Weaveloveamy - Amy's Story

Here we meet Amy, a talented artist who has turned her love for surfing and weaving in a fully operational business @weaveloveamy.

Amy discusses her path to success and details certain challenges she overcame to get her where she is today.

You can browse and purchase Amy's work here:

Amy's Background Story

My name is Amy, I'm 47 and originally from Portsmouth, UK.

I went to Cardiff University and then made a life for myself in Wales, having met my ex-husband and having our fabulous two children who are now 20 and 23! For 15 years I ran three childcare settings, which began to take its toll due to staffing and legislation, and with a marriage I was unhappy with because I loved him more as a friend but didn't want to leave because of the children, was then masked with alcohol for many years.

I went to Peru and took part in an Ayahuasca healing retreat, and over the course of 10 years I went three times. The deep healing and removal of negative energies, made me realise I needed to do something about this and leave all the things that were making me unwell.

However just before making this decision my drinking took me to a very unhappy and lonely place. I was very sick at this point. I lost my childcare business, left my husband and nearly lost my children. I was taken into a rehabilitation centre for three months, and I've now been sober for 6 years.

When I came out of rehab and moved into my new house I enjoyed decorating it as I've always been into interior design. I saw a wall hanging on Etsy and decided to make one for myself.

So I bought a small loom, watched online tutorials and taught myself. I haven't stopped weaving since!

Overcoming Alcoholism & Shaping Artistic Expression

Since being sober my pace of life has slowed down, my head is patient, calm and happier.

I spent so much time being anxious, paranoid and stressed as to when I could get my next drink that it consumed me, so I am now so grateful as to how peaceful my body and mind has become. I'm no longer anxious and paranoid, and love the freedom of enjoying nature and being present in everything I do.

My new found freedom has allowed my dormant love for creativity to be ignited. I loved pottery in school, and all things interiors, but my life took a different path with no regrets.

Everyday I can be inspired by the things around me, such as the beauty in the woods, the excitement and serenity of the sea and the textures in architecture and landscapes I can finally see clearly and be me.

The Oceans Role In Weaveloveamy

Surfing has found its way into my life over the past two years. My partner and I (we met in rehab) both started surfing together in a beginners lesson at The Wave in Bristol.

It didn't take long to get hooked, I've always been a water baby. We soon bought our own boards and now regularly surf at our local beach Rest Bay, in Porthcawl, South Wales. We have also been to a couple of surf camps in Europe such as Morocco and recently Peniche in Portugal.

After surfing the fabulous beaches of Baleal I was inspired to make a weaving with the chunky textured merino wool representing the white water that I frequently rolled around in whilst trying to get out the back, then the ombre of blues depicting the beautiful colours of the ocean.

The process of these pieces are very calming and therapeutic. Each piece I make is represented by a beach I have surfed at. The ocean also provides me with beautiful driftwood and collecting pieces for my wall hangings is part of the process.

I absolutely love walking along the beach spotting the perfectly bleached, unique pieces that have their own story to tell.

Amy's Weaving Techniques & Materials

I like to be as sustainable as possible, and make my frames from recycled pieces of wood from my local recycling centre and use off cuts from the local wood yard.

I use a variety of materials using a tabby weave on my handmade looms and frames to create the ombre textures such as jute, recycled sari silks, banana yarn, charity shop wool, off cuts and beautiful soft merino wool. Each piece is unique and not one piece will ever be the same.

Depending on the size, it can take anything from 3 days - 1 week to make a piece.

Living a Sober Lifestyle

I am so happy to finally be reliable and present for my children and parents. Having their trust again actually makes me immensely proud. There are many other benefits such as being healthier, making better daily choices, being excited for new adventures, and exploring my creativity.

And of course enjoying my new hobby surfing, sometimes at 6am, something I could never have done before!

Balancing Surfing & Amy's Craft

Going to the beach is a big part of the process as I need to find the driftwood for the wall hangings I make that aren't in the frames. My partner and I go down the beach at least twice a month to make the most of a driftwood haul, and then surf if the conditions are good.

This is generally at the weekends as my partner works in the week. I'm so inspired when I'm at the beach, so I feel both passions go hand in hand.

Amy's Advice to Others

I would say just believe in yourself and don't give up on your passion. Times are hard as we are faced with a difficult economic situation right now, but being creative is so beneficial to your mental health and it takes you away from negative focuses and calms your mind when you are in the zone.

Being busy always helped, especially in the first year or so of recovery. Finding a craft and trying new skills and hobbies, along with meeting like minded people has been a game changer.

Amy's Favourite Work Of Art: Peniche

When I came back from my surf trip to Peniche, I was particularly inspired to make the first framed ocean style wall hanging. I called this piece "Peniche".

I shared this piece in a surf group on social media and it proved very popular, as I then received a few orders from all over the world, and even even sent one to Hawaii. The "Peniche" piece will always have a place in my heart.

Typical Day When Not Weaving Or Surfing?

I have recently decided to take the plunge and be self-employed with my business Weaveloveamy, and give it the best shot I can as I feel its now or never! So I work from home most days, but when I'm not working or surfing, I am busy interior designing, making my house a home.

I love watching DIY tutorials and making things such as my concrete table which I'm very proud of! I also love swimming and walking my dog.

How do you envision the impact of your art on the spaces where it's displayed and on the people who connect with it?

Unique hand woven textures on the wall are so tactile and bring a statement to any room. They allow people to feel calm and serene when looking at the ocean, and ocean sunset pieces, and some have said they even have a sense of connection to the ocean.

My pieces seem to resonate with those who have a love for and enjoy being in and around the ocean. Its no coincidence that I've had pieces go to surfers in Costa Rica, Florida and other coastal hotspots.

Memorable Moment From Your Surfing/Van Adventures?

Hiring the van 'Betsy' for our our very first time was so very special. It was the most beautiful day on Putsborough Beach in North Devon, UK. Our van was parked with the back doors open to the best views to the stunning beach, and the surf was amazing.

My partner went off for a surf, and in the comfort of the van I wove away to my hearts content, sipping my green tea, watching the surfers and listening to the waves. It was perfection. We had lunch then both went for an afternoon surf. It was such a special day.

Favourite Artists You Take Inspiration From?

As I love using natural materials and textures with a contemporary style, as I make various styles of wall hangings. I do really admire Jessica Ozlo and her use of textures.

I also love the sea scape paintings that artist Megan Wakelam creates, they are beautifully captured.

To view Amy's work please follow her Instagram @weaveloveamy and view her website

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