A Letter from Andrea
I was a second-year art student when I learned how to weave. Though much more interested in painting and photography, I had signed up for a beginning textiles class on a whim. The first time I painstakingly threaded my loom and wove a series of small sample patterns, I was not impressed by the experience. Then the class was prompted to create our own projects, and something shifted in my understanding of thread and cloth, and the act of weaving itself. I was flooded with possibilities, and so I began to work. That was how the floor loom became the electric, magnetic tool that continues to pull me in nearly fifteen years later. Today when I sit down to weave, I still pause, as I did in that first textiles class, to marvel at the elegance of this machine. I run a hand over threads pulled tight through the body of the loom. I press pedals, watching those threads rise and fall, guiding line into plane. There is poetry in the weaving of cloth, and I want to share that knowledge, that feeling, with the world.
I have always used the loom as a conceptual tool, in service of the themes I explore in my artwork. It was only after graduate school, in 2010, that I began using it to create functional work as well. In making handwoven cloth that is intended to be experienced in an entirely different way than the artwork I hang on walls and in space, I am able to explore the technical aspects of weaving and dyeing for their own sake, delving deep into the language of color, pattern, texture, and material. The functional and conceptual sides of my studio practice inform and enrich each other, and after all these years of working with thread and cloth, my medium continues to challenge and excite me every day.
My studio is a wonder, full of light, cones of thread, and piles of handwoven cloth. Most of the time, I’m the lone witness to the magical moments that unfold in that sacred space. My processes, labor-intensive in the extreme, are also lovely little choreographies: a dance between intentions, tools, and materials. The resulting artworks, both wearable and wall hanging, contain the heartbeat of this dance within every thread.