Designing Weavers

February 14 - April 4, 2009

Reception: March 5, 2009, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cameron Taylor-Brown

The artwork of Cameron Taylor-Brown reflects a passion to shape order out of chaos—to start with bits of thread and create a complex and satisfying statement where nothing existed before.  She embraces and celebrates the ancient heritage and language of woven cloth. The rhythms and interplay of pattern, color and texture fascinate her, and she finds the tactile quality of the actual fiber extremely satisfying. Words About Art/Trio of Beings is part of a series that emerged from her consulting work with elementary school teachers and their students. After a long conversation about the power of art to fuel creativity and learning, her consulting partner, anthropologist and writer Amanda Parsons, wrote a “wonderful” list of words about art that she continues to explore in her artwork. Taylor-Brown explains, “I grieve that our education system is focused solely on standardized test scores. Our children have been reduced to spread sheets, and that is a tragedy.” 

Carollee Howes

Both pieces by Howes were woven from hand painted silk. The silk yarn is spread out on a table and painted with dye. The yarn is then steamed so that the dye is permanent. The process of painting and steaming is repeated three or four times in order to get variations and depth in the colors.  The idea behind the colorway of the shawl was to move between clear red and a red orange. The idea behind the scarf was to primarily green use with enough red to set off the green tones.

Several different types of silk yarns were used in the pieces, varying in weight and in degree of twist. The scarf is entirely woven out of 20/2 silk. The shawl has alternating stripes in the warp (lengthwise threads). One stripe is 20/2 silk much like the scarf. The alternating stripe in the shawl is a highly twisted silk yarn. The two different yarns take the dye and shrink differently. The highly twisted yarn absorbs less dye and shrinks more than the 20/3 silk. The weft (cross-wise) threads in the shawl are fatter than the warp threads and shrink less than the yarn in the warp. Using different yarns in the shawl resulted in the wavy lines once the shawl was washed. Both pieces were woven on an 8-harness floor loom.

Deborah Jarchow

Deborah Jarchow is inspired by color, exploring the endless ways different hues can be combined, blended and interwoven.  As a full time weaver, she spends her days creating color palettes for hand woven fabrics and dreaming of future color variations.  Jarchow is devoted to exploring the interplay of color and texture as well as how light reflects off the fibers.  Her textiles are designed using a simple weave structure, or plain weave, so that the rich color combinations and delicious fiber textures can be fully appreciated.  This fascination with color translates into large scale wall hangings and sculptural forms that affirm her emotional connection to color. 

Gail Marlow-Dickey

Gail Marlow-Dickey has been weaving for fourteen years and has been involved in fiber arts since childhood. Marlow-Dickey teaches weaving on triangle looms and floor looms as well as other fiber arts at her home studio in Rancho Cucamonga.  Marlow-Dickey gets her inspirations for color from nature as well as the lovely colorways that may be seen in a skein of yarn.

Marlow-Dickey’s shawl was woven on a triangular frame loom using a warp of various yarns including silk, cotton, rayon, wool and novelty eyelash. The golden pearls were sewn on after the weaving was completed. Very subtle plaid effects are created by pale golden silk and rayon yarn woven in the weft.

Gerri Johnson-McMillin 

Gerri Johnson-McMillin’s great love of the ocean plays a fundamental role in her art.  She is known for her Fishbone Vessels and Knotted Fiber Sculptures.  As an avid fisher, Johnson-McMillin catches her own albacore tuna and uses their pectoral fins along with monofilament to create her vessel forms.  In working with the bones, Johnson-McMillin feels she is weaving life back into the fish, experiencing their migratory path throughout the world, and sending them on a new journey as another form.

Johnson-McMillin is a national and international exhibiting artist and has her artwork is in the permanent collections of the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Museum of Ventura County and the Municipal Art Collection of Ventura City. Since 1999 Johnson-McMillin has been an Artist-in-Residence at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, CA and in 2005 was President of SCIART.  Johnson-McMillin was instrumental in developing the Fiber Art Studio at the Center.

Heasoon A. Rhee

Butterfly I and II 

Originally Heasoon Arzberger Rhee is from Seoul, Korea, Rhee first learned weaving at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. Rhee enjoys using silk yarns in her weaving and hand dyes them. Rhee creates her own pattern by maximizing the capability of looms. Her goal is to design and weave one of a kind piece incorporating unique color combinations and texture.

Recently, Rhee has invested time and energy to practice and hone her skills in Korean knotting—Mae Dup. Two pieces in this exhibition show the first step to combine two different ways in fiber art.  This leads to the multidimensional aspects of fiber art.

Inspiration… 

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tsu, dreamed I was a butterfly flying happily here and there, enjoying life without knowing who I was.  Suddenly, I woke up and I was indeed Chuang Tsu.  Did Chuang Tsu dream he was a butterfly, or did the butterfly dream he was Chuang Tsu?  

Julie Kornblum

Julie Kornblum’s weaving and basketry combines the ancient and the immediate. Kornblum’s takes a new look at old traditions by using post-modern, materials to weave early American household textile patterns. Her sculptural pieces combining discarded plastics with coiled basket technique have won awards in national juried shows.

 As a weaver and basket maker, Kornblum feels part of a continuing tradition of artists and weavers from around the world. As a 21st century environmental advocate, Kornblum is concerned with what we throw away.

In the past hundred years plastics have facilitated marvelous advancements technology but have also become a worldwide waste and disposal problem. Kornblum hopes her work will raise awareness of how plastic waste impacts the environment.

Kathleen Waln

Kathleen Waln has been working with fabric for over thirty years, first as a costumer in theatre and more recently as a weaver.  As a costume historian she was exposed to the wealth of textiles through time, but she longed for a more hands-on experience. Waln wove as a child and ten years ago, returned to weaving for creative expression.  Also an avid dyer, Kathleen has a passion for Ikat and Shibori.

Waln combines Loom-Controlled Shibori Pick-up with Traditional Shibori stitching.  The inspiration for her work exhibited at the museum came from a traditional Japanese shibori piece, which had nui-shibori (stitched lines) and star-burst like patterns.  This piece is known as Tekumo which when translated means Spider Webs.   For Waln, the Loom Controlled Shibori pickup looked like a garden trellis and she imagined spiders weaving their webs in and around the trellis—hence "Trellis and Tekumo." 

Mary Saxton

Mary Saxton’s inspiration for this piece came from two sources.  First and foremost was the artist’s collection handspun wool yarn.  Yarns were pulled together that would blend well.  The fibers used to make the cloth are wool warp and weft with approximately 10% handspun wool yarns.  The structure is warp dominate plain weave set at an average of 20 ends per inch.

Saxton’s second inspiration source was from an experience in Bar Harbor, MA in the fall of 2005 on a cruise.  A storm was blowing up the east coast and by the time she arrived at Bar Harbor, it was a full blown gale.  The seas and sky were dark, little bits of bright color from flowers, signs, cars and people’s clothing jumped out through the storm. 

Michael Rohde

Working in the medium of woven textiles, Michael F. Rohde uses his tools to comment on his observations. These observations come from news of world events, travels and study of ancient and traditional art forms. By employing simple, iconic geometry and strong colors, there is room left to contemplate what is not there and not explicitly stated.

The works stand as objects of quiet beauty: begun with white yarns of wool, silk, linen and other fibers, Rohde adds his own dyes to achieve a range colors and contrast not available in commercially dyed materials. Like a painter, he mixes colors to create something new.

Recently his work has been included in the United States Department of State Art in Embassies Program, an exhibit at the American Craft Museum in New York, the invitational Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, from Lausanne to Beijing, Houses for Nomads (a solo exhibit at the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum in Lithuania), a current exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park in San Diego and the permanent collection at The Arts Institute of Chicago. 

Nicki Bair

Uranus conveys the wonder of space through the recurrence of universal forms and the use of black yarns.  The design was inspired by a NASA photograph of the planet Uranus taken by Voyager 2 as well as the watercolor of the Black Widow Iris completed by Meria Sybylla Merian in 1700.

Nicki has woven the space around Uranus with a variety of different textured and iridescent black yarns.  The yarns were chosen for their absence of color - for their 'darkness' or ‘blackness’.   Black yarns which pushed to purple, red or green were avoided.   The resulting yarns vary by content, texture and sheen.   The piece drapes and undulates through the use of these yarns echoing the darkness and the mysteries of space.

Nadine Spier

Piecing Together the Pieces

The artist felt the stone in the center resembled a tiny patchwork quilt, hence the title. The other materials used include Guatemalan pine needles from the artist’s yard and Irish waxed linen thread. The basketry technique is coiling.

Untitled (shadow box)

The artist used a basketry coiling technique to weave this wall piece and created little niches to hold dwarf gourds.

Rebecca Smith 

Rebecca Smith’s tapestries juxtapose landscape imagery with the corresponding human signature made on the landscape by its inhabitants. Her work is deeply inspired by images left by ancient peoples in the form of rock carvings. The unknown meaning of these images make their mystical spiritual nature even more compelling as sources of artistic inspiration. Smith’s designs are created spontaneously at the loom in order to let the inspiration speak through her rather than be shaped by her.

Regina Vorgang

Regina Vorgang creates original hand-woven rugs and tapestries that integrate a strong sense of color and design with weaving to make bold visual statements. Working with hand dyed wools, she explores how the fiber reflects light and color in a unique way and weaves in a painterly fashion discovering how shape, color and form unite best for each piece. A graphic designer, intrigued by the craft of weaving, she combines her graphic vision and weaving skills to create pieces that are very graphic in nature. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind expression using themes of nature or visual play of color.

Susan Lasch Krevitt

Susan Lasch Krevitt begins her work with a search for discarded, previously owned garments. Through their deconstruction she acknowledges the historic contexts of piecing and assemblage.  Krevitt produces highly textured textile objects.