I first discovered Holly Marlin's weavings on Instagram late last year . . . colourful yarns & cruetly-free fibres woven into organic-shapes & suspended from driftwood. I was in love, with what Holly calls, 'fatties' - chunky weavings made from pure wool roving. Holly's wall hangings have been gracing the store for a few months now so it's about time you were introduced to this talented Newcastle-based weaver!
Holly has been crafty ever since she was young . . .
from the days when her Great Aunt Flo taught her how to knit and crochet.
tell us about your creative background/studies
My sister was very artistic (and competitive!) when we were growing up, so I took the path of least resistance and followed a scientific path instead, crafting on the side. But the creative urge eventually won out, and I ended up studying photography and then interior design while working as an Environmental Scientist. I particularly loved photography, and even started a portrait photography business with my husband, but that fell by the wayside when I discovered weaving a couple of years ago.
how did your craft begin and how has it evolved to this day?
Like many weavers out there at the moment, I first discovered weaving through Maryanne Moodie. I was following her on Facebook when she started posting pictures of amazing textiles, and I just had to learn how to make them! I attended one of her beginner courses, which taught the basic stitches… on the drive home afterwards, my mind was exploding with ideas and possibilities. I have been researching, learning and experimenting ever since. I’m currently working on combining weaving with macramé, crochet, and other off-loom techniques.
Holly's handwoven wall-hangings are made with organic cruelty-free fibres,
like non-mulesed wool & peace silk, and are mounted on locally-foraged driftwood.
A collection of her beautiful weavings can be found in the store.
I asked Holly to share a little about her creative process . . .
My materials primarily guide my creative process – they tend to direct the work rather than me directing them! Every piece tends to start with finding a beautiful yarn or fibre and seeing where it takes me.
what inspires you? do you search for inspiration or does it find you?
My materials are the greatest inspiration . . . I am drawn to interesting, natural materials (the more uneven and rustic the better!) and particularly love ones that have been minimally processed. The concepts of wabi sabi and sustainability are also key inspirations for my work.
what has your creative journey been like so far?
Difficult. Exciting. Exhilarating. Stressful. Rewarding. Frustrating!
one of the most important things Holly has learnt about being an artist . . .
'External validation doesn’t keep the doubt demons away – it only makes them stronger'
do you have any insight or advice to share with inspiring artists?
I really struggled for a while (and still do, really) with pieces I make that I don’t like. I've felt that I shouldn’t put work out there that I don’t absolutely love. But then I discovered that some people love the pieces I hate! Different pieces speak to different people, so you don’t have to love everything you make. The pieces that you don't love have value – to you, for the lessons they teach, and to others who may love them just the way they are.
is there anything you hope your artwork brings into people’s live?
I hope people fall in love with my work, and that it gives them joy for many years.
what’s one of the most exciting things to happen in your creative career so far?
It’s always a thrill for me when people love my work, but the most exciting times are when I push my boundaries, try something new, and it turns out better than I hoped it would!
Holly's mini cotton weaving (right) is featured in the new Spring issue of Peppermint
what do you love most about Australia?
No matter where I go in the world, I’ll always come home for Haigh's.
Thank you for sharing, Holly . . .
it's a joy to have your stunning work in the store.
• • •
Holly is the first person I know to relate Australia to chocolate!
( International readers - Haigh's is a 100 yr-old Australian chocolate company )