For the past few years, Iíve been working in series, as a result of taking two classes with Sharon Marcus (then a professor at the Oregon College of Art and Craft) in 2002. Sharon made a suggestion that changed my approach to weave design forever. She said ďPick a substance other than cloth, and try to express that substance in cloth.Ē I began weaving water soon after, then widened my scope to include several other substances: feathers, wood, and fire.
Water is a pretty easy. Since water can be any color, depending either on substrate or on whatís reflected in the water, the color palette can be almost anything. Waterfalls, ripples in a stream, patterns formed in sand by the action of waves, you name it! The Water Series is one of my favorites.
Feathers are also easy. A point threading combined with a treadling that creates curves results in shapes in the cloth that mimic the outlines of feathers. The Annaís Hummingbird and the Red-Tailed Hawk hand me color palettes on a platter.
Since my husband is a woodturner, I can find plenty of inspiration for Wood Series projects just by walking through his workshop. In addition, Iíve learned how to use colors extracted from his waste product - wood chips - to dye the fibers for the Wood Series scarves. Since I also use wood-based fibers (lyocell, also known as Tencel ô) for the warp yarns, and weave them in wood-grain patterns, Iím taking the theme of this series to the max.
The frequent wild-fires in California provide all too much inspiration for the Fire Series. I use a color palette that incorporates the red, gold, and smoky hues of the flames themselves with the browns and greens of the burnt land. These scarves are meant to honor those who lose property or lives to fire.
I often use an interleaved threading, in which two or more design lines are superimposed, thread by thread, which gives the finished cloth a complexity and a degree of color blending that ordinary threadings canít achieve. As the cloth moves in the light, sometimes you see one of the designs, and sometimes the other. Using lustrous yarn like silk and lyocell maximizes this iridescent effect.
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