The word texere means “to weave.”  While I am not a textile weaver,  I love the history of this word and its many companions like texte, textus, textilis, tek, textura, all joined in a beautiful reticulation of textiles, writing, and making something with care.

One of my favorite descriptions of the connection is from Robert Bringhurst in his canonic The Elements of Typographic Style:

“…. thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns — but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old… abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth.”

I’m an artist living and working near the Hudson River in upstate New York.  I’ve worked in many media over the years, and have sometimes been a writer of sorts, but my medium for the last fifteen years has largely been textiles. Making art for me is many things, but first among them is gift.  I’m most compelled by the nuanced intimacy of creating art for people I care about.  Additionally, these days, I want the gift to be used, not hung on a wall or put in a drawer as a keepsake.  Using it is completing it.  The works I make now are intended to wrap someone in a physical membrane of connection between us, thereby becoming something else altogether.  What starts in the flat plane of sewn fabric becomes sculptural in use.  I’ve been thinking of this use as “performing the quilt,” even if the work isn’t always quilted.

Whirling Quilts

But I do make quilts.  And other related textiles that are to be used.  I’m most inspired by improvisational styles like certain African-American traditions (Gee’s Bend, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Arbie Williams, and others), as well as Amish quilting (especially early Pennsylvania), and Asian traditions like Japanese boro and Korean pojagi.

Note: the masthead for Texere is a collaged image of photos of vintage Japanese indigo purchased from Sri Threads.

Contact me, if you like…

4 Responses to “Caro”

  1. mendofleur Says:

    I really like your analysis of quiltmaking here. I think quilts are to be used too. I love seeing them hung, but to wrap them around your body would seem the original comfort for which they were designed. Now back to your great blog and the exciting work you have shown.

    • caro Says:

      Thank you! it’s really nice to know that others get what I mean. Though I too like seeing quilts hung, I have to admit. Guess I just like best when mine are used by a human body. I like your blog too and visit all the time. I’m envious of your recent trip to Shelburne Museum, one of my favorite places. But I don’t get to visit it much.

  2. Denise Kovnat Says:

    Thank you for this posting! I’ve often wondered how I made the transition between writing (I worked as a writer and editor for 21 years) and weaving (for the past 12 years) — the one was full of words on a black and white page or screen, the other was wordless and full of color, at least on the face of it. But you made me think again, with your notes about the origin of the word “text.” There is a connection, a great one!

  3. caro Says:

    Ah, a real weaver/writer. Glad you like this connection between the two. Perhaps someday I’ll learn to weave as well, but even if not, textiles and writing will always be paired for me.

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