Bernie Witchalls
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Portfolios

Yarns

Spinning defines me and it is what I do to relax and be happy. My favourite fibre to spin is Silk. I love the lustre of the fibre and how dying the fibres enhances that lustre. I let the fibre dicate the thickness of the finished yarn. Occasionally you will find small slubs in my yarns, I prefer to leave these in as I think this brings an element of texture and interest to the yarn.

I use the time spinning to be meditative, losing myself as the rich, colourful fibres slip through my hands to create something diffent each time. My yarns take many joyful hours to create and I love that in turn someone else will use to my yarn to create something special.

Hand-painted Silk Scarves

I hand paint Silk Scarves in an abstract pattern using steam fix dyes and use salt or sugar techniques to create textured patterns. Each scarf I create will be individual even if I use similar colours. Once the dyes have dried onto the silk, the scarf will be steamed to set the dyes. The excess dye is washed out and the scarf is ironed.

Hand-painted Silk Ties

I hand-paint Silk Ties / Bow Ties in an abstract pattern using steam fix dyes and use salt or sugar techniques to create textured patterns. Each tie I create will be individual even if I use similar colours. Once the dyes have dried onto the silk, the tie will be steamed to set the dyes. The excess dye is washed out and the tie is ironed.

Silk Jewellery

Handmade Silk necklaces made from strands of hand dyed silk cords and strands of Miyuki Japanese beads. I have made the multi-strand necklaces so that they can either be wore loose with the strands separate or twisted to make a choker style necklace.

Paintings on Silk

Some years ago, to compliment my silk spinning, I undertook a City and Guilds qualification in Silk Painting to explore new ways of working with silk. 

Once the dyes have dried onto the silk, the painting is treated in the same way as my silk scarves and ties, by being steamed to set the silk dyes and washed to take away excess dye before being ready to frame, unlike a coventional painting that is complete once the paint has dried.

My Events

Spinning Demonstration, Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival
8 Oct 2017 -
13:30 to 17:00
Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival, Spinning Demonstration by Rampton Spinners
Spinning Demonstration, Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival
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Spinning Demonstration, Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival
7 Oct 2017 -
11:30 to 17:00
Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival, Spinning Demonstration by Rampton Spinners
Spinning Demonstration, Ely Cathedral Harvest Festival
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July Open Studios

Cambridge Open Studios 2018
Cambridge Open Studios 2018
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Silk spinning, weaving, painting, tapestry, textiles
I am a hand spinner specialising in spinning silk yarns and creating beautifully handpainted silk items.

I am a silk spinner living in the UK. I have been spinning silk for over 25 years and am a member of the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers. I take my inspiration from nature's amazing palette of colours and the fenland landscape where I live and go for walks. My studio is my home where I spin, weave, dye and paint landscapes on silk, usually listening to a wide range of music from classical to rock and the family pet keeping me company.

Spinning silk in particular defines me. It makes me joyful, peaceful and relaxed. I like to think that my celtic roots called to me to spin and my wheel goes with me most places. If I cycle to visit friends my wheel goes in my bike basket and it even goes on holiday with me!

If you are interested in seeing more of my work / projects in progress, I reguarly post updates to Instagram - as thesilkspinner or find me using the #silkspinner hash tag.