I am a designer of contemporary textiles informed by historical research. I weave Fine Art using modern hand looms.
I enjoy researching weaving history in the period between the late 1700’s and the mid 1800’s. That particular period is special to me because it is the final, measured breath before the introduction of Jacquard head that accelerated us into the steam driven whirlwind of the Industrial and the Computer Ages which changed the world forever.
The complex draw loom is the pinnacle of a hand weaver’s experience as it is capable of producing images while producing cloth. In the 1700’s both an artist and a weaver were needed to produce images on fine silk and table linens. The artist painted the image, the weaver engineered the loom, developed the weaving draft and interlaced the threads to produce a copy of the image in fabric using silk or linen thread as fine as a human hair. Using the draw loom to its fullest capability requires both my engineering background and inner artist to create and “paint” with thread.
I begin my work in a traditional manner, with a pen and ink sketch, create a weaving draft, select colors, and then I can begin the incredibly slow process of weaving. Typically, I can weave at the rate of less than an inch an hour, as each new row of pixels requires the loom to be adjusted before throwing the shuttle.
My images differ from traditional damask weaving and tapestry in that I make use of a variety of structures to create pictures. This type of work is only possible on a draw loom, as it can cause changes in tension in the fabric detrimental to jacquard and commercial looms.
I also am quite proud to showcase women who weave in my work, many of these women have paved the way for me to acquire my engineering degree with their quiet determination to change the world with their artistry, math skill and their commitment to social justice. My 100 shaft combination draw loom was designed by a woman especially for me. I weave on it proudly and strive daily to keep weaving knowledge accessible to all.