Journey into Art Weaving

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

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Tapestry Loom by Stephan Willette.

Weaving 20 Art Yarn Techniques

This video was the result of an experiment in weaving 20 different art yarn techniques on an Ashford "Sample It" Rigid Heddle loom with a 2.5 dent reed. I thought you would enjoy seeing how the yarns looked before & after they were woven, and my thoughts on the ease of weaving each technique. Some are much easier to weave than others. 

Backyard Garden Loom

I have always loved the idea of a garden loom, but I was disenchanted when the leaves and flowers and twigs I wove into it wilted and turned brown in a day and turned it into a modern art / composting display piece instead of something pretty. So I decided to turn it into an all weather art yarn loom. I built it by attaching 4 branches together and mounted it deep into the ground. Then I used art yarn to warp it.

Then when I hosted a backyard spinning retreat last summer I asked each artisan to "Weave their Mark" by weaving a yarn in the loom. I love the way it came out.