SUE ELLEN JACOBS

Handweaver of Tribal Wraps

 

My Tribal Wraps have been influenced by my travels to ancient Zapotec, Mayan and Inca ruins that are scattered throughout Latin America. The intricately woven patterns on the wraps have been inspired by many of the geometric designs that can be found on the architectural elements of the sacred sites of these pre-Columbian cultures.

These patterns are created by a combination of features that are unique to handweaving. More than 700 fibers of silk, rayon, bamboo or cotton are threaded through the loom, one by one, in a very specific sequence. The foot pedals, or treadles, are tied to the harnesses that hold the threaded fibers -- also in a very specific order. Lastly, when I weave, I press the treadles in a certain sequence -- and the designs slowly begin to manifest.

To me, weaving is much like composing music -- creating the pattern with the tie-ups and the threading -- and playing the instrument -- the loom -- with my feet. It can also be quit meditative when a rhythm is produced with each toss of the shuttle -- and when I’m not interrupted by one of my cat companions.