my weaving process

Feb 24, 2015

Cascade weaving, 2014.

My husband says he can see my brain thinking as I work on a project.  I'm particularly focused and driven at the beginning of a new work, when a whirlwind of ideas and possibilities in my head are funneled into that first action of a paintbrush or weaving stick. And, since I normally start a weaving or painting without a sketch or even a finished idea in mind, I'm constantly configuring and problem-solving in the moment. 

My first and only preliminary sketch of a woven wall hanging. Topaz, 4' woven wall hanging, 2014.

Many fiber artists use a cartoon when weaving. A cartoon is a full scale visual guide for the weaver. I recently used a cartoon for the first time when making Pacific Peak (top, middle).  The weaving was based on one of my paintings of Mt. Hood.

yarn scraps and Pacific Peak on the loom
My weaving process usually begins with me rummaging through my stockpile of yarn remnants, wool roving, and Pendleton blanket scraps.  I try to gather materials that are cohesive in color and diverse in texture. 

I like to keep the weaving process very fluid and intuitive, but this has its challenges.  Halfway through the project, I have to put the weaving aside until I have a clear idea of how to finish the work.

My focus in weaving has been wall hangings, but, for the last few months, I have been exploring functional weaving projects.  For Christmas, I made some herringbone potholders out of recycled cotton yarn and backed them with reclaimed denim.  More recently, I cut up woven sample pieces and made sachets filled with lavender harvested from our garden.

A lofty goal of mine is to make handwoven wearables for my wardrobe. But it has been awhile since I have sewn clothes for myself, and I didn't want to jump right into a big project, like a sweater.  So I started with accessories- a square scarf and woven leather bracelets. 

weaving with wire and leather
When I bought the leather cord to make the bracelets, I also purchased gold and copper wire.  As a mixed media artist, I naturally like to experiment with different materials.  I decided to use the wire as warp for a wall hanging, Misty Morning (above). Since wire has no elasticity, it was a little tricky to work with. But, the gold wire adds a beautiful, subtle shimmer to the piece.

In December, I started working on my first paper weaving using handcolored paper. I cut tiny strips of paper and then wove the strips together by hand. It was a slow and tedious process, but I am so pleased with how the two works turned out. The paper weavings are now framed and available for purchase here.

Round weavings are my latest creative venture! Like most of my wall hangings, these designs evolve during the weaving process. They kinda look like sea anemones, don't you think?

It's been fun experimenting with new designs and materials these past few months, and I have so many more ideas I want to explore.  I look forward to sharing these projects with you. And as a huge thank you for being a loyal reader, here's a 20% off discount code that is good thru Friday, Feb. 27th: INSPIRE.  To shop my original weavings and paintings, go here.  For art prints and small art, check out my Etsy shop.


Hillary said...

I was so excited to see and email from habit of art in my inbox today! Your art proces adds a spark of inspiration to my creativity. The new round weavings are awesome! They totally made me think of sea creatures :)

Caitlin said...

Gorgeous pieces and interesting to hear about the process. Thanks for sharing :)

Tiel said...

Love how you work across different media and do it so well. Love those round ones, just beautiful.

Pamela Bates said...

Love your work and LOVE that you are working and trying different mediums. Gorgeous woven pieces!

Siobhan Madden said...

Stunning work, true artistry.

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