Reader’s Gallery—Nature and Peace

Many weavers draw from nature for inspiration, and the Reader’s Gallery weavers were no exception.

Susan E. Horton Jan 29, 2021 - 4 min read

Reader’s Gallery—Nature and Peace Primary Image

From the left, Shirley Bergert’s Waves on Lake Champlain, Gail Blackmarr’s Waterlilies on a Pond, and Margaret Stump’s Night Covers the Earth. All photos by the designers.

On this beautiful winter’s day, as I was watching the tiny birds hopping around in the bushes outside my office, I was inspired to look for the Reader’s Gallery scarves and shawls that focused on nature and peace. —Susan

Designer Statements

Shirley Bergert: We live on the occasionally wild Lake Champlain, and the shawl design is intended to evoke the lake waves. I designed and wove it for a lovely neighbor who spends a lot of time contributing to the community. The waves blow any negativity away.

Gail Blackmarr: My scarf’s message is about our vital connection to nature. Whenever I felt overwhelmed this past year, an hour in my garden or a neighborhood walk always restored my spirits. The scarf’s honeycomb structure produces long floats, so the backside also conveys a message about the fragility of our relationship to nature, something very much on my mind with the West’s recent wildfires. So far, I have simply worn the scarf with care, but I may eventually line the back.

Margaret Stump: My idea was to make a shawl that sent a message of peace and calm. The evening colors, ranging from light blue on one end to purple on the other, describe a time and feeling of relaxation and release as the day ends and we can leave behind our workaday worries and relax into the night.

Prentice edmund irwin (1)

From the left: Steve Prentice’s Paua, Marcella Edmund’s The Sheep Sympathize!, and Tracy Irwin’s Hawaii. Photos on the left and right by the designers, middle photo by Hugh Passow

Designer Statements

Steve Prentice: I love the flowing colors of the abalone shell (known in New Zealand as paua), so when I had the chance to weave two identical scarves for a great friend and his partner as wedding presents, these colors came to mind.

Marcella Edmund: Sheep offer their fleece every year and encourage us to spin, weave, and wear the lovely natural warmth they give.

Tracy Irwin: Ages ago I participated, as a kindergartener, in a celebration on Hawaii Day. It was a new state and our class made “grass skirts” from bright blue and green crepe paper strips. These colors always speak to me of the lushness of the islands: the blue of the ocean, the green of the jungle of trees, and the soft beige of the sand. In addition, the softness of the tussah around my neck just sends me back.

Rubin Starchild Wylie

From the left: Catherine Rubin’s Peace, Morgan Starchild’s Sedimentary Rock, and Kay Wylie’s Oregon Fires. All photos by the designers

Designer Statements

Catherine Rubin: Peace is black and white. Simple. Clear-cut. No ambiguity. The weaving required paying attention and mindfulness, as does a peaceful outlook, philosophy, and action.

Morgan Starchild: Studying sedimentary rock formations is like studying the rings on a tree to determine age and environment, in some cases displaying a layer that represents the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Kay Wylie: The Oregon fires, Summer 2020!