I find all the processes involved in weaving cloth to be interesting. From designing the draft, to winding the warp, dressing the loom, and watching as I weave, the pattern develop. A world of intrigue unfolds when texture, pattern, and color come together in the interaction of materials and tools. A new relationship forms when colors come together to create pattern. The tactile experience of human and machine interacting to create cloth, generated by the placement of warp and weft, produced by the smooth shuttle gliding through the shed, are a direct link to my fundament desire to make fabric.
This desire was once a need. Handwoven cloth was a necessary process to the functioning of human society. This begs the question, “What is the role of hand weaving in society today”? There are many reasons to create fabric by hand. One is body adornment, which I like to think of as fabric that speaks to the body. Another is something to rest my head on or wrap around my body that speaks to home and heart. Handwoven cloth is about useful things that please ones sense of belonging to a place. It incorporates timeless beauty with function and form. Handwoven cloth prompts conversation about historical context when we see a beautiful piece displayed for the pleasure of seeing its inherent handwoven qualities.
My first foray into weaving was as an undergraduate at Kent State University but I didn't start to seriously explore weaving until 10 years ago when I was working at The Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA. Since retiring I spend most of my free time in the studio designing drafts and weaving cloth. I also teach classes focused on rigid heddle weaving in my studio and at Web's in Northampton, MA. Learning the craft of weaving is an ongoing process that has led me to the weaving program at Hill Institute in Florence, MA where I am pursuing Master Weavers certification.