I am a Bloomington, Indiana resident with a long and unusual path to my current art career. I was born in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic, and I immigrated to Canada as a young girl. After earning a doctoral degree in plant sciences from the University of Western Ontario, I accepted a postdoctoral position as a molecular geneticist in the Biology Department at Indiana University. During that time, I met and married my husband, and together we have two delightful boys, Tommie and Jacob. In 2002 I decided to transition from science back to my roots as an artist.
In the past, I focused on oil pastels and acrylic painting. Independently, experimentation with each of these has been useful for my current medium of choice, fiber. Work with oil pastels forced me to focus on visual mixing of color, and the powerful interplay of colors. Acrylic painting allowed for quick mixing of colors both before and after applying it to the canvas, but, as with oil pastels, I became dissatisfied with the flatness of the art. I began gluing found objects onto the canvas and then painting over them. Eventually I realized that I needed to create my canvas. Weaving allows me to incorporate objects, textures and shapes, as well as colors and coarseness into the canvas. By combining this with needle felting, I have been able to push the dimensional limits of wall art and to create weaving-felting fusions that are 3D tapestries.
The essence of art is a balance between contrast and harmony. I'm creating beauty, scenes of pristine places and idyllic impressions, using discarded and unwanted things. My art studio is filled with a plethora of odds and ends, new and old. I have yarns of all weights, colors and descriptions, much of it recovered as scrap from local weavers and knitters, jars of fossils, shells and weathered rocks. These sit beside dozens of containers of beads and discarded jewelry from all over the world, waiting for just the right piece. There are strips of leather, hemp baskets undone, wires disentangled, and pieces of lace-bits and pieces of everyday life, waiting to create a specific effect in a weaving.
My inspiration influenced from both nature and my imagination; some pieces are scenes taken from memories of family walks or places I have visited. Others are much more abstract, capturing an idea, a personality or simply reflect the feelings evoked by an event or geographical area. All of the pieces, though, are true weavings, integrating the materials, landscapes or emotions I've drawn from my travels and experiences.
Susan began spinning and weaving in 1980 and spent the next four decades studying under numerous international teachers. Her focus has always been on the historic aspects of the craft. Since 2000, she has offered two- to five-day courses in spinning and weaving from her home studio.
Her expertise has included being Operations Manager at Vävstuga Weaving School in Shelburne Falls, MA for five years. She specializes in lectures and workshops for guilds and craft schools throughout the country. Susan is always willing to share her passion for weaving and spinning with her students!
I fell into fiber art. My childhood had the typical mud pies and seed pictures – nothing remarkable. My parents provided time for craft play and were great collectors of all sorts of stuff with ‘potential’. When looking for adult stimulation while caring for my first child, loom weaving just happened to come across my field of vision and offered a night out with the possibility of being a bit creative.
Weaving led to spinning, which led to dyeing, which led to felting, which led to marbling, which led to papermaking, which led to bookbinding, which led to ... Basketry, a 3-D form of weaving. It was also a means to weave during the day because the loom was in the basement. Basketry took precedence over most of my fiber work for most of the past forty years. Related to, but not actual fiber (unless you count all the paper I have printed!), is the conference work I have engaged in since 1993.
I take the two ecological principles of recycling and reusing seriously in my work. I use the vines, leaves, limbs, shavings, junk mail, clothing or other odd materials that would otherwise go into the garbage or litter the ground. And I use the ground, too. Each material has a character of its own which I feel duty bound to discover and disclose. My efforts at nudging, coaxing, pinching, shoving, holding, mixing, adding, layering, balancing, reforming, etc. allow those unique personalities to unfold and bless the world with wonderful sculptural forms and colors. What fun they are as they develop! Artists typically are expected to give serious statements about the world through their work; I seriously strive to let the humor and beauty of the Creator show through in surprise, wonder, and simple joy. In the process, an unplanned sensitivity often emerges from the work, letting me know that the material and the Creator are in control.
Natalie is an educator and fiber artisan living in Fremont, Indiana. Born and raised in Virginia, she developed a love of science, teaching, and fiber. Her earlier work focused on sewing and needlefelting and she was trained as a Singer Sewing Machine Manager while living in Ann Arbor in 1992. She later learned to weave from a Fort Wayne Weaver’s Guild instructor. Fine Arts instruction in Craftmanship and Design from Purdue (Fort Wayne) University followed in 2015. Continual learning in weaving expanded from classes at the John C Campbell Folk School, The Mannings, Red Stone Glen, Island Fiberwork Retreats, Midwest, MAFA, and Convergence conferences.
Natalie has pursued weaving with a passion. She has served as President of Fort Wayne Weavers Guild and has served as Vice President of Programming. She also maintains memberships with the Fredericksburg Weavers and Spinners Guild, Michigan League of Handweavers, Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association and a Professional Membership with the Handweavers Guild of America. Natalie was awarded a MAFA Fellowship in 2019 and has been studying Deflected Doubleweave intensively. She has also taken additional classes with felters: Janna Mattsson, Judith Dios, Joan Berner and Moy MacKay and enjoys felting 2-D landscapes using parts of her handwovens.
Her work can be found daily at the Orchard Gallery of Fine Arts in Fort Wayne and she was the featured artist in October 2019 and 2021. Here weaving can be found in Handwoven Magazine Nov/ Dec 2021. Her handwovens have also been exhibited in Georgia: Color: Classic to Contemporary exhibit, as well as locally at First Gallery, the History Center, and Crestwoods Gallery.
I'm a weaver, dyer and "free-range seamstress" who loves painted warps, collapse techniques, and extended parallel threadings -- all to make colorful, textured cloth used in garments for teaching, shows and sales. My pieces have been juried into the HGA Convergence fashion shows since 2008. About 20 years ago I started teaching at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center here in Rochester, NY, and now I also teach on Zoom and at conferences and guilds in Australia, Canada and the United States.
Working out of my home, I weave on a 32-shaft Louet Megado, 16-shaft Toika Eeva, a 16-shaft Germaine table loom and a 12-shaft LeClerc table loom.
Ruby maintains a full-time weaving and teaching studio in northern Vermont where she designs her own line of handwovens as Ruby Charuby Weavings. Boundless enthusiasm for sampling and experimenting – especially with color and its interaction with structure – has guided Ruby's creative endeavors in her 35 year weaving career.
Handwoven magazine's invitation to become a contributing member of their 'Color Forecast' series, creating swatches on a regular basis, was the impetus for Ruby to streamline her design process. Ruby began teaching, fueled by her desire to share her insights about how to successfully integrate color, structure and yarn in weaving without having to dye yarn or rely on recipes.
Ruby has taught above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway and Greenland, as well as at Convergence, regional conferences and guilds throughout the US. She was one of three weaver/ designer teams invited by the Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) to create a collaborative runway ensemble for the second Design Fashion Challenge at Convergence 2010 in Albuquerque, NM.
Susan has an MFA in Textiles from the University of Michigan. Her work incorporates shibori, silkscreen, and stitching to create work inspired by the natural world and common human experiences. She has been a faculty member of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit since 1986 and has also taught at Wayne State University. Commissions include textiles for the University of Michigan Medical School and the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, United Technologies Automotive, and the Michigan Horticultural Society. She has received grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and National Surface Design Association. Her work has been profiled in Fiberarts Magazine. She exhibits, lectures and conducts workshops widely in Michigan and the US.
Linda is a weaver, knitter, garment maker.
She weaves instinctively, following no set patterns, rules, or expectations. This freedom in weaving reveals beauty in the unexpected and dismisses mistrust in one’s ability. Linda creates clothing in a similar way, allowing the handwoven fabric to make known its final shape.
As a child weaves, taking time to pat the fluffy bits, play with hanging threads, and enjoy cloth from beneath the loom, she reminds herself to see life and art through their eyes. Taking chances, changing directions, and delighting in the outcome. You will find Linda most days in her studio Three Sheep Gallery & Workshop in Boardman, OH, teaching, spinning, knitting, sewing, and most often weaving.
Martha has been weaving for over 40 years, and is a member of Michigan League of Handweavers, HGA, Complex Weavers Guild, and several local guilds. As a self taught weaver, she has benefitted from many workshops and conferences. Martha earned the Handweavers Guild of America Certificate of Excellence - Level 1 in 1986. As a fan of twill pattern, she quickly moved to multi-shaft weaving and currently weaves on an 8 shaft Baby Wolf, 8 shaft Gilmore, and a 16 shaft compudobby AVL. She weaves functional items for the home, as well as scarves, and yardage. Her work has been accepted in HGA’s Small Expressions Exhibits and Convergence Yardage exhibits and she has won several awards, including Complex Weavers awards at MLH Conferences and Midwest Conferences. Martha lives in Hillsdale County, Michigan on a 100 acre farm, with her husband and a flock of sheep that provide spinning fleeces, and fiber.