Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

5/4/10

past and future lives


I would be a textile designer. I LOVE the textures of fibers, the colors and patterns. The following list is a key to the photo collage (click on image to enlarge).
1. It all began with potholders in my early years. I wove them with stretchy loops on my metal frame. Over, under, over, under… I became the supplier for everyone on our street.
2. In junior high my art teacher, Mr. Barrett helped me make this inkle loom and taught me how to weave sash belts and guitar straps.
3. In high school friends and I learned backstrap card weaving. We wove belts and sold them at shopping centers and craft fairs (hippie days).
4. I advanced to a floor loom in high school and continued weaving through college. I learned how to spin my own yarn while on a college overseas program in Scotland, and even mailed home a freshly shorn Shetland fleece. My Gilmore loom and Ashford spinning wheel are pictured here.
5. A sample of one of the many things I wove on my floor loom.
6. I learned to spin alpaca, llama, camel, wool, linen, cotton, silk, and jute. Friends used to bring me their dog hair combings!
7. In these mother-earth days I used natural materials to dye fibers, creating a whole spectrum of colors. Friends brought me onion skins, walnut hulls, and lichen.
8. In high school I began printmaking and silkscreened repeat patterns to design fabric. All these years later there are still pins in the seams of this skirt!
9. These are Indian textile blocks I’ve collected.
10. Here is my daughter (a few years ago) sporting a top we printed together from those Indian textile blocks, as well as a silk pillow also done from the textile blocks.

This is a tiny bit of my textile history, but the history really goes back much further. My ancestors from Scotland and Northern Ireland were weavers. More recent ancestors worked in the textile industry in upstate New York, however I knew none of this when I began to dabble in these areas.

7 comments:

Edie said...

Christy,
What a wonderful photographic journey through your past life as a textile designer/weaver! It appears to me that it's not what you would have been, but what you are--a multi-talented artist.

Christy said...

I put this all behind me when I moved to NYC to study illustration and design--loom and spinning wheel relegated to the garage. It's fun playing with texture and pattern through collage illustration now.

Stephanie said...

Wow, that stuff is so cool. You are a true artisan:)

john said...

Christy, what great pictures. There's a story here and you're the one to tell it.

Lauren said...

John's right-- you do have a story to tell- especially when you have found yourself guided by the ghosts of your ancestors! And your daughter is beautiful by the way! Truly beautiful work-- thank heavens for those hippie adolescent- days.

David LaRochelle said...

Beautiful, beautiful stuff, Christy! And I agree with Edie's comment about your post being a wonderful photographic journey through your life as a textile artist. Thank you for sharing another facet of your life with us.

Mark said...

Looks like some incredible works of art came from your loom/spinning wheel, and I like how you've adapted texture and pattern from weaving to collage illustration. Thanks for sharing.