Jessica Blume is a Melbourne based weaver and crafter, whose path to her current practice has really been about following her creative intuition.
After time spent living abroad in London, Jessica returned home to continue her Arts degree in Melbourne, but she felt restless. ‘I was really struggling mentally without a creative outlet, I wasn’t using my hands and that affected me more than I expected,’ she explains.
Trusting her instinct, Jessica cut back on classes. She developed an interest in textiles, and started to make clothes. She pursued fashion for a little while, but craved ‘more making’, and an interest in weaving soon followed. ‘I wanted a studio based practice where I could spend all day absorbed in lectures and podcasts while my hands stayed busy making things,’ she says. ‘It was a book called Beyond Craft: The Art Fabric’ by Mildred Constantine that really drew me into weaving – I was incredibly moved by it.
Having found her passion, Jessica enrolled in textile design at RMIT, and started working for local designers Pop & Scott and Gemma Patford, doing painting, weaving, floristry and sewing, before starting her own weaving practice.
From her studio in Brunswick, Jessica creates small tapestries, larger-than-life wall hangings and other woven creations. Recently she has also started experimenting with furniture design, applying her handwoven elements to existing chair frames.
This year Jessica has big plans. She is keen to develop her range of one off chairs, as well as create a clothing and beach accessories range in collaboration with a friend. As for the bigger picture, Jessica hopes ones day to create installation works for museums, and to work alongside Indigenous communities around the world. ‘I would love to help preserve and maintain traditional indigenous cloth and basket weaving techniques’ she says. ‘They hold a value that is so much more precious than their beauty alone.’