Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau

Clive Grabham - Textile Artist

(February 19, 2011)

Interview with Clive Grabham

At Cymru Culture, we were delighted to be approached by talented textile artist Clive Grabham, who produces stunning handcrafted and individual pieces. Recently commissioned to produce pieces for Llanelli Fashion Week, Clive talks to us here about his work, inspiration and hopes for the future, featuring images of his recent work.

 

CC ... When did you first discover a love of design?
CG ... I didn't discover it, it just seemed natural to me. When I first started to paint I was more interested in creating a texture than the finished article. I wanted to do more with my hands than painting offered and with a mathematical bent to my nature took up rag rug work. which appealed to both hands and brain. I created this wallhanging to my own design, not knowing how it would turn out till it was finished. What I love about what I do is the spontaneity. I was so pleased with it I became more ambitious and decided to create a rug; 180 hours later it was finished. But I knew then it was time to move on to some other medium. Besides which, my mother in law was running out of old jumpers and t-shirts.
Clive 1 use
CC ... Do you have a favourite designer and, if so, why?
CG ... As for fashion designers, Sonia Rykiel's use of bold colours in contrast and Rick Owens, whose use of geometry in his fashion2010 was a hit.
CC ... You design stunning accessories. Why did you choose this particular medium?
CG ... I could not understand why we had moved from using natural materials, which are tactile and, l think, desirable, to a ,mass market throw away commodity system, which is what I think the clothing industry has become. That is, an industry where the bottom line is 'how cheap can I get it made for' to increase profit margins. I wanted to create an accessory that is stylish; that you can use when going out for the evening, or just to the shops, which hopefully, would give a lift to any outfit, but at the same time is practical - giving you warmth without bulk or weight - using the finest mohair wool and alpaca blends.
 
Clive new 1
 
CC ... Was it intimidating starting your business, and would you have any advice for anyone interested in doing the same?
CG ... The most intimidating thing in doing this was getting the self belief that what you produce is not only good, but is different to what is out there. As to advice for others: believe in yourself, because if you don't why should anybody else?
Clive 2 use              
CC ...How long does a 'typical' piece take to create?
CG ... There is no typical piece. The more intricate a design, the longer it takes  ... anything from four to seven hours; from setting up the loom, to finish.
Clive New 2
 
CC ... Where are your pieces available to purchase? Do you have any shows planned for 2011?
CG ... Currently, I am in process of setting up my website. But I can be contacted by email, on clivegrabham@hotmail.co.uk, and have sold at craft fairs in Cardiff. There is nothing planned as yet, but I am in discussion with various independant designer outlets in London and the South East for their autumn/winter collections. Anyone can see some of my work by googling my name (here). At present, they will end up on the website style 2000 which is showing some of my scarves on models.
Clive 3 use
CC ... What are your ultimate plans for your collections/brand?
CG ... My ultimate plans are to make the brand a byword in style, quality and uniqueness.
 
CC ... You've recently been commissioned to work on a piece for Llanelli Fashion Week. Please tell us about this experience.
CG ... Being commissioned by Llanelli Fashion Week to create two scarves using their colours is an exciting challenge, which I am enjoying. To date, I've made six different designs. It is, as I said, as I am working on one idea, that another pops into my head. Another thing I do for my customers, is to make a signature piece to match, or compliment, an outfit. It's really special for the customer to know that there's no other piece like it.
 
CC ... Clive Grabham, thank you. 
 

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