From the first time that I sat down at a loom, I was drawn to the orderly universe of colored threads and the rhythmic repetition in the process of weaving. Because of my background in piano and pipe organ, I felt an immediate affinity with this new stringed instrument whose patterns flowed from my hands in the form of color and design rather than sound.
After experimenting with various structures for several years, I found my home in the ancient technique of doubleweave pick-up. In doubleweave two layers of cloth are woven simultaneously, one above the other on the loom. Through the exacting process of hand pick-up, I exchange threads between the two layers, building original designs onto the underlying grid. By blending numerous colors together in both my warp and weft and playing one layer against the other, I am able to create a nearly limitless range of subtle color gradations. Over the years I have developed new methods of setting up and weaving doubleweave that I feel make it more accessible and easier to weave.. I travel extensively to teach these techniques and have recently written the book The Weaverís Studio: Doubleweave, published by Interweave Press.
While exploring relationships between weaving and music for my masters degree in the early 1990ís, I learned about the field known as sacred geometry, and have been studying its principles and incorporating them into my design process ever since. There are patterns and proportions that can be found in nature and music at many different levels that have been used by artists and architects for thousands of years. They have been used by cultures throughout the world in the form of the golden proportion, symmetry patterns, tessellations and fractals. I explore these ideas in my doubleweave wallpieces and give workshops in which I teach them with a visual and intuitive approach.
If the structures and patterns in weaving satisfy my intellect, then color feeds my soul. Geometry reflects the underlying order that is found throughout life. Color is the life force itself.
Listen to an interview with Jennifer at WeaveCast.com.