Betty Briand

First steps

011Betty Briand was born in 1964 and grew up in the Deux-Sèvres where she later became a farmer. She now lives in Chinon, in Indre et Loire, France. She has four children.

Betty learnt about textiles as a child from her grand-mother – a peasant-farmer and needle-woman. To amuse her grand-daughter, “Mamie Denise” spent a lot of time with her and got her grand-father to make her a wooden frame – a rudimentary weaving loom.

Betty’s interest in weaving grew out of these moments of learning and affection and continues to this day. In the 80s, she organized courses in weaving, spinning, vegetable dyeing and string-making for children. Later, in Chinon, she set up a workshop in her home, with one, then two, then three weaving looms, with four, then eight, then 16 shafts…

Training

DSC01331In 2006, Betty met Erica de Ruiter, an internationally renowned teacher. This meeting was a turning point: Betty acquired a passion for weaving and decided to further her skills. She made contact with weavers in France and abroad, she took courses every year and acquired a collection of specialist books.

“I make a lot of samples to test out and experiment with the most complex weaves, to play with colours, threads, material… in this way I made discoveries and developed my skills, and now I create my own woven fabrics. The framework is determined by the carefully designed warp. The movement of the shuttle and the weft that I have chosen then allow creativity to flow freely …”

Developing

P1060144Largely self-taught but supported by regular training courses, Betty has mastered the most sophisticated techniques and methods of the art of weaving. Her conviction : “In weaving, thanks to the multiplicity of fibres, the variety of colours, and the infinite weaves, the fabrics retain a modernity that never goes out of fashion. The delight of mixing and experimenting: a bit of technique to try out something new and indulge in a flight of fancy. A rigorous and almost mathematical framework serving the poetry of composition.”.

P1020620Betty has thus developed her own weaving philosophy, making it an art of living: “I have chosen to run courses and workshops to teach weavers and to share this joy of creation, this magic moment of producing a fabric, in which mind and hands work together, and for which sight is as important as touch, the interweaving of skills serving beauty and utility…”