|Rodrick Owen has been making braids for 30 years. He trained as a mature student
at the London College of Furniture, completing the City and Guilds Creative Textiles
programme, qualifying with distinctions in 1981. He remained at the College as a
Tutor for the next 13 years. He was educated in Australia, and spent 25 years working
in Industry, leaving in 1973 to found a residential learning centre in France. His
textile work has developed from his research that begun while at college, covering
both Pre-Hispanic Peruvian Braids and Japanese Kumihimo. Currently his research is
expanding to cover braids throughout Europe and Asia.
In 1984 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study Kumihimo in Japan.
While in Tokyo he was invited to teach at two Universities, and exhibited with Makiko
Tada in Tokyo and Osaka. In 1987 he was invited to send work for the opening exhibition
at the American Crafts Museum, New York, to celebrate the publication of Jack L.
Larsen's book Interlacing. The exhibition travelled to Washington DC to be
shown at the Textile Museum in 1988. In 1990 he was a co-director of the Textile
Festival held in Bradford UK. In 1991 he organized an international, mixed media
exhibition, Sunrise in the West. It included kimono, kumihimo, prints and pottery
and travelled to locations in the UK. Arts and Crafts Council grants have supported
his work, leading to exhibitions and commissions including those from Linda and Paul
McCartney, Textile Designers and Industry.
He has written a book Braids: 250 Patterns from Japan. Peru and Bevond published
by Cassell and Interweave Press in March 1995. The book has been translated into
German and Danish. Victorian Video invited him to make a video on Kumihimo - Japanese
Braiding that was released in May 1999. His second book Making Kumihimo- Japanese
Interlaced Braids was published by GMC UK in February 2004. Articles on this work
have appeared in several magazines in the UK and USA including Ornament, Piecework,
Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, and Beadwork. Apart from teaching in the UK, his
work has taken him to four European countries, Australia and many parts of the USA,
including Convergence at Washington DC, Atlanta and Cincinnati. He is available to
teach workshops and seminars.