Jacquie Synnott is a creative based in Sydney, Australia. We worked together a few years ago and became fast friends. I spoke to hear about her career, creative process and what inspires her.
Hi, could you please give a little introduction to yourself and describe what you do.
Hey, I’m Jacquie, weaver, potter and DIY enthusiast. I fell in love with the loom around 5 years ago out of pure coincidence. Weaving, to me, is a therapeutic break from reality that results in a beautiful finished product, win-win! I like to work with neutral colours whilst incorporating pops of gold for contrast. Nothing makes me happier than finishing a piece and hanging it straight on the wall.
How did you discover your passion and talent for weaving?
I was actually at home sick with the flu, sitting in bed browsing Youtube. I came across a beginners weaving tutorial using only a piece of cardboard and some string.
I can’t say the outcome was pretty! But I was excited, I knew this impromptu little craft session had a future.
What’s your creative process when starting a new project?
I find it hard to create something without a loose plan in mind. With the limited time I have for my hobbies and creative pursuits, I tend to research on the fly, usually on my commute to and from work by browsing Instagram, Pinterest and design blogs.
From here I’ll basically wait until I feel excited about something I come across and then it’s full steam ahead. I’m extremely picky, so when I see something that interests and challenges me I can, usually, envisage the finished product pretty quickly.
Once I have the idea, I’ll sketch the finished weave and test out the colour combinations in illustrator.
You work full time in design, how do you find a balance between this and your handbag design work?
I work as an account manager in a design studio so I’m constantly surrounded by design projects yet I’m not ‘on the tools’ until I’m in front of the loom. This makes me really appreciate my creative time.
By nature, I am not a routine person, so I try extra hard to be consistent. I lock in specific nights of the week to work on weaving and pottery. You have to treat your side job exactly like your main job, putting aside dedicated time is the only way to get good, consistent work done.
Do you plan to make your passion project a full-time thing or do you enjoy having the two creative pursuits?
Yes actually! I have plans to launch an online store in 2020 selling a variety of my work from weavings to pottery to photographic prints. I’ve bought the domain name, which is the hardest part, right? 😉
I think most people have an idea of the perfect career, what does yours look like?
The perfect career to me is having the benefit of doing a mixture of things. Ideally, I’d be working as a part-time creative project manager for an integrated design agency with a client base focused on the exhibition and interior design. And the other half of the week I would focus on my personal homewares brand, I’d use this time to create products, up-skill as much as possible, and sell my work into homeware stores throughout Australia.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Maryanne Moodie is the original inspiration! I admire how she shares her skill and artform through her workshops, books and social media. She is a true artist willing to help others find their hidden talents through weaving education. I’m still dying to go to one of her workshops. She runs them a few times a year out of New York, Sydney and Melbourne – I’m making a point of going to the next one I can!
Has your work changed since you first started out? If so how has it changed?
When I first started out I was motivated to produce a high volume of work, now I’m motivated to produce high-quality work instead. I think it’s only natural to want to create a lot, or to prove that you’re creating a lot (thanks IG). But I’ve come to find that well designed, purposeful work is the most fulfilling, for both the artist and the buyer.
What has been the most satisfying moment you have had in your career.
Collaborating with another artist to produce a beautiful 3ft tall weave was hands down my most satisfying experience. Together we worked through the design, sending sketches back and forth to each other via Whatsapp. I was based in London at the time, and she in Berlin. It was so incredible to work closely with someone in another country – technology can facilitate so much creativity. The finished weave was a birthday present for her sister so I knew all the hard work was going to a good home.
Weaving is such a personal craft as you need to be focused and willing to spend hours alone concentrating – so there’s nothing better than being able to share the creative process with another person.
If you could start your journey again, would you do anything differently knowing what you know now?
I would buy myself the proper materials from the beginning, I’m talking proper weaving needles, quality yarn, desk etc. If you have the passion, you can work from anywhere with anything (be it a piece of cardboard). But having passion plus the tools will set you apart from the rest. The aim is for our weaves to be around for longer than we are!
Do you have advice for anybody starting out in weaving?
Be prepared to put in the time to get the results you want.
Search for interesting yarn in charity shops.
And never stop looking for inspiration in nature.