Time stands still in Sundance Studio in Flinders, a quiet space where local maker Emma Shepherd celebrates the time-honoured tradition of weaving.
Emma moves gracefully between looms and warping mills, using traditional techniques that offer a slow and sustainable alternative to fast fabric and fast fashion.
Each piece is carefully woven and made by hand, celebrating the connection between material and maker. It’s a slow and rhythmic process that sees natural fibres crafted and transformed.
“Weaving is a process of losing oneself in the motion, a passing of time, reflected in cloth”, says Emma. “It’s a meditative practice, seeing the fabric build beneath your hands.”
Having completed a BA in Textile Design at RMIT in 2018, Emma travelled to Belgium and America in 2019 to intern with some of the industry’s best, including Esther Van Schuylenbergh and Rachel Snack. In 2019, Emma landed a month-long artist in residency in Iceland, which saw her working on 100-year-old looms. It was a transformative experience that inspired her to start her own weaving label.
Emma’s distinctive designs feature earthy tones and textures inspired by the Peninsula’s natural landscape. Each piece tells a story of time and place, incorporating gathered and recycled materials, as well as linens, wool and silk.
Whilst some pieces use a delicate lace-like technique to knot the warp together and create patterns, others are more textural, with un-braided jute looped to create its own organic form.
“I hope that the pieces create time to pause and admire what our hands are capable of making”, says Emma.
Sundance Studio is open by appointment, with visitors able to experience the look and feel of the textiles in person. Emma has a collection of cushions, bags, tableware and wall-hangings for those looking to invest in ready-made pieces, or she welcomes custom commissions to suit your space.