About Roby Workshop (full career bio at the bottom)
Roby Workshop is the maker studio of artist Wendy Roby (that’s me). I predominantly work with thread, fabric, wood and screen print to make contemporary textile art and occasionally sculpture. I often start with cheap, second-hand or waste materials; researching, experimenting and playing until I find something that sings. In the course of this exploration I often discover construction techniques or textile treatments that suit practical objects. When that happens, I make a small edit of jewellery, accessories or more affordable/decorative art available for purchase. The current Roby Workshop product line is here. I’m also happy to work on commissions if you see something you like and want it slightly bigger/in a different colour palette etc etc.
Transformation and the satisfaction of making something-from-nothing have been my preoccupation since childhood. As an artistic process it offers a more satisfying design and construction challenge than simply Buying New Stuff. There’s also an obvious environmental benefit. In addition, it seems to me that craft and art is often – with its word salad gallery descriptions and artisanal One True Way methods – hugely exclusionary in presentation and manner. I want to approach art and making in as fair and accessible a way as possible, which is another reason for using more unassuming materials like house paint or scrap wood.
My studio is in Stockport in a very sunny room inside a Brutalist concrete block on the side of a Victorian Mill that also happens to be styled inside like Ye Olde Medieval Shoppinge Village. I find this unusual mix of architectural ideas rather baffling but the people inside Ye Olde Medieval Shoppinge Village are a delight and my room is the best room you will ever be in; filled with masses of old tools (many of which belonged to my father), shelves groaning with vintage fabric and a life’s worth of craft supplies.
On the wall it reads; WHAT DOES THIS BUTTON DO?