Meet the artist – Jacob Monk
Jacob Monk portrait

 Meet the Artist: Jacob Monk

BA (Hons) Textile Design, Central Saint Martins, 2016

Jacob Monk is a freelance textile artist and designer. In 2016, his graduation collection led to him receiving a scholarship from the Worshipful Company of Weavers. He has since continued to create and exhibit his textiles internationally, also gaining recognition from the Woolmark Company for his use of wool.

What was the inspiration behind the pieces in not just a shop?

This collection was inspired by the technique ikat. The design is created in the warp yarns through binding and dyeing before being wound onto the loom and woven. This is a technique used all around the world but is very popular in Asia, and is used to create beautiful, very traditional patterns. I wanted to take this old technique and try to create something fresh and contemporary with it. This with the exploration of different colour combinations and composition is how the pieces in not just a shop were formed.

Who has influenced your work the most?

I am often influenced by other weavers and anyone using a lot of colour in their work. Ptolemy Mann, Mary Restieaux, Wallace Sewell and Margo Selby to name a few.

How did you make the pieces in not just a shop?

I purchased a loom after graduating which allowed me to not only continue designing but also to continue making. This process is very rewarding to see a creation through from start to finish and I am very pleased I have the opportunity to do so. I have creative control over what I produce and as I am creating art pieces I don’t have any of the restrictions that may come with manufacturing.

From a distance the pieces may look like a painting or like a print. I would hope when viewers then look more closely and see it is textiles they will consider how the piece has been made, the history behind the technique and the craftsmanship that goes into the fabrics they have in their wardrobes and on their home furnishings.

Fabric being made on a loom

What three things are essential to your practice?

Movement, imperfections (and the ability to accept things are not always perfect) and patience

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

The natural history museum, it is full of wonderful and obscure colour combinations, textures, sculptures, shapes and sizes, all from a range of natural sources many that were once living.

Describe an average day in the studio.

An average day in the studio depends on what part of the process I am at. I could be spending the day dyeing yarn or sat at the loom weaving, music playing in the background to keep me motivated.

How does it feel to have your work displayed in not just a shop?

It is very exciting to have my work on display in not just a shop. It is in a great location that will hopefully give a wider audience access to view the work in person.

What sort of a person do you imagine would relate to your work?

Anyone with an interest in colour and contemporary art would enjoy my work, no knowledge of textiles is needed, but those with experience in textiles may have a deeper understanding of the design process.

Great to hear from you Jacob! Come to see Jacob’s work for real at not just a shop, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY.

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