Julia creates contemporary woven textiles on her four traditional Cypriot looms. Despite the fact that hand weaving is a long and laborious process, it allows for interesting ways to interact with a variety of yarns and materials. The process begins with the making of the warp, which is the basis of a woven fabric, the stretched threads on the loom on which a design is woven. Since Julia is using traditional Cypriot looms, she makes her warp in the traditional way, which is quite physical (but still enjoyable) and takes a couple of hours to complete.
Setting up the traditional Cypriot loom involves:
- making the warp
- dipping the threads used for the heddles in a flour solution ('psyshiasma')
- tying the thread heddles on the shafts
- joining the old warp with the new ('proskollima')
Julia usually starts her weavings without knowing what the final outcome will be; it’s not until the fabric is cut from the loom that she begins formulating an idea of what it could be used for. After this initial experimentation, she starts weaving a new design – this time with a plan of what it is going to become – based on her favourite bits from the experimentation.
Julia's work is primarily inspired by traditional Cypriot textiles, which she collects from local villages. She is fascinated by the continuation of ideas and patterns from past to future, and feels that she discovers more about her identity and background by exploring traditional works. Julia is also inspired by materials — local wool, copper wire, and interesting objects she gathers from nearby rivers — because they give such unique qualities to fabric when woven in. Projects she has done in the past, such as theatrical costumes, wall hangings and even paintings, influence her work as well.