Why Craft?

When I explain to new people in my life what I am passionate about, I get two different reactions: “That is so amazing! What a wonderful thing you are doing.” or “Why? Couldn’t you just buy that stuff?” 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 Continue Reading…

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. Saori is a free-style weaving program that was founded by Misao Jo. The first syllable, “sa” is a derivative of the zen word “SAI” which Continue Reading…

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. It took me a really long time to accept my own words of advice. But, now that I have, I have been making artwork that I know is Continue Reading…

Why I am Not Pursuing an MFA.

I am done with Undergraduate School. I am still very passionate about my craft and my work. I want to advance in my career and do something that in the end will feel like a great personal achievement. So, why I am not pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in my field? Simply put, at this moment in time an MFA isn’t going to help me advance in my field, nor can I decide what I want to study that intensively. I want to do it all. I have been focusing my energy on developing proper techniques for weaving, learning things Continue Reading…

Handcrafted Holidays

I work in retail for my day job. Which means I had to work Thanksgiving night and again Friday afternoon into the evening. Seeing so many people clamoring for the “great sales” made me appreciate what I do for my other job. As a weaver, I get to make something out of nothing and then either sell it to someone or give it to someone I love and I get to see the expression of joy on their faces. They may not love the gift, but they will love the effort that went into it. I’m now at the point Continue Reading…

Fiber Art and Design

There are so many focuses in the Fiber/Textile world that it would seem that there would be a clear deliniation between them all- so when you looked at something you say “That is design. That is art. And there is technology.” But textiles have a way of blurring the boundaries of these worlds (much like other craft arenas). I, personally, received a degree in design. Design is often defined as solving a problem. For example: this is a wing back chair from the 1940’s that the client would like time period appropriate fabric made for it. You must research the Continue Reading…

Utilizing Pinterest

A mood board is a visual illustration of a concept or direction that a designer wants to take for a project or a collection. Traditionally a mood board is a collage of images and text in order to describe the ideas behind the mood board and why they were picked. Then in 2010, a global platform for inspiration and idea sharing was launched: Often, the associations with Pinterest is with inventive cooking recipes, beauty tips, and quirky images. However, designers are now using this bookmarking based website to share ideas with their clients or just to compile images and text Continue Reading…

Tapestry Tantrum

There is a phrase that I have used a many occasions that expressed my feelings towards learning tapestry weaving: “I want nothing to do with tapestry weaving.” I know how that statement sounds. And I am personally trying to remedy my outlook on techniques that I find “too difficult” in order to at least have experience. This is mainly because I have given myself a personal goal to attain the Handweaver’s Guild of America Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving (ideally pass both levels before the age of 30). One of the very first samples that has to be woven with professionalism Continue Reading…