Seeking Light

Initially, this piece of fabric was motivated by two simple thoughts:

  •  To use up a giant cone of mystery yarn
  •  To make curtains that provided privacy without sacrificing too much light (we just got new neighbors after over a year of the house next to ours being flipped...)

It began simply as an experiment of creating a fabric that would let light in. It began to turn into a battle of wills. I wrapped the yarn around the back beam in the wrong direction twice. The yarn itself was a bigger pain in the ass to work with than I expected, slippery, stretchy, generally ill behaved. I was making shuttle-throwing mistakes and found a few threading ones... It was becoming a mess. 

I considered cutting it all off and throwing the whole thing out.  It became more complex, each time I let an error or slip stay in the fabric.

Instead, I decided to accept the mistakes, the missed threads. I embraced the fact that human hands made this fabric would show loudly. I changed from twill to a plain weave whenever I wanted. Double, tripling the yarn on the shuttle so that there would be thick and thin bands running across. I realized, after a while, that this simple experiment was turning quickly into a piece of art right under my nose. It was becoming more complex, the less I worried about doing things 'right'.

It became thick with meaning and metaphors. We do not know what our lives will be made of. I do not know what kind of fiber this yarn is made of.  

It is unevenly woven, with thick and thin spots.  Our lives are thick and thin, full of energy and goodness. Worn to gauze with grief and over-action. Stitched up with care and love, buoyed by the support of loved ones.

The pattern changes, seemingly at random. The way we move through present into the future is always changing. As we make adjustments and decisions the path and patterns we walk change. Each decision made to change the shuttle, the treadling {to our lives} changes the pattern. So what seemed random to start with really made sense all along, we just couldn’t see the bigger picture.  

The fabric is hidden on the front beam as it is created, the beginning hidden from the end.  If that’s not a beautiful metaphor for life, I’m not sure what is. When it is pulled from the loom, cut and tied off, washed and held up for inspection, the whole picture is revealed.  

Errors turn into knowledge gained. Patterns changing signal growth and Truth. Knots are healed and healing scars. Fabric is draped around the body, around the home, to add warmth and protection.


When I finished the fabric, it had already named itself.  

The Shroud of Living.  

A little morbid, perhaps, but so is life, at the end of it, we will be wrapped in shrouds. 

I cut the fabric in half, and stitched it into curtains.

Death is everywhere, let the light in to the dark places

I hung them in our bedroom, keeping our lives inside a safe place, yet letting light shine in.  

This fabric has taught me. I am grateful and am eager to keep learning.

Back to the studio, to making, for me. I will always go back to this heart-space, it is home.