –

As I wrote in my previous blog post – copied here from – I have racked my brains to find a simple AND fair  way to charge for postage/shipping.

I have settled on Flat Rates for all 4 shipping zones – UK – Europe – and Royal Mail’s International Zones 1 & 2.

I have had to set them to cover postage on small parcels, so in some cases, the postage will be more than you should pay, and in others it will be less – and I will make a loss!

I don’t want to be unfair – so if you reckon that your order could fit into a large envelope, please contact me BEFORE you pay for your order.

I should be able to reduce your final total on the order, as long as you tell me your name, and country, before the order is confirmed.  If not, and you have already paid, if you let me know, I will refund you the over postage through Paypal.

Similarly, I’m sorry to say, that if your order happens to be very bulky or very heavy, and be far more expensive to post that the Flat Rate, I may contact you and ask if you are prepared to pay a little extra for the postage.

However, most of the time, you will probably find that the Flat Rate is near enough to the actual cost of the postage, or even less than it should be, and I won’t bother contacting you about it!

If you have any problems using the Site

please TALK TO ME!   




I look forward to hearing from you!

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SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave will be live on 28 February


This is a copy of the email – newz from julz – that I sent out yesterday to the several hundred people on my mailing list.

If you’d like to register for the

10% off all orders coupon

and email updates on my mailing list, please see the instructions below


After a really long build up – it’s taken me ages to put it together – my new website
will be up & running by 28 February – a year after the landslip!
as you are already on my mailing list, I will be sending you a coupon code for
10% off all orders to celebrate!
Anyone who isn’t already on my mailing list will get a chance to register before 28 February.
So if you know anyone who’d like to get the 10% off offer – let them know!
They can register thro my blog –
by filling in the questionnaire HERE
If they keep an eye on the blog ( they will find a coupon code for

5% off all orders

when I finally take live.
I look forward to seeing you there!
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Hmm – some of the spacing I put into this post hasn’t worked – sorry about that – it makes it more difficult to read! – a quick update…


blackshopcardFor those of you who seem to be checking this blog out on a regular basis, to see when the new website will be live – I can only apologise!

Well, I did say it would take some time to get THE STORE up and running!  And its certainly taking a lot of time!  I never realised it was going to be so complicated, and as I am not a ‘techie’, its been a slow learning curve.

I just thought I could follow the instructions and then it would take some time to enter the 100+ listings for the stock I have in my living room!  However – its not quite that easy, and it turns out that I have been spoilt by the large selling sites that I have been using up to now.

Ebay and Etsy have a very comprehensive system for costing reasonably accurate postal rates – or shipping costs – as others call them, and I thought I could do better than them!


It turns out to be a very complicated matter, because there are 4 shipping zones to cover, all of which have different tariffs for weight and size, and even if I put in the weight and dimensions of each item, it still wouldn’t give me an accurate price per parcel!  I have done a lot of research on this, even spoken to Royal Mail themselves – and nowhere in their repertoire is there any help for websites to set up their pricing system.  The Business Section, which will happily link in with ebay to offer you cheaper postage – had never heard of a ‘plug-in’ for small businesses, and were utterly unhelpful!

When I contacted various other UK businesses and asked them how they had sorted out the problem, most of them said, they didn’t know, because they had employed a specialist to do their website – I’D NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED DOING THAT!

Having bought from various sites over the years, it seemed the best compromise would be to set flat rates for each shipping zone for the moment, and I even had trouble working out how to do that!  There are some +ve’s and -ve’s about using flat rates, and it would certainly put some of you off if I charged you parcel rate for an item that can be posted in letter form – so – head’s up for my readers – if you contact me before you put in your order for a small, flat item – like a badge or small signs etc – I will agree to refund you the extra postage that the system will charge – because I can’t find a way to be able to offer TWO FLAT RATES at the moment, and nor can the ‘Happiness Engineers’ at WordPress!

iuI aim to post WORLDWIDE, on the same basis, until I can come up with a better solution!

That said – there are a few more things I need to iron out before – julz craft supplies – THE STORE – will go live – but it shouldn’t take too long now – cross fingers!

I hope some of you will come and visit when it does!

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