Charlene C Spiteri
Designer, cloth maker, technical skilled professional weaver.
Warp & Weft (by Charlene C Spiteri)
What is your professional or training background?
My first signs of training started in year 11 (VCE) in 1985 where I had my first exposure to weaving. Since then I have continued to focus on textiles by majoring in weave at RMIT’s (formally known as MIT) ‘Studio textiles’ course for 2 years where I was taught weaving by a master weaver. I then studied for an additional 3 years at RMIT (BOA) textiles design course where I again further explored my love for weaving, in colour and design.
It has been a total of 15 years in the craft of weaving and a professional 10 years separately to weaving as a full time creative designer in the automotive industry, more recently working within the Colour and Trim department with GM Holden.
What do you make, create or do?
I design, make and create handwoven textile ‘art’ pieces. My work is three dimensional using a range of boxed framed pieces to canvas wrapped textiles to reveal its colour, pattern and texture. Its art you can touch and feel...
It starts from an idea. I love to focus on home ground soil; Australia’s wonderful landscapes which can start from the colours and textures of a native flower which is then interpreted into a woven piece. My works are targeted towards residential interior spaces as display art for walls or display shelfs ranging from single pieces up a collection of 3-4 anywhere up to 8 pieces. A serious of wall pieces can really capture this eclectic feel when positioned in a random layout.
The essence of my business is focused around the tradition, the skills and talent of me which is reflected in my work as well as the history of my life, my weaving journey and family journey in the creative world and how it has evolved over time.
I am starting to explore traditional products of the past such as wall hangings and creating a modern twist.
I believe a handwoven cloth is a treasure to be preserved. It’s a rear and technically minded skilled that till today still remains the same process.
What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time?
I see myself always being a weaver (aside from my full time Job a creative designer at Holden) however see myself branching into photography and one day owning my own art gallery to display ‘creative art’ for people who are not necessarily given the opportunity to exhibit there works.
What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
I believe I have developed the skills from ideation through to final product however I am always proactive to learn new and innovative solutions in design.
My weaving skills are one I like to think I have mastered and more recently I have completed a post graduate course in the profession of business marketing.
I would like to develop many skills. You can never learn enough! As a sole designer owner I have found it leads you to wearing various hats. Being the marker, social media expert, IT support, etc. Working for a large organisation is quite different to running a small business. I have definitely developed skills working for a large company which can be used however marketing and selling your products effectively takes a new set of skills.
List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
1. The Design Files. Need I say anymore!! (Love it!)
2. Pollen Marketing (Natalie Giddings) A Master Queen Bee in social marketing and not to mention her fantastic ability to be able to run a successful business, mange a family of 3 kids and make time for people such as myself to develop and market their products more visible. Her charming personality is inspiration alone...
3. Margo Selby – Another weaver based in the UK and who has made a living out of weaving. Her works are amazing and her shop dedicated to all things weave is rear to find. www.margoselby.com
4. Jakob Schlaepfer of Jakob Schlaepfer. A talented designer for ‘Haute Couture and decor textiles. Meet Jakob in person recently and I was truly inspired. www.jakobschlaepfer.com
5. ABC TV series episodes of ‘Mastercrafts’. What a great show to showcase the amazing crafts of the past and there continued strength they hold today. www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/
Contact Charlene via info/at/warp-weft.com.au
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