Just curious, what complex weavers do you admire and why?

A few of my favorites;

> Jhane Barnes...with her early use of fractals to inspire her menswear collections, and then her use of color integrated into structure. (Not to mention her finishing details!)

> Irvin Trujillo...just 2 shafts and an explosion of complexity in his designs— particularly in his personal work. To me, watching an expert tapestry weaver is like watching really good chess players—they have mapped out their moves in their mind so far ahead of the actual game, and yet, they can shift strategy quickly in response to what they are seeing develop. (And this is so different for many of us who spend more time on the computer with our weaving software than we do at the loom!)

I am looking to expand my horizons, so tell me who you admire and why... 



Posted on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 09:59

Hi Sally

I received a copy of the book "Sheila Hicks-Weaving as Metaphor" as a Christmas present last year. The book focuses on her small weavings, and I can thoroughly recommend a look through, as these weavings are packed with interesting weaving ideas.


Posted on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 19:50

Color, texture and design on anything from 2 to 24 harness looms. Currently i design on my iMac and use a WDL or Glimakra Julia (8h) and teach complex patterns for the regid heddle....So this seems like a good place to learn more.

Posted on Wed, 08/24/2011 - 13:06

Paul O'Connor.  He has the vision, the heart, the eye for colour, and a mind that works in astonishing ways.  The retrospective of his work a few years ago at the CW Seminars still haunts my mind's eye and feeds my imagination.  (And on top of everything else, he's a wonderful man.)


Posted on Wed, 08/24/2011 - 17:43

Just a few of many, and for many different reasons:

Definitely Paul O'Connor, for all the reasons Ruth lists.  I love the way he systematically works through all possible solutions to a problem, then has the artist's eye to pick the right ones for his work. I don't do double weave but have learned more from Paul about investigating and learning weaving than most teachers. Generous, kind, innovative, and a great sense of quiet humor.

Ute Bargmann for her generous encyclopedic knowledge of historical, geographical, and structural aspects of weaving, her research skills, and her drive to accuracy.  She is also an exceptional designer, whose complex pickup work gives me fits of envy.

Ingrid Boesel, partly for her classy combinations of color and complex structural knowledge.  However, even more for her tireless and patient help and encouragement of generations of weavers of all levels to learn computer drafting.

Ralph Griswold.  Not a weaver at all, uninterested in aesthetics, often irrascible, but always intelligent, challenging, and interesting.  He did more for making complex weaving drafts and books accessible to most weavers than any weaver I know.  His own work on introducing mathematical concepts to weavers for design is a meaty but barely tapped resource that will keep mathematically inclined weavers entranced for years.

Eunice Smith, who at about 90, retains a lively sense of curiosity about weaving, her steel trap of a mind for figuring out how structures work, and the enthusiasm to continue producing new, original textiles every month while sharing generously with newer weavers.

Verda Elliott, now gone, with the intellect and ability to introduce complex ideas in accessible ways.  She always seemed to be working on exactly the the topics I was interested in, about 5-10 years before I was ready to do so. I wish I had known her better.

Bhakti Ziek, whose knowledge of structures and techniques from backstrap to jacquard and ability to convey them seems to know no bounds. I especially like her jacquard weaving, where the weaving is integral to, rather than incidental to the final artistic expression, and her combination of finger techniques (brocading, etc.) with jacquard  adds interest to already richly detailed pieces.

Bonnie Inouye, with a distinctive personal style in weaving and teaching, and the ability to convey new ideas to many weavers.  I'm not sure I can think of any other teacher who leaves such a noticeable "wake."  That is, you can tell when Bonnie has taught in an area by the excitement and flurry of creativity that comes into play in the topics covered in her classes.  It's an effect all teachers aspire to, but few reach.

Mary Underwood, for her zest for life, travel, and new information. She has the ability to have adventures wherein even more unexpected new adventures rush in to grab her - and she grabs back with gusto.  WOW.

There are so many more, but that's a start.

Laurie Autio, with gratitude to all the folks mentioned above.

Posted on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 07:20

Ulla Cyrus, for her outstanding interest in all technical aspects of weaving, from weave structures to looms. And also because she is a delightful person!