Why Weave?

Occasionally, like especially after visiting a thrift store filled with awful textiles and piles of clothing made of horrid fabrics, I can’t figure out why I should weave, why I would want to bring any more stuff into this world filled with consumer dreck. That feeling only lasts a while. Weaving, for me, is a lifelong passion and a way of connection–to the work and knowledge of generations past, to contemporary fellow weavers and fiber artists here in Minneapolis and around the world, and to my own desire for expression in the medium I know best.

I recently learned that last summer, in the “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” exhibit at Norway House, one of Barbara Heath’s weaving students was struck by my krokbragd piece made in a traditional Norwegian pattern and mounted on a sheep fleece, a skinnfell (this piece). Jen Boss was inspired to weave a piece in buoyant blues and yellows and put it on sheepskin for her young daughter to use when playing with her dollhouse.  Wow–I felt honored. After learning more about the project from Jen, I asked if I could share her story on my blog.  She wrote,

Yes! That was such a cool exhibit at the Norway House. I brought my daughter to it.  I love your work. I not only loved the look of the Skinfell, I loved the utilitarian beauty of it… I’m all about art that gives an emotional and visual response, but when it has a purpose that instantly adds a different history to it…
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My daughter really loved it too and I thought it would make a great “sitting pad” for in front of her dollhouse. As well as keep her feet warm at night. She moves it around as she needs it. I had woven a bit extra and had to cut about 12″ off, so I made one for her American girl doll too 🙂…
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Thanks again for the inspiration! That’s what art is about!

That a weaving of mine would prompt someone else to create a lasting keepsake for her daughter? To me that’s a wonderful answer when I question myself–why weave? I especially love the fact that Jen’s daughter moves the piece around, keeping it (and her mother) close to her.

Here is Jen’s lucky daughter, in front of another piece of mine at the Norway House exhibit.

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4 comments

  1. So nice! Weaving to me is all about usefull things. I don’t weave wallhangings, even thou I love them, but I don’t have any walls to hang them on ☺ The 17th of March Im going to a seminar with the topic “Handweaving transformed to fashion”. That will be a new area for me and I hope it will help me get back to my loom with new inspirasion and maybe, just maybe, give me courage too sew something out of cloth that I have made.
    Love your blog and the inspiration it gives me. Thank you ❤

    1. Aren’t those MARVELOUS? I actually know two people who have knitted the sweater. I didn’t know about the scarf, however, which I now feel I need. Maybe I could find someone who would knit it for me in exchange for something I weave? My knitting skills are not proficient. Thanks! Robbie

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