I Weave a Metaphor
Learning to weave by looking
In pursuit of all things textile, I investigate the small weavings of American artist, Sheila Hicks. Over the past fifty years, Hicks has used a hand-made frame loom to create intimate textile explorations. She uses her loom like a sketchbook, reflecting on daily life through a playful exploration of materials and techniques.
Better known for her large-scale installations, Hicks references centuries-old techniques in the making of her textiles. She looks for “how thread can speak, what it can do, and what you can do with it.” With thread, colour, shape, form and scale, she searches for a universal communication system that crosses cultural, racial, and geographic divisions.
Inspired by Hicks’ practice, I set out to sketch on a frame loom. I plan to make quick weavings that serve as meditations on my time in isolation. I struggle with my first attempt, as it is difficult to abandon a premeditated idea. A black-on-black weaving becomes time-consuming and overworked.
I adopt a new parameter; to create one weaving per day. I begin on a Wednesday.
I use these daily weavings as an opportunity to play with thread. I look through technical manuals, experimenting with traditional weaving techniques. My copy of Shirley E. Held’s “Weaving: A Handbook for the Fiber Craftsmen” is particularly useful.
I question how I might become skilled and proficient in a craft. Is it better to work my way through manuals by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt and Mary Meigs Atwater or to copy works by artists like Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Anni Albers? What can I learn by looking, emulating, and repeating? If I continue to ask myself these questions, perhaps an answer will emerge.
 Zanartu, C. [December 1, 2016] Hanging by a Thread [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.sheilahicks.com/films.
Sasha Krieger is an artist, library assistant, and collector from Vancouver, BC. Her diverse practice combines and deconstructs images and ideas borrowed from film, literature and art history, in an attempt to explore how meaning is derived from making.