Artist: Michaela Johnston

A hand loom with woven fabric.

BA Textile Design
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London

Michaela is a contemporary textile designer and craftsperson.

Michaela’s practice investigates each element within the production process of woven textiles, exploring the potential for developing sustainable, circular ways of working that do not generate needless waste. Michaela’s hand-spun yarns are created from new and known fibres and coloured with her own natural dyes, which she makes from foraged and homegrown materials. She weaves her fabrics on handlooms, jacquard and homemade back strap looms. Motivated by functional, purpose-driven design, her working processes simultaneously look to the future and draw upon production methods from the past.

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A small loom with woven fabric.
A woven fabric with muted natural tones.
Spools of hand-spun thread.
A long woven strip of fabric.

In:Site 2022

Michaela is one of 20 artists who were selected to show their work at In:Site 2022. The event took place in spring 2022.
Find out more about the other artists.

Michaela Johnston offered an opportunity to try weaving and spinning using natural materials in her project Woven Communities. The public were invited to play, experiment and explore how the materials perform and behave as you weave them in her onsite weaving studio. Drawing attention to the natural world and our dependence on it, Michaela’s project highlighted the connections and support that shared spaces and creative activities can bring to communities.

a close up of woven fabric and yarns
A man sits at a spinning wheel creating his own spool of yarn
a hand holding a spool of thread working at a weaving a strip of fabric
A woman holds up a strip of woven fabric next to a weaving loom

Where Next?

Artist: Rebecca Leek

Artist showcase.

A close-up section of a larger piece, made up of overlaid abstract shapes in red, blue, and yellow. This is a mixed media piece, comprised of print, embroidery, stitchwork and painting.

Artist: Lucy Ralph

Artist showcase.

A visual and textual informational poster of a young woman wearing a white polo shirt and blue jeans, both of which have been fixed by visible repair through patchworks of red, blue and white fabric scraps. Overlaid onto this photo are the phrases ‘PATCH IT’, ‘Dads old jeans’ and ‘Old school polo’.

Artist: Lola Awolowo

Artist showcase.

A painted, and embroidered portrait of a blue-eyed Black woman, on a background of collaged book pages. Her face is circular and tilted and she has short black hair. Her necklace and earrings are beads embroidered onto the piece’s surface. Her outline has been stitched in yellow thread.

Artist: Katy Gillam-Hull

Artist showcase.

A hand holding a green glass bead between the thumb and forefinger in front of a blurred house and tree.


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