Place Category: Artists & Studios
The Silk Weaving Studio has been a part of Granville Island since 1986 when Diana Sanderson established her haven of beautiful textiles in a small building under the bridge. Diana still owns and guides the studio today and her passion for silk, especially the ways that colour and texture can enhance such a precious natural fibre, is manifest in the special place the studio has become today. A joy in creativity and in the visual and tactile variety offered by handmade textiles are driving forces in everything that is made and shared in this warm and welcoming space.
Our textiles are all based on silk and the way that the fibre is blended, spun, dyed, and the many corners of the world from which it comes ensure a great range of inspiring materials is always on hand. Add to that the diverse weaving structures available to the makers and the result is a huge array of beautifully unique pieces.
We make the hand woven and knitted products we sell in the studio; though sometimes we also work in our own homes when there are not enough studio hours in the day. The team, currently there are five of us, collaborate to create scarves, and shawls and we also weave fabric which is locally tailored into striking garments. The structure and colourway at the heart of most of the woven pieces is designed by Diana but, as the work comes together, each weaver influences the final piece by choosing the type and colour of the weft.
Visitors enjoy watching the weaving as well as, on occasion, many other processes involved in making the warp and setting up of the loom: we are always doing something interesting happening in the studio.
The Silk Weaving Studio is also the home of Sanjo Silk yarns. 100% silk yarns as well many which blend silk with other natural fibres, including merino wool, alpaca, cashmere, linen and baby camel down, are carefully sourced from around the world and dyed in Vancouver. Sanjo offers yarns and fibres which fire the imagination and expand the possibilities for customers’ own projects. Sanjo also represents the SEPALI project, which promotes sustainable seta culture in Madagascar by bringing fascinating and unusual silk cocoon fabrics to North America.
In summer we have silkworms in the studio. They complete their entire life cycle here, growing from minute hatchlings until they are ready to pupate, spin their cocoons. Inside their silk sanctuary, they are allowed to emerge as moths, to mate and lay eggs for next year’s worms.
In addition to work created on site, the studio hosts two or three exhibitions each year including a local invitation event and also guest shows, often offered in conjunction with the Maiwa School of Textiles. We frequently feature the work of Japanese artists, bringing interesting and rarely seen work to Granville Island and reflecting the interest and inspiration Diana finds in Japan.