Inspiration is the foundation for my creative energies, and time and again, my natural inclination defaults to, well, nature itself…the great outdoors, in all its splendor, as I encounter it. It doesn’t have to be an immediate response – although many times, it is. But just as often, memories are evoked and stick with me, entering into my dreams.
My 2014 visit to the Pacific Northwest continues to rejuvenate my spirit during these winter days, when it turns out I’m more ‘naturally inclined’ to weave. These ‘color’ memories were conjured during recollections of a day spent at the Avenue of the Giants. That stunningly beautiful forest of the great Sequoias included one of the oldest and likely the largest living specimen anywhere. It’s a forest where both dead and living trees are almost achingly beautiful, an unforgettable experience of color and texture, leaves, bark, and moss; it’s surely the most beautiful forest I’ve ever been privileged to walk through.
So, after a comment related to a group of scarves done a few years back, and a request to do something similar in greens and browns, “Sequoia Forest” emerged. The process begins with organizing the right mix of these colors , a combination of colors gathered in the past, and often finding others in the current marketplace. The design I’ll use emerges based upon the fibers I find during my search. In this case, I encountered an old skein of hand dyed “Sea Silk” (which ostensibly contains sea weed, though if, and how much, is a bone of contention, but that doesn’t detract from its beautiful texture and hand) bought during a trip to New Brunswick. It was perfectly hued to add a “supplementary warp” for embellishment. Both the Chenille and the Sea Silk warps are wound on the warping board, then “chained off”, and placed on the loom.
I hadn’t done a group with a supplementary warp since 2012, so I had to go back thru my notebooks to get this smaller warp on correctly; thankfully, my carefully handwritten instructions were there, and I was ready to go. Finally, after a few days of weaving, the finished group of scarves is taken off the loom, inspected, measured, washed and air dried, and measured again before being photographed and tagged.