This past Saturday's STOCKMARKET in Caldwell Park was great! I met so many wonderful people and shared the art of weaving with everyone that stopped by the booth.
All in WEAVING
It has definitely become routine now.
These images are the result of physically weaving together two photographic prints of the same subject. They are an attempt to bridge dignified, direct portraits with a sort of abstraction that allows their subjects to hide within themselves, and the photographs to be distinctly physical objects. In hiding some things, we reveal others.
I am totally in the thick of it.
100 days ago, I made a creative commitment. I decided to push my own personal boundaries of what I considered "weaving" into strange and almost daunting territory.
Like a phoenix rising and falling each morning and night, Father Sun burns brightly and leaves majestic fiery sunsets for the world to marvel at. Similarly, the internal fire of passion and love can be represented in one's own personal cycle of rest and rebirth, stronger each day and more focused on the path ahead.
Next Wednesday, I'll be releasing a (very) limited run of two handwoven totes made from the wool scraps of Pendleton blankets. I acquired a few different colors of blanket scraps when I purchased my used Macomber floor loom along with tons of other rag rug weft. My first thought was not rugs, but tote bags. I love the look of rag rugs and I think the fabric would make wonderful, sturdy totes for everyday use.
I took a break in December to enjoy the holidays with my family, decompress and reflect on the year past and plan for the year to come. I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
I guess you could say I felt a bit of pressure when trying to decide on a weaving concept for my October submission. Considering that I was the one who came up with the challenge idea, I wanted to really push myself to try something out of my comfort zone.
AVL Looms in Chico, California makes floor looms for both small scale and production weaving. They are most known for their dobby looms, which are computerized floor looms with a set number of harnesses. They are similar to a digital jacquard loom, but not as sophisticated a machine. Each thread is not individually controlled, as you still have different harnesses, but there is a great deal more design work available to you when working at 16 or 24 harnesses versus 4 or 8 on the standard floor loom.
Even with all of the endless sources of inspiration online these days, I still love thumbing through a gorgeous print magazine. It calms me, enables me to escape into its pages for an hour or so and truly appreciate textile work on a whole new level. I love to collect textile magazines and honestly, I don't have enough. I wish I could subscribe to every single one, but as a niche publication tends to go, they can get quite pricey. That's why I am always on the lookout for back issues at thrift stores, used book stores, flea markets and occasionally eBay (if I'm looking for a particular issue).
Most of my favorite natural dyeing inspiration comes from India Flint. The organically beautiful way in which she paints and pounds with plant color is awe inducing. Fabric bundles crammed with leaves, flowers, mud, and rust are left to cure for weeks at a time, only to later reveal gorgeous prints and color combinations only nature could achieve.
Instagram has become my favorite place to meet fellow weavers. One of these awesome weavers, Sarah Neubert, has created a wonderful community with her monthly challenges via The Weaving Kind.
The Weaving Kind releases a new assignment every month to challenge and push weavers creatively and technically in their work, while simultaneously exposing you to new artists and fellow weaving peers. Talk about inspiration overload!
I was so incredibly moved to tears while watching this little documentary / UK television show called Mastercrafts, that focuses on different crafts each episode. The only one I watched was the weaving episode. Full disclosure, I'm an empath, so I tend to get really emotional when watching any sort of TV (also why I can't hardly watch anything scary, but I digress) so you may not be as "moved" by this as I was, but it really resonated with my path as an artist and as weaver.
Lately, I have become obsessed with NHK's Begin Japanology series after receiving a suggestion that I watch this specific episode on Japanese indigo dyeing or aizome. This is wonderful look into some of the history and technique of such a well-established art form.
Cool Hunting posted something recently that made me weak in the knees with textile envy. They profiled Stephen Szczepanek, owner of Sri Threads in Brooklyn, NY. Sri Threads is an incredible boutique featuring a vast array of Japanese and Indian textiles including indigo dyed, katazome, ikat, and of course, boro. Each piece is carefully sourced by Szczepanek to add to the boutique's collection. The video talks about some of the types of pieces he carries as well as his process behind finding these fiber relics. Watch and swoon, not only at the fabric, but also at the amazing (I assume) library of books behind him in the video. Perfect inspiration for a Monday.
I love being able to glimpse into the process of other weavers. The longer I weave, the more I regard the craft as something more subjective in its mastery. There are always multiple ways of reaching the end result, but it is the journey, in all of its idiosyncrasies that is often overlooked.