In the past few months, my focus has been very much botanical weaving. First I wove not one but two poppy-inspired scarves (the first of which you can read about here), and now I’m working on creating plants in rosepath. While I’m very proud of my patterning accomplishments, I am absolutely blown away by the floral weaving of Carol Irving.
In her exhibit A Weaver’s Journal of Endangered Wildflowers, Irving combines her love of weaving and love of botany in 12 handwoven panels, each depicting a different endangered Michigan wildflower. The 3' x 5' panels are carefully handwoven on a Harrisville rug loom using roughly 10 pounds of wool per wall hanging. Although these panels are currently hung on display, Irving says she wove each panel so it could be used either as a wall hanging or as a rug.
As beautiful as Irving’s wall hangings might be, she hopes viewers get more from them than just aesthetic enjoyment. In her artist statement, she says: “As I am concerned for the future of all threatened species, Michigan’s wildflowers are near and dear to me. Michigan has many unique habitats and is home to many endangered and special species of plants. This woven series of Michigan’s endangered wildflowers will bring attention to their threatened and sometimes endangered status.”
Currently, her weaving is on display at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center until November 15, 2018. If you’re interested but can’t make it to the exhibit in time, don’t fear! It will be on display at various galleries throughout Michigan and Illinois through February 2020.
Want to learn more about drawloom weaving? Make sure to check out the May/June 1998 issue of Handwoven. As for my weaving, I’ll be sticking to the rosepath designs from Strickler and enjoying Carol Irving’s work from afar.
Happy Weaving! Christina
A Weaver’s Journal of Endangered Wildflowers October 19–November 15, 2018 - Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center March 25–May 20, 2019 - Central Michigan University Art Gallery October 18–November 23, 2019 - Fine Line Creative Arts Center January 1–February 28, 2020 - DeVos Art Museum