Retirement in 2021 is new to me so I still describe myself as a High School Earth Science Teacher (16 years) and Hydrogeologist who remediated hazardous and radioactive contamination of the environment (24 years). I have always had a needle in my hand, most comically cross-stitching in bars alongside my drilling crew while working out-of-town for months at a time. Eventually I discovered hand quilting and handweaving, and the sheer joy of building my textile artist’s palette of stash to create beautiful things that me smile.
When I made this piece, I was trying to recover from rapid fire and monumental life events that brought much sadness (my father passed away in hospice care at my house 2020), much fear (my husband broke his back 2020), much unknown (remote teaching during COVID 2020-21), and much anticipation (retiring 2021). While my world imploded, my weaving kept me strong, with bright colors lighting the way out of the darkness of those two years. The idea for “”The Sparkle Within”” was launched by my weaving guild’s 2021-22 challenge to explore double weave, something totally new to me. It came along just as I started my transformation from working self to retiree and caregiver to receiver. And the right time for me to break out of the darkness of the past few years and let my inner self shine through. Encouraged by a study support group, I set aside my usual safe routine of small scale sampling and just wove. What you see is the result. Little bits of light shining through to start the transformation.
Techniques Used: The ruana is a double weave textile made in three panels. Panels are ""invisibly' seamed by inserting center back panel into the enclosure created by the open edge of the two side panels. Machine sewn seams. Layers fringed separately.
Materials: "Warp is 10/2 mercerized cotton: Lunatic Fringe Tubular Spectrum in black (top layer) and a rainbow of green/blue (bottom layer) Weft is 8/2 Tencel in black (top layer) and greyed teal (bottom layer) from Webs/Valley Yarn."
Measurements: 43" x 40" x 0.5"