Case Study - Lynne Hocking

Established Craft Maker Bursary 

Weaver Lynne Hocking used the funding to work collaboratively with another maker to take a fledging concept to the next stage of development and pushed both creatives to explore boundaries and find new directions for their practices. 

Lynne's work is available to view on her website

Lynne is a scientist-turned-handweaver whose work takes inspiration from data. She is at least seventh generation of her family to be involved with the weaving trade in NE Scotland; and has spent the last four years developing a creative practice expressing concepts around genetics, ancestry, and connection to place through textile objects, based around her former academic research into human genetics. 

Lynne learned to weave in 2016 whilst travelling. When she returned to Aberdeen, she took some additional weaving classes then moved into a space at Wasps Studios around three years ago and has been weaving part time ever since. 

At the time of applying Lynne had been already exploring ideas and concepts with Andrea Chappell from ACME Atelier, kiltmaker who is interested in modern interpretations of kilts in terms of function and how they are used to express identity. 

They had been conversationally exploring and playing with idea of what a kilt is, what it’s made of and how the kilt itself can be an expression of identity. 

Andrea had been exploring whether a kilt could become a day-to-day garment and gender non-specific and use mixed materials, whilst Lynne had been working on incorporating genetic information into fabrics.

Lynne explains their thoughts at the time, “How could we combine our practices to flip the idea of how to make the kilt, through working backwards to weave the fabric that will fit the pleat structure and best highlight the genetic information?”

The award funding allowed Lynne and Andrea to further explore their ideas, supporting Lynne to loom weave fabrics that could then go on to be pleated by Andrea. This created a series of samples that would allow them to see what would work visually and also enable further conversations around the project.

Lynne says of the VACMA: “The VACMA allowed us time and materials to create the samples and have the conversations where we could think through the technical aspects of the project. Initially the weaving samples were too sloppy to hold the pleats, so we needed those technical conversations together to define what would be required for Andrea’s pleating element. It allowed us to test out the understanding of the concepts. 

"We were also thinking about the storytelling and communication around the pieces and used that collaborative thinking space to identify what we wanted to capture within the kilt. What would people need to know or see to understand the project?”

On completion of the VACMA funding period, Lynne and Andrea had a series of samples, and intend to secure additional funding to use what they have learnt to produce a full scale finished kilt. 

Lynne describes that the funding was a really lovely, timely piece of money that allowed her to have those creative conversations with Andrea and to go through that collaborative exploration.

“It’s meant that we’ve built up documentation that we can use for a portfolio so we can apply for additional funding to take it to a full-scale kilt where I can weave the fabric and Andrea can make the kilt. 

"Andrea has already been working on commissions enquiries. There have been lots of benefits not only for me, but for Andrea. So, two creative practitioners have benefitted.” 

With VACMA it’s important to have a good idea and have good supporting evidence to show that you can do it. 

“This was a new concept. Only the early stages had formed, but the award took each of us forward, stretching both of us as creatives to learn something new and develop something new. It pushed at the boundaries of where our practices were, building on foundations, but taking it in a new direction.”

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