Beth Ross Johnson was introduced to handweaving in 1970 and quickly directed her attention to the folk textiles of Japan where she has had two extensive stays to work and study. She has been a student of Norman Kennedy for decades and completed an MFA in textiles at Georgia State University in 2006. During her COVID year, Beth started researching the history and technique of sashiko-ori and the cotton and linen ikats of Europe, especially France. Both research projects have required work on the loom reconstructing these textiles as a way to understand them. Beth weaves in her studio in Black Mountain, NC and teaches at a number of institutions including Penland School of Crafts and the John C Campbell folk School.
Nature of Order
Christopher Alexander is an architect known for his book A Pattern Language that stresses life and wholeness in architecture. But one of his design inspirations are Turkish carpets. His analysis of design inspired by nature, architecture, and textiles comes full circle to give workers in textiles new ways of looking at composition and color. Learn about his Fifteen Fundamental Properties applied to two and three dimensional design and color. And take a step out of the way you usually work to begin to balance the intuitive and technical aspects of your work.
Sashiko refers to several Japanese styles of stitching used to reinforce, repair, or embellish textiles. The linear designs of the hitomezashi style lends itself to the woven structure and these and other woven structures based on sashiko are called Sashiko Ori. These patterns have a lot to offer hand weavers to explore. Learn a little about the history of sashiko and sashiko ori in Japan, look at contemporary and ancient examples of these structures, and get a start on designing your own patterns for weaving.