Suzi Ballenger


I am a fiber artist who communicates through handweaving and papermaking. Every fiber has a personality. I believe the fullest expression of a fiber can be seen through observation, rhythm, and structure. This revelation of personality is part of a conversation between maker and material and reminds me of the freedom I feel in the outdoors and the exhilaration I find revealed in nature.

Artist Statement:

During the early days of the pandemic I was compelled to find ways to be of use to others. Then I worked to be comfortable connecting through video and computer. Technology was not able to provide me with the same haptic feedback that face to face interaction does. The deprivation of that type of communication became my opportunity to reflect on the interconnections of vitality/detritus, growth/sediment, and need/sacrifice. This topic still sits with me today as I find ways to continue exploring the balance of these concepts.

Techniques Used: Sisal and linen are handwoven with an Open Reed, allowing the warp threads to be spread apart and brought closer together within the same area without removing the threads from the loom. The handwoven substrate was wetted (to shrink – or create action -- in the sisal) and then dipped quickly in an abacca paper slurry. Handmade onion paper from the skin and stalks of our 2021 onion harvest are folded over the long weft floats and allowed to dry without restraint permitting the fibers to cockle and shape themselves.

Materials: Sisal, linen, abacca slurry, handmade onion skin paper
Measurements: 11" x 17" x 7"

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