Thursday, September 4, 2014

Study in Greens

Color plays an exciting, vital role in the design process, and learning to use colors confidently can be challenging. In the past few months I've developed a workshop to help weavers explore color compositions and translate them effectively into woven cloth. One of my own recent explorations was in green. Inspired by a collection of photographs, I chose three colors of green, tobacco brown, and gold for warp. I wove the first section of the sample in plain weave and then re-threaded for 4-shaft, 2 block, summer and winter. Complimentary colors and accent colors were used as weft in both samples.

 So interesting to see what a difference the weave structure makes in how the color reads!

Before I started the next sample I had decided to weave fabric for a tote bag that would work well for a carry-on. Above is the second set of samples I wove using only greens in the warp and working to see how I could rotate the same greens in the weft along with a lavenderish taupe and a more purpley color called shale.Below is the fabric I wove for the handles--all green in warp and weft.
Below is a shot of the fabric off the loom alongside the fabric I chose for the lining. 
The woven part of the tote bag is finished, and I'm working on the lining. Yesterday I learned (thanks to a tutorial online) how to install a zippered pocket in the lining. 

More pix to follow when the bag is finished!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mayan Hands Dye Project

 Featured in Sept/Oct 2014 Handwoven

    When I was invited to design a towel for the Mayan Hands Dye Project I joined a team of people who have generously donated time, energy, and technical expertise to help a group of women committed to learning and perfecting the natural dye process.  Together, for over five years, they have worked to make the potentially life-changing project a reality.
    The publication of Deborah Chandler's article about the project in the most recent issue of Handwoven magazine (Sept/Oct 2014) and my accompanying towel design has sparked the hoped-for response. The first batch of kits sold out quickly, and Cotton Clouds (all proceeds benefit the Guatemalan dyers) has a waiting list for the next batch which is scheduled to arrive soon from Guatemala. Please contact Cotton Clouds to be added to the list.
    To say the enthusiastic reception has been affirming and inspiring for the women on the dye team is an understatement. The money they have earned is not just more than what they typically earn; because there is little or no work for them otherwise, the income from the kits is all they are earning. 
    In an earlier post I wrote that the dye project was done in collaboration with WARP when Mayan Hands is, in fact, an independent member organization of WARP. Founded by Guatemalans Brenda and Fredy Rosenbaum in 1989, Mayan Hands is a fair trade organization whose mission is to assist women in their quest to rise from poverty by giving a “hand up,” not a “handout”.
    More about the towel design: The huckaback block design first appeared in Handwoven in 1985 in towels known as "friendship towels".  My design is a variation of the original, but the name still fits, perfectly appropriate to describe the affiliation between the weavers who are learning the dye process and those who appreciate their artistry and reach out in friendship and support.
    It is my hope that the design of the towels honors the efforts of all of those involved in the Dye Project. I hope, too, that weaving the towels will prompt a deeper appreciation of the connections and the friendships we forge through our love of weaving.
    One of the team members who deserves special thanks is Rocío Mena Gutierrez.
She provided " information, nudging, inspiration, dedication, fun, and a will to push hard when everyone was tired." (quote, Deborah Chandler). For a fascinating look at Rocio's time in Guatemala with the dyers and their families please read her blog:

Friday, January 17, 2014

"One Thread at a Time", Concordia University

I'm honored to announce that an exhibit of my work, "One Thread at a Time" will be on view through February 12 at Concordia University. I hope you'll join me for the reception and lecture.


One Thread at a Time

Handwoven Textiles

By: Sarah H. Jackson

January 15 - February 12, 2014
Artist's reception and lecture: Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. 
in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall.
Artist Statement:
Handweaving, simple or elaborate; it all begins with one thread. To sit at 
my loom and throw the shuttle while witnessing the interplay of color, 
pattern, and texture as it develops into cloth is endlessly fascinating.
My design process often centers on color as I work within the limitations 
of the loom to stretch and explore the possibilities of color interaction.
At other times I focus on the combination of structure and fiber, using 
only one or two colors, to create the desired cloth.
Whether designing for the home or one-of-a-kind garments, my weaving 
reflects a passion for marrying structure, fiber, and color to produce 
cloth that is unique, practical, beautiful, and just right for my intended 
About the Artist:
Sarah H. Jackson earned a B.F.A. in Design, concentration in textiles, at 
the University of Kansas. 
She owns a business dedicated to designing and marketing handwovens and 
reconstructed clothing, conducts workshops for guilds and conferences, and is 
a technical editor and designer for *Handwoven* magazine.

 Art Exhibitions and Lectures 2013-2014 | Art | Concordia University Irvine