When her mum bought her a toy loom when she was a child, Christabel Balfour was instantly hooked. Inspired by landscapes and our endless desire to travel, Christy manifests these feelings in her artwork and woven products, using pattern and repetition to create exquisite woven sculptures.
After studying Fine Art and being inspired by Magdalena Abakanowicz and Eva Hesse, Christy wanted to create woven sculpture that would be accessible to the masses; AND easier to sell! Working with a homewares designer after her graduation, Christy began tapestry weaving in her spare time, leaving her job in April 2015 to focus on her own work and dream of sharing it with the world.
“To begin with I was essentially an artist selling the things I made but over time I became more design-focused and business-like. I primarily work to commission, whether its handwoven rugs or wall-hangings, or even designing papercut wedding invitations,” says Christy Balfour.
Making all her designs by hand in her South East London studio, Christy is primarily inspired by landscapes and the intention of conveying a feeling through the use of pattern and repetition. In her latest collection, the feeling of travelling, walking and crossing a landscape has been Christy’s theme. Using as much undyed, vintage, natural sheep fleece as possible, the result are beautiful, visually soothing designs that catch your eye in terms of colour, texture and pattern.
“My work right now is concerned with that feeling of travelling and crossing a distance. I think of my designs as being almost like maps; each shape marks a place on the road. The repetitive pattern mimics the repetitive nature of walking, but also of weaving- moving forward, one row of weft at a time,” says Christy.
Currently working mostly on bespoke, commissioned projects, Christy also sells her designs through her website and The Maker Place, and hosts various workshops with Bezalel Workshops (all info can be found on her website, here). This month, Christy has also released a new collection of papercuts which are beautifully simplistic pieces of art that will instantly add interest to any bare wall. Also with a small-scale tapestries range on the way and a brand new collection, Christy has it all going on, so be sure to keep checking back to her website for undeniably exquisite woven goods for your home!
“My favourite rug so far is probably the Thanet Rug … when I was weaving this pattern I didn’t think much of it, but once I took it off the loom I fell in love! It’s just the right balance of simplicity and detail”.
Thanks to Christy for sharing her work with Dine With Design, and we cannot wait to see more natural, woven wonders from Christy in the near future! We will be sharing them on the DWD Instagram account, so be sure to follow us here!