|A Q&A with Weaving
Instructor Marcia Weiss
Editor, Weaving Today
Doubleweave is a fascinating weave structure. If you know how to use it right, you can weave pockets and pouches into your cloth, use it as a design feature, create a cloth much wider than your loom, and so much more. The idea of drafting doubleweave can sound intimidating, but in reality it’s actually fairly easy to understand–provided you have the right teacher.
After taking her course on drafting doubleweave at Convergence, I can tell you that Marcia Weiss is the right teacher. I came in nervous that the subject was far too complicated for the likes of me, who had been weaving for just a few years and had only woven piece of doublweave, but by the end I understood everything and was confident in my own ability to start drafting doubleweave. Not only that, I actually enjoyed every minute of the class! So I am of course very happy that we are able to offer this same class to you all as a web seminar, and that I get to introduce our instructor and this Q&A we had with her to learn a bit more about her. –Christina
How and when did you start weaving?
I started weaving during a regional summer art program between 9th and 10th grades. This was an outgrowth of my interest in art. I was always artistic and creative, but really found my passion in weaving.
What do you do besides weaving? (What’s your day job)
I’m the Director of the Textile Design program at Philadelphia University and an associate professor. In addition to running the program, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in weaving both on hand and jacquard equipment. I also teach international short courses on West African textiles.
Do you prefer to work from patterns, or draft your own?
I always draft my own patterns. I am inspired by the work of others, but prefer to create my own drafts, etc. to fully realize my aesthetic vision.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is a mix of clean lines, strong shapes and bold textures. In my work, this is softened with the feathered-edge that is inherent in the ikat process. Friends would describe my style as “funky”.
What other creative pursuits do you enjoy?
In addition to weaving, I enjoy knitting, gardening, basketry, spinning, bookbinding, etc. Essentially, working with my hands gives me great joy.
Tell us about your weaving studio… what kind of space inspires you?
My studio space is at my home, but in a separate building. I love that I can step into the studio and be immersed in creative work. The walls are lined with shelves containing books that inspire me, as well as yarns, mostly in natural, undyed states. My current work is almost exclusively ikat, so I do my own dyeing. Holding natural yarns allows me to have a wide range of yarn types–fiber, size, texture–as a blank slate.
What’s your weaving secret weapon?
I love what I do. I’m always interested in finding ways that chance and surprise enter a practice that involves so much planning prior to getting on the loom. Embrace the unexpected things that occasionally occur.
How do you stay motivated on long projects?
Again, I love what I do. I find the process both meditative and satisfying.
What has been your favorite project recently?
I would have to say that my current project, an ikat series based on photographs I’ve taken, which is still in the “binding” process, and another new project that I’m currently developing are my favorites. I’m always happy to start a new series to see where it leads. It’s an exciting time when all the possibilities are still in front of me.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve made for a client? To satisfy a client, I altered two pieces of work to create a triptych. It wasn’t the original intention, but the spatial requirements dictated the changes. It challenged me to look at my work through a different lens, which was very exciting.
What would your dream studio look like?
My dream studio would have all white walls, high ceilings, great natural light with ample space for yarns, books, dedicated photography space and a comfortable seating area for guests. And my favorite looms, of course!
What’s your current weaving soundtrack?
Very often, I am listening to NPR while I weave. When I’m in the mood for music, I listen to classic rock. The Who, the Rolling Stones, Meatloaf, Bryan Adams, the Hooters, and Foreigner are some of my favorites.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Do what you love. Love what you do. There are so many wonderful people in our field who are passionate about what they do, and are willing to share their knowledge. If you are interested in doing something, seek out mentors.
Join Marcia on Monday, August 17 at 1 PM Eastern for the live event! And remember, all webinars are available for purchase after the live date.