History and Tradition
My grandfather introduced me to weaving when I was 9 years old. Although I did not receive formal training for weaving until after he passed, I still feel a deep connection to him when I am at my loom. The connection to my grandfather makes me feel like I am a part of the rich history of textiles. It is an ancient craft built on necessity and infused with the artistry of everyday people. The earth tones and simple lines in my work reflect my feelings about this rich tradition. I weave pieces that are meant to be worn and used. I believe handmade treasures should function as everyday objects.
My products are made with natural fibers like wool, hemp, linen and cotton. Whenever possible I incorporate locally or regionally produced fibers and wild-collected natural dyes. In an effort to make informed decisions about my materials I research the processes involved in the manufacturing of the fibers I use. The impact that my fabrics will have on the environment (from plant to garment and back to the earth) is important to me. I aim for quality with as little negative environmental impact as possible.
My collections begin with drawings and ideas about colors and textures and shapes. From there they gradually take form as I calculate the yardage and yarn that I will need. Yarn is measured out thread by thread and then wound onto one of my looms.
Once the yarn is on the loom, each thread is pulled through it's own heddle and then through the reed. The sequence in the threading determines the variety of structures that will be available while weaving.
Beyond weaving I also spend time draping my woven cloth on dress forms, creating new designs, cutting and sewing, working on paperwork, packaging...and more.
One of my favorite activities is collecting dye plants. I grow and process some dye plants but I love taking a walk after it rains or has been windy, to look for fallen branches loaded with lichen. I can wander around the field behind my house and fill a bag with black walnuts, black eyed susan's and lichen. It never hurts to have a reason to get fresh air.
I have discovered a depth of learning in teaching that I am continually surprised by. I have been teaching beginning weaving classes at the Creative Arts - Continuing Education Department of Haywood Community College. I have a listing of current classes at the bottom of my website (click the link that says "Classes"!) if you are interested in learning more.
I also offer private lessons to students who already own a loom and would like some one-on-one assistance. If you already have a loom but have recently moved to the area and need help setting it up - I'm available to help! The mechanics of each loom fascinates me and I enjoy helping people get started on their way to making.
Collaborations - Custom Work
I am available for custom work and collaborative projects. Since 2015 I have been working with designers and makers to develop woven products for their shops. The woven textiles are designed to compliment their work. It is a process that I truly enjoy - mostly because I get to weave so much!
I have also enjoyed working with individuals with special requests for gifts. We work together on pattern, color and yarn selection. If this is something you would like to do - send me a message through my contact page!