Jenny Marie Stopher
Spinning and Weaving
The art of weaving is the art of creating a unified work out of two opposites. The warp (the vertical threads) is made up of even, strong threads that can withstand the tension of the loom and the weaving process. The weft (the horizontal threads) make up the material that is woven in and out of the warp.
My multidisciplinary work as an artist has been inextricably linked to reclaimed materials. I gravitate to these materials not only because of their sense of history and memory but because I feel it redeems them. To me these second hand materials represent the outcast, forgotten, and undervalued. I seek to give these materials new life and new meaning through working with them in my creative practice.
This reuse of materials also appears in my woven work through the exploration of Japanese Sakiori. This technique recycles old cloth from clothing or linens to use as weft. The Japanese word Sakiori comes from "saki," which means to tear or rip up, and relates to preparing the old fabric by ripping it into pieces. "Ori," means to weave and refers to weaving the strips together into the warp. I love the mental picture here of using parts that we think are no good, unusable or unworthy. Strips of cloth that have been torn, ripped or even shredded and weaving them through the warp made up of strong even threads. In life sometimes we find ourselves experiencing brokenness. We feel like those strips of old cloth, torn and ripped. We may feel unusable or unworthy. But if we allow ourselves to be surrounded by strong supportive people, we can allow them to be the warp for us. They have the evenness and strength to withstand the tension. With time as with weaving Sakiori the warp imbues its strength into the weft of torn and broken pieces and we become a new thing, a thing of beauty and strong again.