I began taking weaving classes about twenty-one years ago. I have had the joy of working with two excellent teachers at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, IL. It was challenging to figure out ways to create complex braille weaving patterns and work out techniques so that I could do the entire weaving process independently–measuring the yarn, threading the loom, and finally having the joy of throwing shuttles and having my fingertips discover the complex patterns coming alive on the loom. At first I only worked with textures, keeping the color schemes simple. But my current teacher, Heather Winslow, has helped me to understand color theory and has encouraged me to work with a variety of colors. I tend to think of them as music—one color might be like a cheerful little melody in a major key, another might sound bold and strong. Add them together and you have a new piece of hand-woven artwork.
I recently have begun learning how to do Kumihimo braiding–a complex braiding art form using 8 bobbins in various colors and braiding patterns. My teacher described each movement needed to complete the braiding sequence. I then brailled out the patterns. Once I learned the basic movements of bobbins to create various braids, I then added beads to the mix to create bracelets and necklaces.