Carolyn Silk – Weaver
When I was about twenty I visited a friend’s beach house. There, bathed in a pool of sunlight, was a large floor loom. It instantly had a deep visceral appeal to me. Made of beautiful dark wood, it glowed warmly in the winter light. It was simple yet fascinatingly complex. Mysterious and romantic, it triggered a subtle sense of yearning in me. But I was a student; next day back to college classes and social life. I was oblivious that the seed of a long-term passion had been planted.
There followed many years during which I blew glass, did watercolor painting, and pursued a career in architecture. During that time I continued to be drawn irresistibly to fiber art. My wardrobe was almost entirely handwoven garments bought from artists at art and craft fairs. In a yarn shop I was like a kid in a candy store. However, it was not until I retired from practicing architecture that I finally rediscovered the idea of weaving myself. Like a seed in the desert when it rains, the dream germinated, grew and bloomed virtually overnight.
I now have my own beautiful cherry wood floor loom and a supply of gorgeous yarn. I’m reveling in seemingly infinite possible combinations of weave structure, sett, texture and color. Delight in exploration has resulted in a body of work that’s varied almost to a fault. Most often my inspiration comes from nature in the northwest, colors and patterns from the garden, the forest, the beach, the bay; it frequently includes subtle plays of texture and color. But then sometimes, purely for the fun of it, I break into a series that’s all bold colors and geometric patterns. My biggest hope is that other people will enjoy my fabric as much as I love the process of making it.