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 died, 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. I incorporate locally-produced fibers and wild-collected natural dyes when possible. The impact that my fabrics will have on the environment is important to me. When I purchase materials, I take into consideration the environmental cost my yarn will have from plant to garment and back to the earth.
My collections begin with ideas about colors, textures and shapes. Sketches gradually take form as I calculate the yardage and yarn that I will need. I measure yarn thread-by-thread and then wind it on 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 of the threading determines the variety of structures that will be available while weaving.In addition to weaving, one of my favorite activities is harvesting plants for natural dyeing. I grow and process dye plants as well as forage for wild sources. I love walking after a rain to look for fallen branches loaded with lichen. I wander the field behind my house and fill bags with black walnuts, black eyed susans and lichen.
I also spend my time draping my cloth on dress forms, creating new designs, cutting and sewing, working on paperwork, packaging and more.
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!