So it has been a bit quiet lately on the on-line front but the international weavolution continues! Here is the link to the blog we will maintain to discuss and document the events in Coventry next week thanks to Anne Forgan and the Spon End Building Preservation Trust!
Also look in the projects section for a new section featuring photos from the Etsy-sponsored visit to Holland last month! Thanks again to Marta at EtsyNL and the Etsy Berlin team! Kristina just had me do a Berlin workshop too, at Kjosk, so I can probably find some photos of that one to post too!! Weave, people!
I am pleased to be among contemporary artists showing at the Kunsthall Oslo alongside this awesome retrospective of Hanah Ryggen’s tapestry work. I will also do some open workshops in Oslo, details to come…
This blog posting is in German. But it’s an interview of yours truly by Undine Zimmer for Die Zeit’s website! So here’s the original English:
How did you start weaving? I began studying weaving while earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic and Industrial Design at San Francisco State University, in 2000. The calm, productive atmosphere of the weaving room, my interest in the mechanics of the loom, and the pleasure of working with soft, pliable material of wool yarns all attracted me. After my Bachelor’s I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Textiles in California.
What feelings are for you connected to weaving? The repetitive, rhythmic action of weaving can be trance-like. While engaged in weaving one feels a connection to the people throughout the world and throughout history who have performed these same motions in pursuit of the same simple goal: cloth.
Weaving is for you not just a hobby or art, but a also a social activity. Why do you weave blankets in public places? Partly just because it is more entertaining for me, I like to have conversations about what I am doing while I do it. Since maybe I don’t look like somebody’s classic idea of a “weaver,” having the loom with me is the only way I can have these interactions outside of galleries and museums. I here a lot of stories about people’s family textile traditions, which I record in a notebook.
How would you explain „socal fabric“? Social Fabric is a title I use for an ongoing project, bringing my loom outside and weaving cloth that is affected by the interactions I have with the public. Usually I ask people to pick colors. The cloth comes with some documentation, a photo of the place, my notes about the different stories I hear. The first version of this project, done in San Francisco, is now in the Sculpture collection of the SFMOMA.
At the moment you are giving weaving classes in Berlin. Why do people want to learn to weave in Berlin? Some people have specific projects they want to complete, textile artists who work in other techniques and want to weave. I build a loom for each student to take home after the course, so I have attracted some people who want to have a true means of production in their apartment! I also think it is a good way to practice english without thinking about it too much because everyone is occupied with the task at hand: weaving.
Why did you invent the laser loom? The laser loom is the simplest weaving tool I could come up with; it was part of my thesis project during my Master’s Study, and based on many cultures’ weaving devices. It is very portable so for a workshop I can bring 20 in a tote bag and it produces cloth very quickly so everyone can weave a whole scarf in an afternoon. And it’s so easy that even if somebody doesn’t really want to weave(at a gallery installation, for example,) and their friend makes them try, they can do it without too much trouble.
How long are you going to stay in Berlin? It looks like a long time. Do you know any Universities that I can work at or anything?
What is your next event or project coming up? This weaving school, “webschule”, is my main project right now. I have two students for February and would like to take on two students a month until the summer, when we can do it with more people, and outside! I’ll have small projects in the UK and Denmark in the next few months which people can keep up with at Actionweaver.com.
I’ve been hanging out at the Berlin Etsy labs, teaching a weaving course with the loom I build, and, you know, modeling! Get in touch if you want to come by and see! I’m not at Direktorenhaus anymore, I’m just real lazy about html now that the blogs are running the show.