Sketchbook Series: Art Weavings

The Sketchbook Series are small art weavings that I make on my travels local and abroad. The portable loom I use becomes a tool upon which to explore materiality in both sculptural and 2 dimensional forms. This is the first 9 of the series, woven in Iceland during my residency at The Icelandic Textile Center in November 2016. Using various types of hard and malleable plastics, Icelandic wool, and mixed fibers each sketch weaving is one-of-a-kind. Pictured here simply pinned to my studio wall at the residency, the sketches work well both individually and as a body of work together. They take on a cohesive finished quality as framed pieces.

This project came about because I couldn't get my body to attach to a regular sleep schedule in Iceland. I found myself going to bed at 4am and waking up as the sun rose at 10am. The weaving studio was situated on the floor above the resident artist's dormitory's, and while we were all free to work in the studios at any time of day or night, the walls and floors were thin as the residency is housed in a very old building. The clacking of old wooden looms treadles and beaters was loud and would have kept people awake at night. So I took to my room to quietly work on smaller weavings. I found this to be such an enjoyable and freeing nightly practice. No design guidelines or plans to follow, just simple experimentation. Play.

 I've had this lap loom for months and never used it. I bought it and another just like it to bring to the Hudson River Valley over the summer upon a visit to see my friend Margot. One loom for her, one loom for me. Thinking I would make weavings on it during my visit, I didn't use it once. I brought it home and it sat in my studio collecting dust for months after that trip. As I was packing to travel to Iceland back in October, last minute I decided to throw it in my luggage. It turned out to be a very good idea, nearly every night I used it to play and experiment. It has been so fun to use, that I have made it a regular practice now that I'm back home in Chicago. The local grocery store in Blonduos, Iceland sold more than just food; plastic clothes line and cleaning supplies made of materials I wanted to touch and cut apart were among some of the more interesting and malleable materials that purchased. I deconstructed these materials, re-made them, intertwined them with other materials and made art weavings. By day, I would work in the weaving studio on precise technical rugs, by night I would spread out materials all over the table and bed in my dorm room and weave on the art lap loom. 


A selection of the first 9 Sketchbook Series will be for sale in the webshop soon. In the meantime information about them is available by emailing me at And of course, there'll be more to come.

Dee ClementsComment