My drawing skills are nil, but I’ve always enjoyed blending colors and thinking in terms of design possibilities. It took me many years, however, to find my creative niche and that was thanks to an industrial psychologist for whom I was doing temporary work. It was he who said my underlying need to be creative was going to be the source of much frustration if I didn’t yield to it. “But,” I said, “I’m not creative!” By walking me through a series of questions, he proved me wrong and from that day forward I feel that life has been one great exercise in creativity.
How weaving came into the picture is a happy accident. At my girls’ elementary school auction someone donated 6 weeks of weaving lessons which no one bought. Somehow I ended up with those lessons, and they opened the door to a whole new world. I never dreamed anyone would want to buy anything I made, but from the beginning that proved not to be true.
Early on, I concentrated on wall pieces and created large installations for several Houston office buildings and banks. I won’t go into all the reasons why, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out that wasn’t going to be my direction.
While trying to determine my next step, I remembered that as a child I loved designing paper doll clothes, mixing patterns and colors in unique combinations. That led to weaving cloth for garments, and I was thrilled by the results. My first piece was a vest which I sold right off my back. That led to years of designing one-of-a-kind wearables for clients who valued my work as a means of expressing their uniqueness.
There were many wonderful moments during that period, but several years ago I burned out on cutting and sewing and began working with designers to create blankets, table linens, accent pillows and yardage for dining room chairs, piano benches, stools, etc. Such work gave me incredible design freedom.
At the same time, I began focusing, too, on fashion accessories such as scarves and shawls.
These have allowed me to satisfy clients who appreciate having a distinctive piece.
I never would have dreamed that weaving would become a vocation. It is certainly not one that ensures upward mobility or a hefty salary, but it feeds the soul and becomes a means of self expression. For that I will ever be grateful.
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