The Carolyn Rawlinson Memorial Stall recipient in 2018 was Izzy Middleton, also known as Wildflower Weaver.
Izzy originally channelled her creative energies into floristry before she discovered the ancient arts of weaving and spinning. Now, three years later, she has found her passion. Not only does Izzy have a love for weaving but, more importantly, for weaving with natural materials and plant fibres.
Izzy works in an environmentally conscious way, using sustainable sources such as nettles, peppermint and hemp. She follows the 'Slow Cloth Philosophy' and is part of the Green Cloth Collective, working with vegan fibres, recycling yarn from other garments and upcycling textiles that would otherwise end up in landfill.
"The Wildflower Weaver name comes from my previous job as a florist, from the inspiration for my current work and from my connection with wild nature," says Izzy. "Since I started weaving, I've discovered that there are strong family links as my paternal grandfather was a textile designer and my maternal great grandmother was one of the first women to weave georgette at a mill in Preston."
Nature is at the heart of every Wildflower Weaver creation and Izzy likes to experiment with a variety of different plants, dyes and fibres to bring the beauty of the Earth to life in her art. She sources local yarns for recycling and from slaughter-free flocks such as sheep in sanctuary, alpacas and wild silk and is continuing her research into a more 'compassionate cloth' ethic.
"I'm looking forward to meeting and talking to Woolfest visitors about this aspect of natural fibres," says Izzy, "and they can be certain that each of my pieces was hand made with positive intent in an ethical and sustainable way."