We are so pleased to offer this interview with Sally Eyring. Her story gives us insight into her unusual explorations and dedicated investigations into her designs. What amazing work emerges from her love of "problem solving"!
1. What motivated you to become a weaver?
When I was a teenager, I was in a 4-H club and we were learning to sew. Being very nearsighted, I would take off my glasses to see better when I wanted to rip out a seam. I noticed that the cloth had all of these little threads running perpendicular to each other and going over and under the other threads. I couldn’t imagine how they did that, and I became interested in weaving.
2. What is your favorite part of the weaving process?
By far, the design process is my favorite, especially when I weave in 3-D. Imagining a shape and figuring out how to weave it is so much fun. I also like watching the weave pattern develop. It seems like magic every time.
3. What people, elements, or challenges contributed to your personal growth as a weaver over the years?
My weaving teacher at Mass Art made a comment to me that “when you weave you always get a rectangle.” It seemed somewhat boring, put like that. I was determined to break that “reality,” and I did! Hand weavers can use the instructions in my book to weave any shape that they want, right on an ordinary hand loom, without regard to the type of fiber used or any wet finishing techniques. (3-D Hand Loom Weaving, Sculptural Tools and Techniques, published by Schiffer Publishing, 2020.)
4. On the whole, if you could categorize your current approach to weaving, what is your focus and why.
I’ve spent most of the past twelve years developing 3-D weaving techniques and tools, and written my book about it. At this point, I’d like to learn more about different weave structures, for example, all of the various forms of tied weaves, split shed weaving, etc. I might combine some of these with 3-D weaving. There is also a lot to experiment with using double weave – weaving the different layers in different shapes. Who knows where that will lead!
5. Lately, where do your weaving design inspirations come from?
A lot of my inspiration is not so much inspiration as the love of problem solving. I love challenging myself with something that shouldn’t be possible to do and figuring out how to do it. A lot of these experiments are underwhelming, but I always learn something from them and they build on each other.
6. What is one of your favorite woven pieces? What makes it special to you?
I’m really fond of the woven circles. One was done using the dense area technique, and the other was done using infinite tensioning.
Dense Area Technique
I’m also really like the shaped woven corsets I’ve woven for the WGB exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum. I hope they get accepted!
7. What other weavers inspire you? Can you describe what they bring to weaving that is attractive to you?
I admire many other weavers work for their use of color and the beautiful pieces they make, for example, the work of Suzie Taylor, Su Butler, and Tien Chiu. It’s going to sound a bit strange, but I’m inspired more by techniques than specific weavers. I’m probably a technique nerd at heart. And, there aren’t a lot of weavers doing the kinds of 3-D things that I’m doing, so I’m kind of on my own there. But I’ve now taught these techniques to eight classes of students, so I’m hoping they will help push things along.
8. Please tell us something we may not know about your weaving.
I use a lot of math / arithmetic in my weaving. For example, to get the corset shapes that I’ve woven, I developed a series of spreadsheets. I was aiming at specific body measurements for the bust, waist, and hips. After sampling to determine the PPI, I make an exact shape cloth example of what I want to weave. I then can use that piece to draw the triangles on the cloth, determine their placement, and determine their measurements.
That information is put into the spreadsheet as a first cut, but it is the spreadsheet that I use to fine tune the exact shape of the triangles and understand the overall measurements of the piece once woven. I can play with the shape of each triangle to get the exact measurement I want, and instantly know the impact on the whole piece.
You can especially see this in the traditional corset. I also used these same spreadsheets to keep track of which triangle I am weaving, and how exactly to weave it.
Other details about Sally:
number of years in WGB
member for 9 years I think
membership in other guilds
awards you have received
Complex Weavers Award for Excellence
Fiber Celebration Roving Tizi Award, Juror’s choice Award
Fiber Celebration 2014 First Place Award
Interested readers can purchase Sally's Book directly from her website:
Both of the above images were photographed and shared with us by Sally Erying.
The Image on the All Post Page is copied from the following website: