“Be part of the change!” An interview with Alison Pascoe from ASTRL Fibres.
We first connected with Alison a few years ago through Belfast Design Week.
Back then, she had just started her new creative business in Northern Ireland and wanted to reach out to other local creatives and collectives. Our paths have crossed many times since and we are delighted to connect with her once again through My Block.
Alison had studied Textiles & Sculpture in Alberta, Canada prior to moving to Northern Ireland in 2004 and after moving here spent nearly a decade working in a range of roles including managing a popular high street fashion store.
Leaving this role to start her own independent business ASTRL Fibres was her chance to reignite her creative spark and reconnect with her roots in heritage craft and design - we think it’s fair to say that taking that leap has paid off and that she hasn’t looked back since!
Since setting up, Alison has forged new collaborations, has developed workshops and become renowned for her macramé products including wall hangings and plant holders. She has also been resident in Born & Bred for the last few years.
“There’s a really rich history of heritage craft which people want to learn and know more about it.”
Lately there has been an increased uptake in preserving traditional craft and design skills which Alison believes is something worth encouraging and she hopes to be part of this movement to conserve and share knowledge.
Alison recently moved into a new studio space in Cregagh at 412 Woodstock Road. She hopes to use this as a place for developing her own practice as well as passing on knowledge about heritage craft and contemporary design through workshops. Her aim is for it to become something of a “hub” in the area.
Historically, Woodstock Road used to be a “market” road and more recently, there has been an influx of new independent businesses into the neighbourhood. We always make a point of asking businesses about other neighbouring businesses and recommendations. In Alison’s neighbourhood she signposted us to Decowell Restoration, Taca Cucina, Archive 12, Bethany Fruit & Veg Shop, Two Sisters Artisan Food & Craft, Kaffe O Cafe, forager Clare McQuillan, pie expert Pie Queen and signwriter Laura Nelson - some of whom already feature on My Block!
Supporting independent businesses and in particular small businesses helps bring life to an area and Alison has seen lots of businesses “test drive” new concepts in Cregagh which gives the area an entrepreneurial feel.
Alison believes that now’s the time to take action and “be part of the change” to support and shop local! After all, with Brexit’s impact on supply chains, there’s no better time to explore your local neighbourhood indie businesses.
“We have such a rich market here, we don’t have to rely on importing goods!”
It’s the season of gifting and ASTRL Fibres has a range of beautiful goods - from the small stocking-filler keychains and clay bells to plant hangers to wall-hangings and DIY kits and she’s ensured that there’s something for every price range.
Gifts £20 and under:
Macrame Your Own Plant Hanger Kit £20
Macrame Keychains: £8-£10
Plant hangers ranging from £28-£40
Macrame Your Own Wall Hanging Kit £25
Small Wall Hangings £38-£40
Gifts £40 and up:
Wall Hangings £60-£85
Bespoke commissions - full details on website
Alison will also be running a programme of regular workshops and masterclasses in 2022 which you can hear about through subscribing to her mailing list.
We can’t wait to see ASTRL Fibres’ new space in person and you can too. Join Alison for her next studio open day and pop up shop this Saturday 11th December from 2-5pm with more details in our "Things To Do" section.
Find out more about Alison & ASTRL Fibres on My Block and on her website.
All images from ASTRL Fibres.