Weaving as a Method of Building

About 

Emma Rhodes is a textile artist and designer living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied fiber art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a concentration in hand weaving.

Education + Connection

I was formally introduced to weaving as a sophomore in college.The Fibers  wing at MassArt is a spectacle in itself with rows of Macomber floor looms and yarn stacked to the ceiling in dark wooden cabinets. Being process oriented by nature, I immediately connected to the sequential steps required to warp a loom and the manual action of weaving.

I have always thought of weaving as a method of building—row by row material is constructed as the warp and weft threads combine.

Material sourcing is an integral part of my process, along with determining a weave structure that will accentuate distinct qualities of the yarn.


Weaving as Sculpture

My attention then shifts to the space the weaving will occupy—drawing influence from mid-20th century artists such as Robert Irwin, Donald Judd and Anni Albers. The integration of art and architecture was a prevalent theme throughout their careers.

From a series of sculptural works made from 2013-2016 titled Building Material. This project references prevalent construction materials and the manner in which they are stored (bundled, piled, stacked) prior to their intended use.
Another weaving from Building Material, adapted for a home setting with a custom-made walnut hanger.

Frame/Loom:

Most recently, I have been working on a new project which was first released through GIST: Yarn & Fiber this fall.

Frame/Loom is a reimagined loom that elegantly frames your weaving.

What makes Frame/Loom unique is that it is designed to be used only once. When your weaving is complete the loom becomes a solid wood frame that can be hung on the wall or displayed on a shelf. I am thrilled with how these turned out and it is exciting to see what people are weaving on them. I also have my own ideas for a series of Frame/Loom weavings that I will be working on over the next few months.

Frame/Loom made by Liz Welch [www.lizwelchdesign.com]

Handmade in Providence, Rhode Island


Community Coordinator

In addition to building her studio practice, Emma is also the Community Coordinator at GIST: Yarn & Fiber—working directly with other hand weavers and artists to highlight their projects on the GIST website.

It has been a pleasure to become acquainted with so many of you through this role and I am continuously inspired by the community of weavers (near and far) sharing their work with the world.


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