- Name: Steve Wilson
- Job: Weaver and teacher
- Born: Edinburgh
- Lives: Edinburgh
- Education: Croydon, De Montfort, Scottish College of Textiles
- Family: Partner Kim Williamson (a knitter and teacher) with four daughters
I am a designer and weaver so my working life is split between designing, weaving and making, and selling and marketing.
I began weaving after leaving a career which didn’t suit me after university – revisiting a small mill in the highlands of Scotland which the family used to visit every summer holiday when I was a child, and rescuing it from closure.
I retrained in textiles at Galashiels and began weaving in earnest, setting up in Cumbria and latterly in the Borders of Scotland where I weave now.
I spend the winter months after New Year designing, buying yarn, dyeing up colours for my palette, and weaving the actual items.
This goes on until mid-summer, and whereas I don’t have a typical day, I am usually up at 7am to get any administration out of the way, then getting on with whatever task is in hand.
The marketing and selling continues throughout the year, with continuous online sales, spring and summer yarn shows, the Edinburgh Fringe Art and Craft Show, then culminating with six weeks at Christmas Market.
Last year I was in Winchester, and now I am in Chester showing my wares, which consist this year of a range of 100% cashmere scarves and wraps, and mohair/wool throws.
I also have some wonderful handmade brooches made by an artist friend of mine near Inverness.
This is my first time in Chester and I am finding it a very interesting place as I like historical towns, with old buildings incorporated into new shops sensitively.
I am staying only ten minutes walk away and open up at 10am come rain or shine.
It can be a bit depressing on cold wet days and it is essential to ‘layer up’ as the body temperature can steadily drop through the day.
It can seem a very long day when the weather is bad and I have to pull everything into the stall to keep dry.
The best times are sunny days with plenty of people about to chat and engage with, and hopefully plenty of sales too!
There’s always a good camaraderie among the other stallholders, and we tend to look after each other if we need a coffee or the loo, as well as general security.
Most evenings I’ll cook at the digs, but eat out a couple of times a week, sometimes with one of the other stallholders.
I like The Botanist after the market and am still exploring other places to relax in.
Also glad to hear the cinema is being re-established as I normally go once a week at this time!
Maybe a film on TV, or read before bed, then much-needed sleep before the next day.
What do you wear to do your job? Usually jeans and T-shirt or padded shirt – on the stall many layers including ski jacket, gloves and boots if it gets really cold.
What is the favourite part of your job? Selling an item to a customer who really appreciates all that has gone into it and chatting to them about my work.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Dealing with suppliers who mess me about because I am a small one man band.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? Trekking guide. In January 2013 I researched traditional silk weaving in northern Laos, having a Chinese friend who supplied loads of contacts.
It was a fantastic experience. I met all sort of people there, including a Swedish couple who were teaching the local boys pottery techniques unknown to them.
How do you relax when you are not working? Playing the piano, listening to music, cooking, film, theatre and comedy, travel, reading and trekking.
What is your favourite film? Blade Runner.
What is your favourite book? Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
What is your favourite song? Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Ewan McGregor.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? Don’t think so!
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