Through The Round Window


Ptolemy Mann works with a spectrum of colour, having developed a series of signature hand dyeing and weaving techniques that bring a dynamic modern context to her craft. Here Mann shares why her studio is her sanctum…





A ‘hole-and-corner’ is an old English term meaning a secret place: somewhere you go to escape the world, to be inspired and to contemplate and create. Where is your ‘hole-and-corner’?
My studio – in my garden, in Sussex.

Can you explain why it is so special to you?
I’ve had a studio for 20 years now and its always been the centre of my creative life. This studio is the first one I’ve actually designed and built and it feels very special – like I’ve truly found my favourite place at last. What’s interesting is that it feels like a multi-layered place – not just a place of work but a place of contemplation and pleasure too. I also realise it quite literally has a hole (round window) and a corner (none of them right angles).

Is it important to you to have somewhere to escape from the hustle and bustle of life?
I would say it’s essential. I couldn’t live without it.

What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
I’m pretty eclectic…it can be anything from Keith Jarrett – meditative and soothing to hardcore African beats by Fela Kuti which are good to weave to. I also listen to radio plays and audio books – much of my time at the loom is long and repetitive so it’s good to be engrossed in a dialogue of some kind or another/

What elements do you think make a perfect ‘hole-and-corner’?
It’s a deeply personal thing – unique to each of us. For me it’s light, a view, peace, colour, flowing ideas…

Is it private to you or do you let other people visit?
Absolutely open to others but by invitation only!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Learn a craft.