AS A CHILD, I wove potholders on a metal frame loom. At age 18, I saw my first loom and weaver at work during a visit to Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico. My parents were visual artists who ran their own art school. My early school education encouraged creative writing, so that was also part of my experience from an early age.

I have two 4-harness Cranbrook counterbalance floor looms of maple, built to handle the stresses of weaving rugs. I make a lot of rugs, some of which also function as wall pieces. I weave standing; it’s less stressful on my body. I have a loom bench, which I use to hold my shuttles. I love my stick shuttles of cherry and walnut made by a neighbor, now deceased. I have string heddles, which are quiet, though the beating process is noisy.

Ideas come from other cultures, art history, travel and the outdoors. I don’t know that I am “inspired to create” more than I’ve chosen weaving as a method for expressing myself. I can’t channel inspiration. I sketch out ideas and take notes when I think of something I want to try.

I’ve cobbled together a mix of beliefs that underpin my desire to live in a compassionate manner. The emotions I experience while weaving run the gamut from pleasure to questioning to despair, while the actual act of weaving is calming for the most part. Life is pretty complicated, and life in the studio can be a reprieve or just a space where one processes what is beyond the studio. But the idea that making art is somehow so different from going to work or just doing chores is not how I see this.

“Life is pretty complicated, and life in the studio can be a reprieve or just a space where one processes what is beyond the studio.”

 


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