Weaving on a hand loom


Most of us remember weaving potholders when we were small, and this piece was woven in exactly the same way. After a childhood filled with those ubiquitous potholders, many years later Sunflower became my first “grown up” woven piece. The only difference between the two is that I crafted this particular loom myself, which led to some very crooked nails being pounded into four pieces of wood from the hardware store. Making it just a little bigger provided nearly limitless opportunities for creativity. No fingers were crushed in the assembly of my loom!

Weaving on a hand loom is not only portable but its very simplicity not only permits, but encourages, you to be adventurous and utilize whatever you can find that’s weavable. That is exactly how this piece was created. Sunflower was woven with yellow hardware twine, bird netting, balloons from by-gone parties, grocery store bags, paper, ribbons, pins and, of course, just a little bit of yarn!

Reflecting on Materials

wool roving

My studio

I KNOW there are a lot of art junkies out there just like me! I think one of my greatest fears is that when I die? …that’s the day my family will discover what an art supply junkie I really am! One of my favorite things is to hang out in my studio on a lazy day (I agree – sometimes it’s hard to remember what those are!), and not really even create anything.  I roll the balls of merino wool back and forth between my hands and just imagine how they would look and feel felted dramatically into a lavish creation that, in my mind, is already complete.  I might drape the silks over my arms to luxuriate in their texture, or lapse into daydreams filled with memories of how my favorite cotton batiks came to find a home in my studio  (…Was this from that little shop on the Kenai Peninsula when we had to stop to find a bathroom?  How about that one from Charleston? Or maybe it was a gift from my daughter when she went to Hawaii and hunted all over the island for a quilt shop for me…?)  Whatever the daydream, reveling in the colors, the books, the textures – it’s all just heaven and the perfect way to wile away an afternoon while those sparks of inspiration ignite in my head.

Sometimes it’s not all about the process, but just appreciating the delicious bounty of what you can work with to kickstart your imagination. Maybe…just maybe, my fear of discovery will keep me living long enough to create all those pieces I see in my mind’s eye…