We asked members of the Weavers Guild Board about their weaving, spinning and dyeing journey. Read on to get to know Becka Rahn on a more personal–and creative–level.
Board Term and Role: September 2016-August 2020. Currently serving as Board Secretary.
Member of WGM since: 2014.
I am a: digital fabric designer, dyer, and a little bit of a lot of other things
Skills I bring to the WGM board: lots of experience with technology and education, connections with the arts non-profit community.
My weaving story: My introduction to weaving was working with a bunch of veteran weavers to bring a hands-on project to a couple of middle schools. There was a long and very involved email discussion about transporting the “baby wolf” to the classrooms and who had a car big enough and if someone needed help to get the “baby wolf” set up. I had no idea why there was a wolf involved with weaving projects or who expected me to do something with it. I figured out quickly that the Baby Wolf was actually the model of the loom we were talking about, but I will never forget the first images that flashed through my mind of weaving with small cuddly canines.
Equipment of choice: Macbook Air. I have a tiny inkle loom that was made for me by an Etsy artist and I love that too.
Craft book I can’t live without: I am more into websites than books. Less clutter. I love the Stitch Dictionary at pintangle.com and craft journalist Abby Glassenberg’s blog “While She Naps”
Project I’m most proud of: The answer to this varies depending on when you ask me. Right now it is a piece I made that is in an exhibition at the WI Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. The theme of the piece is about the intersection of fiber art and technology and how some call it “cheating” to use a computer as a tool to create art.
First weaving project: The first weaving-related project I remember learning was kumihimo. I thought it was just magic; I’d never seen anything like it. I’m not sure I did anything with it specifically, but I do make kumihimo pieces still from time to time.
Current project: I am working right now on an ongoing collaboration with the Guthrie Theater to design some fabrics to complement their upcoming season. I design and make scarves, bags and neckties for their gift shop, with designs influenced by themes from the shows.
Another WGM member who inspires me: Margaret Miller. She has always told me that she is a “former and future weaver”. I like that working with her hands is a lifelong love for her, even if she isn’t doing it every day.
My advice to a beginner: Give yourself permission to be terrible at something. I love to teach beginners, but it is really hard when someone gives up when it’s not perfect on the very first try. Remember how you fell off your bike when you were learning to ride and that was what everyone expected would happen? We forget that it’s ok to fall down.