Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ismini Samanidou - art weaver

Shani has discovered this wonderful weaver before me! Do read her excellent blog post.

I was listening to Radio 4 this morning and there, on the travel programme Excess Baggage, Sandy Toskvig (who it turns out weaves on a 4 shaft loom) was talking to weaver Ismini Samanidou, this is a quote from the Excess baggage web page: "about her travels from Mexico to Malaysia and from North Carolina to North Vietnam, looking at different kinds of weaving, the fables behind the fabrics and discovering what a pepper pattern can say about your mother-in-law."

There had a lovely conversation about weaving and the wonder of turning a thread into cloth. I was hoping that this programme would be available to "listen again" on the Radio 4 website, but it isn't at the moment. Something I particularly enjoyed about the programme is the modesty of this weaver, who was talking of the wonder of weaving and the weaving of people different cultures, not about herself although she is a talented and successful weaver so her personality did not obstruct the message.

However, I will talk about this weaver's own work and tell you that Ismini trained as a textile designer at the Royal College of Art and the reason she visited North Carolina is that she had designed a piece of art weaving that was being made on a Jacquard loom at the Oriole Mill in North Carolina, and this piece of work is being exhibited in London at the Jerwood Space 10th June to 19th July, and goes to Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh for August & September. There's more about the weaving exhibition (including some pictures) on this website:

I found more about her at:

And on this gallery website, where there are some good pictures, but to find them you have to first click on the text which is too small to read (this makes it zoom up to readable size) then there is another link:

I found some biographical stuff:

Ismini Samanidou, born in Greece 1977
1996-97 Camberwell College of Arts Foundation Studies in Art & Design
1997-2000 Central Saint Martins, B.A. (Hons) Textiles
2001-3 Royal College of Art, M.A. in Constructed Textiles.


Anonymous said...

I heard the trailer during Saturday Live this morning and when Sandi Toksvig said she had a loom my jaw almost hit the floor! Weaving is everywhere...

Thanks for the links to this weaver's work - I had not heard of her before the programme but I won't forget her now.

Catherinietta said...

Oh good, I'm glad you heard it - I was listening while I weeded the peas at the allotment and was going to email you about it!

It's available on iPlayer here: or to download as a podcast.

C xxx

weaverjane said...

Oh, I missed it. I will check out the bbc site again for a play again.
Ismini samanidou 's photo was on the front page of the Journal (of Weavers spinners and dyers) and she was interviewed inside - december 2007. She seemed a talented and generous lady

Peg in South Carolina said...

This link you gave ( has some other interesting textile artists on it as well.

Anonymous said...

I listened to Ismini's interview this morning, it was a great piece. I got the link from the online guild messages and glad to have been able to hear it. Techy stuff is the berries.