MS @ The Telegraph

Scorched wood and rainbow ceramics: 5 of the hottest craft trends

By Jessica Doyle 31 MAY 2019

Maria Sigma hand-weaving at The Future of Craft, Oxo Tower Wharf CREDIT: DAN WEILL

Maria Sigma hand-weaving at The Future of Craft, Oxo Tower Wharf CREDIT: DAN WEILL

Weaver and textile designer Maria Sigma similarly operates a zero-waste production process by emphasising raw materials and limiting her use of machinery, water and electricity; she also runs workshops that teach how to weave textiles from household waste such as old T-shirts and pillowcases.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

MS @ H Καθημερινή / The Kathimerini

Ενας ελληνικός αργαλειός «δουλεύει» στο ανατολικό Λονδίνο

TΑΣΟΥΛΑ ΕΠΤΑΚΟΙΛΗ 08.06.2019

(translation in English below)

Η ιστορία της Μαρίας Σταυροπούλου μοιάζει με εκείνη χιλιάδων Ελλήνων, που στην κρίση αποφάσισαν να αναζητήσουν ένα καλύτερο μέλλον στο εξωτερικό.

Η ιστορία της Μαρίας Σταυροπούλου μοιάζει με εκείνη χιλιάδων Ελλήνων, που στην κρίση αποφάσισαν να αναζητήσουν ένα καλύτερο μέλλον στο εξωτερικό.

Πού να το φανταζόμουν ότι σε απόσταση λίγων μέτρων από τον σταθμό του μετρό Bethnal Green, στο ανατολικό Λονδίνο, σε ένα στενό, διώροφο, τυπικό βρετανικό σπίτι, θα έβρισκα έναν ελληνικό αργαλειό να δουλεύει... στο φουλ; Η Μαρία Σταυροπούλου με υποδέχθηκε εγκάρδια. Ως Maria Sigma είναι γνωστή στη Βρετανία, όπου η βραβευμένη σχεδιάστρια και υφαντουργός, που δημιουργεί υψηλής ποιότητας χειροποίητα «zero waste» υφάσματα, ζει και εργάζεται εδώ και σχεδόν μία δεκαετία. Η ιστορία της μοιάζει με εκείνη χιλιάδων νέων Ελλήνων που, όταν ενέσκηψε η κρίση, αποφάσισαν να αναζητήσουν ένα καλύτερο μέλλον στο εξωτερικό.

Για τη Μαρία, βέβαια, υπήρχε ένας ακόμη λόγος. «Είναι έτσι φτιαγμένο το εκπαιδευτικό μας σύστημα, που έχει “θεοποιήσει” τις επιστήμες, αλλά περιφρονεί τις τέχνες. Από το νηπιαγωγείο, μόνο λάθη γίνονται. Ακόμη και στο μάθημα της μουσικής, τι μας μάθαιναν; Ποιήματα και τραγουδάκια για τις γιορτές των εθνικών μας επετείων, τίποτα ουσιαστικό», λέει. Η ίδια όμως ήθελε κάτι χειροπιαστό, δημιουργικό. Σπούδασε, λοιπόν, συντήρηση αρχαιοτήτων και έργων τέχνης, με ειδίκευση το ύφασμα. Ηταν μια συνειδητή επιλογή της, η οποία ξάφνιασε αρκετά άτομα του περιβάλλοντός της. «“Πτυχίο από ΤΕΙ θα πάρεις, όχι από πανεπιστήμιο;” με ρωτούσαν. Δεν το καταλαβαίνω. Δεν χρειάζεται και τεχνίτες μια κοινωνία; Μόνο επιστήμονες; Για πόσο ακόμη θα παράγουμε άνεργους πτυχιούχους ΑΕΙ;».

Το 2010, έχοντας ολοκληρώσει τις σπουδές της και έχοντας αγαπήσει ακόμη περισσότερο τον κόσμο του υφάσματος (χάρη και στη μαθητεία της δίπλα στη Σοφία Τσουρινάκη, όπως τονίζει), η Μαρία έφυγε για το Λονδίνο και το Chelsea College of Art & Design, από όπου πήρε το δεύτερο πτυχίο της. Λίγο μετά –και ενώ είχε αρχίσει να διακρίνεται σε σημαντικούς διαγωνισμούς– ξεκίνησε τη δική της επιχείρηση σχεδιασμού και κατασκευής υφασμάτων.

Οι πηγές της έμπνευσής της είναι δύο: από τη μία η ελληνική της κληρονομιά και από την άλλη η χρωματική παλέτα του βρετανικού τοπίου, σε συνδυασμό πάντα με την αγάπη της για τη χειροτεχνία, τη μίνιμαλ αισθητική της, αλλά και τα μαθηματικά. Τι σχέση έχουν τα μαθηματικά με την υφαντική τέχνη; «Ο αργαλειός είναι μια πολύπλοκη μηχανή, που λειτουργεί με μαθηματική σκέψη: ό,τι κάνεις πρέπει να το έχεις προσχεδιάσει με κάθε λεπτομέρεια».

Σε ό,τι φτιάχνει (κυρίως κουβέρτες, ριχτάρια, μαξιλάρια, χαλιά) η Μαρία Σταυροπούλου δίνει ιδιαίτερη σημασία στη χρηστικότητα και στην υψηλή ποιότητα, ώστε οι δημιουργίες της να είναι διαχρονικές. Δουλεύει κυρίως με μαλλί και μάλιστα άβαφο. «Και για αισθητικούς λόγους, μια και μου αρέσουν τα φυσικά χρώματα, αλλά και γιατί αυτό είναι το λιγότερο που μπορώ να κάνω για να συμβάλω στην προστασία του περιβάλλοντος. Οι βαφές είναι τοξικές και στη διαδικασία της βαφής των υφασμάτων καταναλώνονται τεράστιες ποσότητες νερού και ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας. Επιπλέον, τα μάλλινα υφάσματα είναι αντιβακτηριδιακά, δεν συγκρατούν εύκολα οσμές και λεκέδες και, ακόμη κι αν πεταχτούν στα σκουπίδια, η φύση θα τα απορροφήσει».

Πόσος χρόνος απαιτείται για να ολοκληρωθεί μια κουβέρτα, για παράδειγμα; «Ο αργαλειός θέλει υπομονή! Χρειάζομαι μία εβδομάδα για να τον στήσω, 3-4 μέρες για να υφάνω, μία για να πλύνω και να στεγνώσω το ύφασμα. Στη συνέχεια πρέπει να κάνω το φινίρισμα με το βελονάκι, τα κρόσια, αν υπάρχουν, και μετά να το βουρτσίσω για να γίνει μαλακό», εξηγεί η Μαρία. «Είναι μια κοπιαστική αλλά συναρπαστική διαδικασία. Και είναι συγκινητικό ότι η τεχνική του αργαλειού παραμένει σχεδόν απαράλλαχτη από την Εποχή του Χαλκού μέχρι σήμερα. Τη λατρεύω την ύφανση. Είναι ο τρόπος μου να βάζω σε τάξη  το καθημερινό χάος και να δημιουργώ κάτι ειλικρινές και όμορφο...».

online version here

TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH:

A Greek loom "works" in eastern London

words by Tasoula Eptakili

The story of Maria Stavropoulou resembles that of thousands of Greeks who, in the crisis, decided to look for a better future abroad.

Where did I imagine that a few meters from Bethnal Green Metro Station, in East London, in a narrow, two-storey, typical British home, would I find a Greek loom to work ... at the full house? Maria Stavropoulou welcomed me warmly. As Maria Sigma is known in the UK, where the award-winning designer and weaver, who creates high-quality handmade "zero waste" fabrics, lives and works for almost a decade. Her story resembles that of thousands of young Greeks who, when the crisis broke out, decided to look for a better future abroad.

For Maria, of course, there was another reason. "It's our education system that has" deified "science, but it despises the arts. From kindergarten, only mistakes are made. Even in the lesson of music, what did they learn about us? Poems and songs for the celebrations of our national anniversaries, nothing essential, "he says. But she wanted something tangible, creative. He therefore studied the preservation of antiquities and works of art, specializing in fabric. It was a conscious choice of her, which surprised several people in her surroundings. "" Do you have a degree from a TEI, not a university? "They asked me. I do not understand it. Does not a craftsman need a society? Only scientists? How long will we still produce unemployed university graduates? "

In 2010, having completed her studies and having loved the fabric of the fabric even more (thanks to her apprenticeship next to Sofia Tsourinaki as she emphasizes), Maria left for London and Chelsea College of Art & Design, where she got her second degree. Shortly after - and while beginning to be distinguished in major competitions - she started her own fabric design and fabrication business.

The sources of her inspiration are two: her Greek heritage, on the other hand the colorful palette of the British landscape, combined with her love for craftsmanship, minimalist aesthetics and mathematics. What does mathematics have to do with textile art? "The loom is a complex machine that works with mathematical thinking: whatever you do you have to design it in every detail."

In her make-up (mainly blankets, throws, pillows, carpets) Maria Stavropoulou attaches great importance to usability and high quality so that her creations are timeless. It works mainly with wool and even unpainted. "And for aesthetic reasons, because I like natural colors, but also because that's the least I can do to contribute to environmental protection. Dyes are toxic and the process of dyeing fabrics consumes vast amounts of water and electricity. Moreover, woolen fabrics are antibacterial, do not easily retain smells and stains, and even if they are thrown into rubbish, nature will absorb them. "

How long does it take to complete a blanket, for example? "The loom wants patience! I need a week to set him up, 3-4 days to go, one to wash and dry the cloth. Then I have to make the finishing with the crochet, the fringe, if any, and then brush it to make it soft, "explains Maria. "It's a tedious but exciting process. And it is touching that the technique of the loom remains almost unchanged from the Bronze Age to the present. I love her weaving. It is my way of putting in order everyday chaos and creating something sincere and beautiful ... "

COMPETITION: WIN THE HAND-WOVEN CLOTH MADE AT ‘THE FUTURE OF CRAFT’ DURING LONDON CRAFT WEEK

Get the chance to win a hand-woven cloth made by Maria Sigma at ‘The Future Of Craft’ at Bargehouse Oxo Tower during London Craft Week in collaboration with Design Nation.

Maria Sigma at Bargehouse during LCW shot by Dan Weill Photography.

Maria Sigma at Bargehouse during LCW shot by Dan Weill Photography.

At a time when there is a surge of interest in craft and in a dialog with the inaugural exhibition of The Harewood Biennial ‘Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters’, Maria seeks for answers to this question.

To enter the competition send an email to info@mariasigma.com [Subject: LCW Competition] with your contact details and answering the question: ‘Why craft matters (to you)?’ until Sunday 30th of June.

WHY CRAFT MATTERS (TO ME)?

Living in a digital era of single-use objects, where people discard things easily, the need for tangible and real materials arises. Craft is more than just a way of making things; for me it’s a way of thinking and living in the most sustainable way. It questions the different processes of dealing with the material world, and it brings back a certain level of human dignity. Craft calms down our high-speed society. In a way, craft is a tool to connect the heritage of the past with our present. Craft can invest a context of regionalism and history to our convenience-based economy. Craft is an event that starts with a physical sense of relationship between materials and people.

More specifically, hand-weaving - one of the oldest crafts, like a portal to past eras and candlelit work environments, brings back a long- forgotten, almost romantic, collaboration of the body and the mind, and relationship between the domesticity and the creativity.

Hand-crafted goods remind us how and why we are humans - they carry a story, maker’s personality and the emotional state of their creator. Textile heirlooms, passed on from one generation to another, become narrative objects of great sentimental value, which encompass a particular sense of belonging for me: ‘feeling at home’.

CLOTH:

IMG_5838.jpeg
IMG_0329.jpeg
IMG_3408.jpeg
IMG_2031.jpeg
IMG_0574.jpeg
IMG_0664.jpeg

DIMENSIONS: approx. 135 x 115 cm

MATERIALS: 100% natural undyed British wool
CLEAN & CARE: hand-washing /washing machine: hand-wash/wool cycle in max. 30°C / & low spin, ironing/steaming in medium temperature
TO BE USED: sofa/floor cushion cover(s), fabric for garment(s)/accessories, baby blanket/throw/mini- blanket, fabric for upholstery: arm-chair, ottoman, stool/chair top.

DETAILS:

ENTER COMPETITION: email info@mariasigma.com with your answer to ‘Why craft matters (to you)?’

SUBJECT: ‘LCW Competition’

DEADLINE: Sunday 30th of June

The winner will get notified by email.

IMPORTANT: 1. The cloth is for personal and non-profit use only. You may not sell the cloth itself as a whole , as a part, as an addition to any other product(s)/good(s), nor as an item(s) made from it. 2. By entering the competition you are subscribing to the newsletter. You can unsubscribe anytime.

For all enquiries email: maria@mariasigma.com

Supported by:

Screenshot 2019-06-04 at 16.56.53.png

Maria Sigma: at home with Hole & Corner

SPECIAL EVENT : 20th 21th OF MARCH | LIMITED SPACES

Screenshot 2019-02-24 at 15.04.13.png

I am excited to announce, and invite you to join us for the first in a new series of Hole & Corner making retreats based in Dorset at the home of Sam Walton, the founder and creative vision behind the magazine.

Screenshot 2019-02-24 at 15.15.18.png

At Home with Hole & Corner will create a platform to pair with one of our favourite makers, with the aim to deliver a personal and fulfilling experience in a truly special setting. For the first instalment we are delighted to partner with Maria Sigma , the award winning textile designer who specialises in luxurious hand-woven products with a zero-waste ethos.


The event will take place over two days (Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd March) and include lunch alongside a full day of learning and making, with everyone very welcome to join for either one or both days.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 12.43.37.png

The workshops will be focussed on the craft of hand-weaving with frame looms, and will provide the opportunity for everyone to learn foundational weaving skills. Not just about specific skills, the aim is to guide and encourage each student to establish their own style and approach to colour, techniques and materials, whilst creating their own hand woven textile that can be further developed and used however you choose beyond the event – let your imagination take you!

The event will be capped at 8 people per day to ensure that everyone receives a full experience of working and learning, and will take place on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd March (10am-6pm).

The event day will also include a visit from local producers and artisans, as well as an optional walk in the local Dorset countryside.


FOR MORE DETAIL AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE PLEASE VISIT HOLE & CORNER WEBSITE

IMG_0137-1.jpg

MS @ The Evening Standard

Looming marvellous:the ancient art of weaving is finding new fans as we reconnect with tactile materials in a digital age

Small in scale, London's modern weavers want you to explore handmade products in an era of mass-production.

Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 19.40.49.png
Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 19.41.05.png

by Barbara Chandler

Click here to read the full article.

MS @ MAKE Hauser & Wirth Somerset Gallery

‘Opening Narratives’

Maria Sigma Ariadne (of the Sea) Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth

I am delighted to announce that I am one of the seven makers exhibiting at the first exhibition of MAKE, the new gallery space of Hauser & Wirth Somerset, dedicated to contemporary making and crafted objects. I am showcasing a collection of three new very special and one of a kind wall hangings.

THE COLLECTION:

Maria Sigma Hestia Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth.jpg
Maria Sigma Hestia Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth
Maria Sigma Hestia Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth

HESTIA -Double Cloth- Wall Hanging

Materials: natural undyed British wool, natural undyed linen, natural undyed jute, natural undyed recycled cotton & dyed British lambswool (Aegean Blue details)

Dimensions: 85 x 160 cm

One of a kind piece made with two woollen warps and a linen/jute/cotton weft, in plain weave creating a tube format and following the ‘zero waste’ philoshophy.

Hestia (/ˈhɛstiə/; Greek: Ἑστία) is an ancient Greek virgin goddess of the hearth, fireside, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home.
Hestia's name means "hearth, fireplace, altar”, stemming from the same root as the English verbal form was (PIE*h
2wes- "to live, dwell, pass the night"). It thus refers to the oikos, the household, house, or family.

Maria Sigma Ariadne (of the Sea) Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth
Maria Sigma Ariadne (of the Sea) Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth
Maria Sigma Ariadne (of the Sea) Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth

ARIADNE (OF THE SEA) Wall Hanging

Materials: natural undyed British wool, natural undyed linen, natural undyed recycled cotton& dyed British lambswool (Aegean Blue details)

Dimensions: 145 x 98 cm

One of a kind piece made with a woollen warp and a linen/cotton/wool weft in a textured lace-style distorted diamond, following the ‘zero waste’ philosophy.

Ariadne (/ˌæriˈædni/; Greek: Ἀριάδνη; Latin: Ariadne) is an ancient Greek Mythology heroine, daughter of Pasiphaë and the Cretan king Minos. As per Homer's Odyssey, she felt in love with the Athenian hero Theseus and, with a thread or glittering jewels, helped him escape the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur, a beast half bull and half man that Minos kept in the Labyrinth.

Untitled-1.jpg
Maria Sigma Alcyone (of the Sky) Wall Hanging MAKE Hauser & Wirth
Maria Sigma Alcyone (of the Sky) Wall Hanging MAKE HAuser & Wirth

ALCYONE (OF THE SKY) Wall Hanging

Materials: natural undyed British wool, dyed British lambswool (Aegean Blue details)

Dimensions: 60 x 165 cm

One of a kind piece made with a woollen warp and weft in a textured ‘broken’ twill, following the ‘zero waste’ philosophy.

Alcyone (/ælˈsaɪəˌni/; Ancient Greek: Ἁλκυόνη, Halkyón), designated Eta Tauri, is a multiple star system in the constellation of Taurus. The name Alcyone originates with Greek mythology; Alcyone (derived from alkyon αλκυων “kingfisher") in Greek mythology, was the name of one of the Pleiades or Seven Sisters. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.


About ‘Opening Narratives’

Make’s inaugural exhibition entitled ‘Opening Narratives’ is a celebration of seven makers working with wood, ceramics, textiles and metal. With the resurgence of interest in craft skills, the landscape of making is changing and with it a dynamic generation of young makers with a shared passion for knowledge, process and materials has come to the fore. The makers exhibited possess an intimate understanding of their material and whether working with methods rooted in tradition or employing new techniques, materiality and process go hand-in-hand. The exhibition reflects the new visibility and significance of making and the re-evaluation of the crafted object, whilst bringing together seven makers with work of exceptional creativity and substance.


Hauser & Wirth Somerset Senior Director Alice Workman says:

‘Hauser & Wirth Somerset has a wide and varied programme encompassing art, architecture, gardens, landscape, farming, food, education, and community. Since opening, we have celebrated independent designer makers, stocking their products in our shop and holding ‘meet the maker’ events. Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a great opportunity for us to take this further, by holding curated exhibitions that present a unique selection of work by some of the best craftspeople and makers working today. It’s also a fantastic chance for us to bring our audience directly into the town of Bruton.’

“Occupying two rooms of a Georgian Townhouse in Bruton, Somerset, Make is a new gallery space from Hauser & Wirth Somerset, dedicated to contemporary making and the crafted object. Curated by Jacqueline Moore, formerly of the Moore Gallery, the space has a remit to explore and celebrate the re-evaluation of craftsmanship within the artistic community. the inaugural show, Opening Narratives, features the work of seven makers, most of whom will be familiar to those who have followed Hole & Corner over the years, including Alexander Devol, Olivia Walker, Florian Gadsby and Maria Sigma. A much needed addition and another example of the elevation of the designer-maker…”

Hole & Corner Magazine // CULTURE JOURNAL: SIX THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 17.29.18.png

MAKE Hauser & Wirth Somerset:

13 High Street, Bruton

Wednesday to Saturday: 10 am – 1 pm & 2 pm – 4 pm

27th of September until the 24th of November

www.hauserwirth.com


For orders please contact the studio.

MS @ Evening Standard // The highlights of London Craft Week 2018

'Home of Craftsmanship' at Bourdon House - Hole & Corner X Dunhill

DSC_0162.JPG

Hole and Corner collaborated with Dunhill this year, taking over their Mayfair flagship store at Bourdon House. Curating the ‘Home of Craftsmanship’, the store was filled with live demonstrations from various artisans: glassblowing with Michael Ruh, pottery with Florian Gabsby, weaving with Maria Sigma, spoon carving with Mark Reddy, knife making with Pole and Hunt and leather tailoring with the Dunhill team themselves. It was an innovative way to showcase an array of crafts and connect personally with the makers.

Read the full article here.