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Tormented Textiles Podcast with Freddie Robins + Martina Margetts

8 October 2018

As you may know, this year is the fifteenth birthday of my brand, and we celebrated last month with a pop-up shop as part of Shoreditch Design Triangle, where we set ourselves the challenge of hosting fifteen events (I think we made it?!).

One of the main events was a Tormented Textiles panel discussion, where I was joined by textile artist Freddie Robins and contemporary craft expert Martina Margetts for a panel discussion on the trials and tribulations of living a creative life. As Martina pointed out at the start of the talk, we’re all connected by the Royal College of Art – both Freddie and Martina have taught there, and it’s where I studied for my MA in Mixed Media Textiles, which brought about the start of my career.

As artists and designers working with textiles, Freddie and I have had quite different, contrasting careers. Whilst I’ve spent the last fifteen years building a commercial brand, Freddie is an internationally renowned textile artist, educator, researcher and writer, whose work challenges the idea of knitting as craft. As one of my tutors at the Royal College of Art, and she gave me the confidence to approach the very first store to stock my Donna Dolls, Couverture and the Garbstore in West London – without Freddie’s encouragement, I would have probably been too shy! She’s continued to be an inspiration throughout my career, so I was thrilled that she could join me to reflect upon the last fifteen years.

As the editor of the Craft Council’s Crafts magazine for nine years and postgraduate teacher at the Royal College of Arts, critic and theorist Martina Margetts did an amazing job of leading the discussion, asking lots of thought-provoking, challenging questions.

What draws us all together – and what I hope comes through in our discussion – is our passion for crafts and making.

Here are a few soundbites starters, and you can listen to the full conversation and Q&A session on Soundcloud via the link below – special thanks to Alice Williams for the audio recording for this podcast, and also for my How to Start a Creative Business podcast with Yiying Wang of Noodoll.

There’s an issue of textile art not being valued as highly. We had a really big tapestry on display in the window [of the pop-up shop]. When the artist told me it was worth around £2,000, I thought ‘wow, that’s quite a lot of money’ – but if it were painting, no one would blink an eye. I think if people see how something’s made, and they see the time it takes to make it, they might have more respect for the value that’s put on it. – Donna Wilson

I don’t think there was anyone in Crafts Magazine’s Power List who worked specifically in textiles. The people at the top of the list, who were seen to be the most powerful, were writers – or if they were makers, they were makers who wrote and were very well published, like Edmund de Waal, or makers who make in hard materials. That tells me that textiles is still not received or heard as well as it should be. For me, that was a bit of a wake-up call. – Freddie Robins

The game is being raised all the time, from our release from a sense of automatic understanding of everydayness – because textile is textile – into a really carefully inflected appraisal of what textile is offering us. Even though we’ve got Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin, both heavily engaged in textile, we’re still not quite there yet. – Martina Margetts

I should also mention that Freddie collaborated with me on a gorgeous pair of gloves for my new Autumn Winter collection – the All the Time Gloves – and as a special treat, you can use the code TICKTOCK20 for 20% off via my online shop.

Donna x

Donna Wilson - All The Time Gloves - Caspian

All the Time Gloves - Appear Here

How to Start a Creative Business – Donna Wilson + Noodoll

3 October 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Shoreditch Design Triangle Pop-up shop last month to celebrate our 15th birthday – it was so great to meet so many of you!

One of my highlights was a session on ‘How To Start a Creative Business’ with my friend Yiying Wang, the creator of Noodoll. I met Yiying when I was studying at the Royal College of Art, and we’ve since worked together a few times, so it was really great to look back over the last fifteen years and reflect on how both of our businesses have developed and grown.

We had a full house, but for those of you who couldn’t make it we recorded discussion, along with the Q&A session afterwards – a big thank you to Alice Williams for making this possible! You can listen on Soundcloud via the link below – and if you have any questions for either Yiying or myself, leave them in the comments below.

And if you enjoy this, you might also enjoy listening to my Tormented Textiles podcast with Freddie Robins and Martina Margetts, also on Soundcloud.

Donna x

Donna Wilson & Yiying Wang

Donna Wilson & Yiying Wang

 

 

Now Showing: Goose The Bear with Ljubljana Puppet Theatre

27 April 2016

Did you ever want to see Big Ted come to life? Well this month in Ljubljana, Slovenia you have the chance to see him walking, talking even swimming!

Friday saw the premiere of children’s story Goose the Bear, the first puppet show to feature Donna Wilson’s wonderful woolly creations.  Goose the Bear is a heart-warming German tale written by Katja Gehrmann. A bear gets more than he bargained when he rescues an egg from the jaws of a hungry fox. The egg hatches a confused little gosling who believes he is a bear, and tries to prove this to his newfound mother the bear.

We feel so privileged to have worked with Lljubljana Puppet Theatre on this project. We hope our lovely fans get the chance to visit. Tickets are still available to buy here.

 

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Ljubljana Puppet Theatre specialises in puppet shows and drama performances for both young and adult audiences in a grand building with 6 in-house venues with almost 1000 seats overall. The Theatre pays special attention to the cultural education and care for the Slovenian puppet heritage.

When you step into the cosy auditorium, you are greeted by our tall signature knitted trees. You will find that absolutely everything from the stage, to the surrounding walls and ceiling is dressed in our brightly patterned lambswool. Look out for the Hungry Fox, the Mischievous Squirrel and of course the stars of the show Big Bear and the Little Goose!

 

 

Donna was so thrilled for this unique opportunity when she was approached by the Lljubljana Puppet Theatre last year. She has been very much involved in the production process from the beginning and even flew out with the family to Ljubljana to check out the rehearsals. Everything has been knitted in our London studio whilst the Theatre’s skilled team of performers and makers in their spectacular workshop made the magic happen on stage. We hope we can take the show on the road soon!

Photo credit: Urška Boljkovac, Donna Wilson, @jajanjaja

Snapshots from Donna’s Meet & Greet in Taipei

19 October 2015

This Saturday friends and fans of Donna Wilson had the opportunity to attend a talk and meet Donna at our pop-up shop/exhibition with Woow&Co at Eslite The Living Project. Here are some snapshots from the event!

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And if you’re in Taipei, it’s not too late the check out it out!

Woow&Co. x Donna Wilson
1 September 2015 – 1 November 2015
Eslite 2F Living Project
Xinyi Road, Taipei City, 88th 2F
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
地點:誠品生活松菸店 2F Living Project
地址: 台北市信義區菸廠路88號2F

All images by Woow&Co.
Click here to see the entire album.

Meet Donna in Taipei!

16 October 2015

Tomorrow’s the big day!

If you’re in Taipei, you’re invited to Donna’s Meet & Greet at our pop-up shop/exhibition with Woow&Co at Eslite The Living Project. Donna will be there tomorrow from 2-4pm meeting fans and signing autographs, and is looking forward to meeting you. Come on by and say hello!

Woow&Co. x Donna Wilson
Exhibition Duration: 1 September 2015 – 1 November 2015
Meet & Greet: 17 October 2015 (2-4pm)
Eslite 2F Living Project
Xinyi Road, Taipei City, 88th 2F
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
地點:誠品生活松菸店 2F Living Project
地址: 台北市信義區菸廠路88號2F

For more information to the event and to rsvp please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/137056883313654/.

Top image credit @woowco

Giant Creatures tour Taipei City

29 September 2015

If you’re in Taipei City, there’s still time to see our very special pop-up shop and exhibition with Woow&Co. at Living Project, a part of the Eslite department store.

There’s only one month left to the exhibition – don’t miss it!

In the meantime, our Giant Creatures have been having a lovely time exploring the city. Take a look at some of their snapshots, and more details about the show and pop-up can be found below.

We hope to see you there!


@lilbow

Woow&Co. x Donna Wilson
1 September 2015 – 1 November 2015
Eslite 2F Living Project
Xinyi Road, Taipei City, 88th 2F
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
地點:誠品生活松菸店 2F Living Project
地址: 台北市信義區菸廠路88號2F

And mark your diaries because on Saturday, 17 October 2015, you’ll have a chance to meet Donna in person! Donna will be at the shop that day 2-4pm meeting fans and signing autographs.

For more details about the event, giveaways, and raffles, please visit Woow&Co and Living Project.