For me, learning to weave has been like learning another language. Not only were there new words to learn: warp, weft, selvage, for example, but I’ve also had to teach my fingers—and my brain—how to translate an idea in my head onto the loom.
Meanwhile, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter has been learning language, too. She points to everything around her and asks what it is, keeping note of the fact that every object in daily life not only has a purpose, but also has a name.
In honor of language, Challenge Eleven of Mirrix’s Summer Weaving Challenge is to Weave a Word. The task is to open a book to any page, choose a random word from the page, and weave a piece inspired by that word. I opened to page 151 of Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liars’ Club, and picked the word “dancers.”
For those who know me, this word is fitting; I spent many years as a ballet dancer. I’m excited to use this word to inspire a different kind if creativity, one where my fingers and my loom are my canvas instead of my limbs and my toes. Unlike my past weavings, I want to approach this tapestry with a plan (I even made a pencil sketch of how I imagined the piece).
As I did with the Sounds of Spring tapestry, I warped my Little Guy Loom using my Shasta Combs and Bottom Spring Kit. Warping this way is so easy, especially thanks to Mirrix’s super helpful instructions.
In the challenge e-mail I asked participants, “Whether it’s a verb, a noun, or an adjective, what does that word look like to you on a loom? Does it evoke a feeling or a memory that you want to translate to a piece, or will you take a more literal approach to the word’s definition?” For my piece, I chose to take a more literal approach: an audience, curtains, a stage, and dancers. I’m using gorgeous hand-painted silk for my dancers; the way the colors evolve and change as you use the silk reminds me of movement and choreography.
Below is my tapestry so far:
Be sure to check out my Instagram for updates, and share your work on social media with the hashtag #summerweavingchallenge!
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