From Metalsmith to Weaver

Hello and welcome to my first blog post!  After many years as an art teacher, metalsmith, and casting instructor, I am making the transition to to becoming a weaver and fiber artist full time.  I’ve always been interested in weaving, and I even built my first (very simple) loom as a child.  I became more enamored with the processes when I learned textile techniques in metals, and although I still enjoy incorporating metal and other alternative materials into my work, my true passion is weaving on large, old looms.

Experimenting with new weaving techniques at Penland, 2014.

Experimenting with new weaving techniques at Penland, 2014.

I’ve been on a journey this year, taking classes at Penland, Haystack, and soon Arrowmont, to figure out if I wanted to continue working in metal, transition completely to fibers, or work somewhere in the middle, perhaps combining my practices.  After a great deal of reflection and an incredible experience during my winter residency at Penland, it’s clear to me that I want to focus completely on textiles and weaving.  I will continue to teach whenever possible, and do some jewelry work to compliment my weaving practice, just as textiles helped me balance my casting work, but for now I’m taking the leap into the textiles universe!  I’m incredibly grateful for the scholarships and opportunities that helped me commit to this new direction in my work, and I’m excited to see where the adventure takes me.

My first visit to the Textile Museum in Iceland [Heimilisiðnaðarsafnið], which is right next door to the residency.

My first visit to the Textile Museum in Iceland [Heimilisiðnaðarsafnið], which is right next door to the residency.

My next stop is to take a hand spinning class, specifically focused on spinning fibers for weaving, at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  Then I’m off to Iceland for an incredible opportunity to complete a residency at the Icelandic Textile Center [Textílsetur Íslands]!!  I’m really looking forward to the focused work time and the freedom to turn my sketches and ideas into reality in such an immersive environment.  I enjoy combining traditional crafts practices with new materials and techniques, so it will be the perfect place to explore that and develop new directions in my work.  Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Awesome fiber ladies from the residency at Penland 2015.

Awesome fiber ladies from the residency at Penland 2015.