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Heather Hunter

 Inspired by the weaving industry and found her inspiration from the Jacquard Loom a

Museum Source Objects: Textile Sample Book

Title: In the Tapestry of Life
 Woven Stories and Sample of a Working Life

A thousand looms...


Heather Hunter, on the other hand was inspired by the weaving industry and found her inspiration from the Jacquard Loom and sample books, especially those presented as stripes. Once there were thousands of looms in daily use in Norwich. The Jacquard Loom was one of the first exhibits of Museum of Trades and Industries in 1924. Weaving formed the structure for several of Heathers works using fabric as well as paper.

Heather states

“It reminded me of the weft stripes that are formed when crafting off loom weavings. I found a quote that epitomised the work of Bookscapes Collective. As I wove the pieces and made them into books the sense of togetherness became apparent. I decided to make my own 20th century sample book after seeing the sample books in the Museum, having been inspired by the both shape that appears in the fabrics and by the Norwich shawls.

Because of my previous work in textiles, my collection of samples is extensive. While constructing the book, I was able to travel down memory lane, recalling where each piece was gathered and used and by whom.

I was also drawn to the jacquard cards that have punched holes through them, representing the pattern. The designs were so luscious it reminded me of my love of fabric decoration and surface design. I therefore made another sample book of my working life decoration samples”

Museum Source Objects: Wooden Bird Cage

Title: Canaries: The Weavers Friend

The poetry of birdsong filled the air...


Connected to the Norwich’s history of weaving, is the arrival of The Strangers’ In the eleventh century Flemish migrants left for England to escape large-scale flooding in Flanders. They brought with them weaving skills as well as their own tools.

They helped to revitalise the declining trade by sharing these weaving techniques with the local people.

Heather was intrigued to learn that The Strangers also brought their canaries. The weavers enjoyed having the birds with them as they sat at home working because the sound of the loom would encourage the birds to sing.

This final piece by Heather was made in response to seeing a wooden bird cage in the Museums collection Heather states:

“ I have made a sound poem which is contained within a bird cage. It reflects the image of weavers of old having their canary companions next to their hand looms in their homes. The sounds of canaries are a happy sound to work beside.”

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