Studio and Welfare Coordinator
BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing
BA (Hons) Textile Design
Life and Loom is a social and therapeutic weaving studio established by Fynn and Holly Hopper. The couple have recently moved back to Hull, having spent the last three years living in a Camphill Community in Scotland. Here they shared their house with their three young children and six adults with additional needs, including learning disabilities, downs syndrome and autism. The approach of the Camphill organisation is informed by social pedagogy and integrates education, care, hand craft and therapy to create a holistic response to the needs of the individual.
The insights of both Fynn and Holly have shaped Life and Loom into a safe place where they strive to support trainees to develop a social identity that is related to what they can do, not what they cannot. They want to provide an opportunity for people to engage in meaningful work; where people are able to say for example, ‘I’m a weaver’, ‘I’m a spinner’.
Working in partnership with Giroscope and the Hull and East Riding Time Bank, Fynn and Holly have opened the studio on Selby Street, Boulevard.
Holly discovered her love of weaving whilst volunteering in a museum in South Greenland in 2012, and through her time in Camphill developed an appreciation for the social and therapeutic potential of this traditional hand craft. Camphill have a rich tradition of social enterprise and supportive work environments for adults with special needs, and you will find their weaving day workshops across the world.
During Fynn’s career as a Learning Disability Nurse he found that the majority of adults with additional needs want to work, but only a small proportion are in employment. Negative attitudes and low expectations of their abilities are common amongst employers, and many people require support to develop skills and need flexible or personalised work programmes.
Our little studio is a place where all people are valued as artists and where all people can enjoy their own creative nature, regardless of previous experience or perceived artistic ability. Each person can bring their own ideas, personality, hopes, choices, rhythm and preferences so that every fabric produced is completely unique.
At Life and Loom we let our weaving be an expression of who we are, right here and now in the present moment.
Fynn Ralph Hopper