Why Craft?

The drive to create is so strong, that it physically pains me to think of a day when I couldn't make objects with my own two hands. I recently listened to a lecture that was given at the Art Institute of Chicago (it was posted as a podcast in iTunes). The speaker, Jackson Lears, touched upon the division of the craft ideal with the promise and pressure of industrialization. I still have to sit and listen to it when I am not trying to focus on something else: but it made me think about the waxing and waning fervor for craft making.

Designing with the Computer

I am a little bit of a technophobe. I find many computer programs to not be intuitive. It could be because I need to feel the permanence of actual materials under my hands rather then seeing pixels on the screen showing me the possibilities that could be possible. With that being said: I do understand the importance of computers in the developing craft movement. People are integrating wires and computer chips into fabric, we can digitally print jewelry, and we can make our artwork more interactive with sensors, robotics, and other crazy things.

Tien Chiu

This blog is a little late because I was polishing up this very special entry for this week. It is snippet into the life and creative mind of a weaving artist that I am extremely fond of: Tien Chiu. She is an inspiration to me to push harder and think more critically about my own hand weaving. I sent her an email correspondence with a list of questions that I always want to know about weavers (or other textile artisans) that I read about, and she graciously sent me back some great insights into her work and what she is passionate about. Below is a short bio that can also be found on her Creating Craft Blog.


Saori Weaving

In the newest issue of Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot which is distributed by the Handweavers Guild of America there is an article called "Try Some Saori Free-Style Weaving" by Marcy Petrini. I have never quite understood what this type of weaving was. It looked to me like some form of tapestry weaving. But upon reading this article I learned more about the technique and found that there are a wide range of execution for Saori free-style weaving.


Top Five Inspiring Things for Your Eyes and Ears

I am part of a generation that has a very difficult time creating in absolute silence. Although I do enjoy the rhythmic beat of my loom as I work- I tend to lose focus and then the beat gets off and the pattern created has a glitch in it. When it requires true concentration I put on some music. But when I am doing a task that doesn't require every single neuron to fire in my mind- I turn on a podcast or a video on my computer. I usually watch or listen to one or two and then my heart is pounding my mind is racing and I have this unrelenting need to create something awesome.


Anatomy of Cloth on the Loom

I often forget how mainstream weaving is in the everyday world- it isn't. Lots of people know the difference between a woven cloth and a knit cloth, but they cannot explain, in specific terms, what those differences are. I usually get the blank stare with the smile and a nod when I start to get into detail about weaving. The response is: "I love what you make, but I you lost me at loom." So in order to help explain myself a little more (with pictures!) I have started the visual glossary with some of the very basic terms associated with weaving.


Fiber Friday: Weave Color & Structure

The past few nights I have been staying up really late in photoshop, meticulously selecting colors from scanned images to create a digital color palette for Harrisville Designs yarn. I am working on developing patterns and colors for my Spring collection of scarves and shawls. So now I am in the research and and inspiration stage. I thought to share some images and textures that are going to inspire my next collection of weavings.

Step by Step: Things to Come

The holidays are coming to a close, and I starting a project for the blog that will aid you and myself in learning more about the craft of weaving. I am going to be developing a photographic glossary of terms that can be referred at any time when reading the blog. In the next few weeks you will be learning about warp, weft, shuttles, the parts of the looms and some nifty techniques that I use while I am working.

Review: Warp & Weft

This book is a written catalogue of contemporary artists and designers who use weaving as their primary medium of expression. The author surveys different aspects of art in which weaving permeates: thread, light, motion, sound, emotion and community (these categories are also the corresponding chapters in the book.) The artist's profiled in this book use new technologies with traditional techniques to create beautiful woven creations that can be useful or thought provoking.

Creating Work for Juried Shows

I began submitting my fine art / fiber art pieces when I was a second semester Freshman in Undergraduate School. What I learned from the experience of being a developing artist submitting to established exhibitions is that you can't always cater to the jurors in the exhibition. It is better to create artwork that you are confident in then trying to make your own artwork fit into the mold of the prospectus.

Fiber Friday: My Trip to Scotland

A resource that I use frequently are images that I have that were taken on trips and outings. One extremely influential trip in my life was to Ullapool, Scotland. I went a couple years ago when I had received an Undergraduate Summer Research Grant through Buffalo State College for my project "Felting as a Sustainable Media". With the grant I received I traveled to Scotland to take a workshop on creating felt and learning about natural dye processes.