I was preparing for an art show that would include one of my longest standing art mediums, acrylic paint on larger than life canvases. As I put together my show a month prior to the open date I noticed I was missing something more. I began searching Pinterest and Youtube about hanging string art with feathers which lead me down a rabbit hole to finding wall tapestries. I had experience with macrame in my childhood and decided it could be a cross between that and crocheting.
The journey was rough at first. I began diligently following a detailed youtube about weaving which taught me how to make my own loom. This loom was created from a stiff piece of cardboard and about 100 pins that I wound my warp thread around and around. I used a thick metal weaving needle to go across with the same small cotton yarn as the warp. This took me ages to say the least. I believe between creating the loom and working full time, it took me about three weeks to have a two foot by one foot section of completed weave.
This was exhausting. Them I met up with master yarn spinner and writer, Ashley Martineau, and found out how to loosen up and make weaving actually fun. I began using a small tapestry loom, by Stephen Willette, which was an absolute breeze compared to my cumbersome metal needle that inched along.
I was throwing short strands of whatever lovely colored wool I thought would look good together. I tied beads, feathers and shells into my weavings. It was going so fast and I fell in love. Soon I moved onto the larger loom, called insert name, that allowed me to see the whole picture at once and create what I call, an art weaving.
This is what ultimately made it into my art show, each wall tapestry going beautifully with each painting, inspiring each other.
These art weavings take a bit more thought and love than the quickly churned scarf-like wearable art pieces but are, in my opinion, a part of the fine art world. Especially with the hand-dyed wools, found objects and arrangement placed into each tapestry.
My journey may be from a fine arts background but it was still a blessing to have a seat with master yarn spinner who taught me the importance of good looms and quality yarns. The art pieces I created now hang as a new path in my art medium tool belt right next to my long life passion for painting. I hope to create even more beautiful art weavings like these in the future.
- Stephanie Merritt