You know what’s been missing this year? Weaver interviews! I really love doing those interviews and hearing how others approach weaving. I’m working on getting some more interviews together and will hopefully have some soon.
Currently I’m finding a lot of inspiration from my interview with the talented Kat Howard. Her approach to weaving is so artistic with a goal of telling a story through woven visuals.
I really love this approach, because it’s so different from my own. I tend to approach weaving just visually, but I love the idea of putting a story into weavings and giving them more depth and meaning.
You can see how much thought goes into Kat’s weaving when I asked her this:
What is your process for coming up with new ideas? Do you start with materials or an idea first?
I always start with an idea first, I almost exclusively work in monochromatic neutrals because I like to focus on texture, and once I have the idea, I gather all of the potential fibre together for that project and pick from it as I go. Most of my work is either a rumination on the female body, or an examination of a point in history (corsets, witches, Victorian mourning rituals are past subjects). I’m currently making a collection of woven wall hangings for an exhibition at Surface Gallery (http://www.surfacegallery.com/) in Asheville, NC. I wanted my collection to have a connection to the landscape where the gallery is located, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and when I started researching the area and its history, I learned that it is where the Trail of Tears started, where the Cherokee people lived for thousands of years before being forced West. I’ve been studying the landscape that they initially called home, and their own traditions and modes of expression have inspired various pieces in this collection; one is a large scale depiction of the Blue Ridge Mountains, another is inspired by the record keeping used in Wampum belts, and another is an abstraction of oral tradition.
This approach really blew me away and inspires me to push my weaving a bit more. Some times it feels so hard to come up with a design to weave, but maybe having an idea to convey first might help with that. It becomes more of a puzzle to try to figure out how to visually tell a story or idea, and that sounds really fun to me.
Have you made a weaving that tells a story? I would love to hear about it and how you approached making the weave to get your idea across.
Check out Kat’s full interview with pictures of her gorgeous weavings here! Or you can read about the many other talented weaver’s I also interviewed!
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