Five or six years ago, when I first went full time weaving These Isles from my then-Dartmoor native perspective, an acquaintance brought his wife and lovely teenage daughters to my rental smallholding on the high moor near Princetown to see about commissioning a blanket. I didn’t know at the time that the lovely redhead wife, a strong, quiet character around 40 and whose birthday fell a day after mine on International Women’s Day, was dying of cancer. So I wove a blanket for her deathbed. After she died, her daughters wrapped themselves in it around a campfire.
A year or so after that, the man commissioned a blanket for himself: blood red and deep purple. To match his sitting room he said, though I guessed rather his bloodied heart.
This heart-coloured blanket happened to be on the loom when a lovely writer for Etsy interviewed me for a wonderful article which made my stats soar, commissioning my fantastic photojournalist friend Alice Carfrae to take the best shots that you see around my web presence. (Alice is based between Nepal, Beijing and Delhi, so I am lucky when I catch her in this country. We have bartered in the past and recently agreed a cowl in exchange for a video at some point. Her clients include the BBC, Action Aid and Indian anti-rape charities, among others; do visit her stunning website. So I was lucky to get her on that count too.)
My blanket customer has become a very supportive friend, aide and political ally, as well as a talented musical accomplice. Niall Parker of Gravity Machine has written and recorded an epic album to his late wife, which you can listen to and buy here.
And my red-purple blanket? Well, today it is modelled by Sarah Edwards in Niall’s latest, also-epic, music video, shot on a favourite Dartmoor location by superb cinematographer Harry Duns, also a Dartmoor native. The stunning portraits that you see here are stills from the video, which is released today, Saturday October 31st.
Bewitched at Samhain!