Summer L.

Cloth has always had a special meaning for me, beginning with my very first childhood blanket. I have always loved making things and taught myself how to both knit and crochet in early adolescence. I find yarn to be particularly compelling, as I enjoy both the tactile sensation of working with various fibers and the amazing colors. It is fascinating that a simple piece of yarn can be knotted or woven together in so many different ways to make clothing, household items or works of art. Much of my professional life has been focused on connections, between people, ideas, experiences or ways of knowing. Today, I connect warp and weft to explore color, pattern and texture in cloth of my own making.

Over and under, over and under, this is the rhythm of tapestry weaving. Whether it is putting together unique color blends, specific design elements, or pictorial images, the process is very similar. I warp my loom with a cotton seine twine, wool or linen to provide the initial structure for the work. The weft, or facing yarn, then runs through the warp to form the weaving. At times I dye my own yarn to get the desired color or value. Often two or three hues are blended together to provide more character or definition in the piece. I continue to make decisions about color, shapes, and textures throughout the weaving process in order to achieve the desired outcome. Once the weaving itself is done, finishing techniques are used to complete the tapestry.

My current passion is attempting to capture the essence of a spirit or relationship, either human or animal, in a portrait-style tapestry. These  pieces tend to be very detailed with lots of color blending. I have also enjoyed weaving contemporary tapestries that use a few simple graphic elements, such as squares or rectangles, and a limited color palette for a clean, modern look. I anticipate that future work will explore color and texture in greater depth, with inspiration drawn from the natural world.