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Geraldine St Aubyn Hubbard

Geraldine St Aubyn Hubbard was born in Windsor, Berkshire in 1946 and studied textiles at West Surrey College of Art and Design (now the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College) from 1965 to 1968. She bought a Maxwell loom on graduating and first set up in Totnes, Devon where, at the same time, she took a job looking after children. As well as producing weavings in silk and wool, she taught spinning and weaving at the Adult Education Centre in Dartington, Devon.

St Aubyn Hubbard returned to the south of England to live and work in a rented cottage at Rowlands Castle, Hampshire in 1970 and also taught textile history at WSCAD at this time (1970-74). A grant from the Gwen Mullins Trust assisted her with purchasing a warping mill and spinning wheel. She wove dress lengths in silk and wool, and some in linen and cotton, using Craftsman's Mark yarns and natural dyes. In her approach to colour and cloth quality she was influenced by the teacher Ella McLeod, the spinner Morfudd Roberts and the handblock-printer Susan Bosence.

In 1976 she took a job running courses at the Harris Looms Centre in Hawkhurst, Kent. but found this too constricting. By 1978 she had moved to Charlton Cottages in Steyning, Sussex which was to be her home and workplace for ten years. A Southern Arts bursary awarded in 1981 enabled her to obtain winding equipment and a sewing machine and she steadily produced work sold largely through the annual Chelsea Crafts Fair (1981-99). This included warp striped silk and wool scarves, hand-woven clothes and some block-printed silk items such as ties.

She received a John Ruskin Trust bursary in 1986, boosting her confidence and enabling her to buy a 160cm-wide loom and form and equip a separate dye kitchen in her new premises at 'Rosebrook', Nutbourne, Sussex. This is her current home and workshop which she shares with her husband, Brian Dawson.

Although Geraldine St Aubyn Hubbard works alone, she occasionally takes students and employs local help with wet finishing and sewing. All her looms are in production and the cloth she weaves is made into clothes, ties and cushions professionally; it is sold through shops and galleries, exhibitions and open studio events. Predominantly a weaver and dyer, she continues to block-print on silk, occasionally combining woven and printed cloth in the same garment.



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