We asked members of the Weavers Guild Board about their weaving, spinning and dyeing journey. Read on to get to know Heather MacKenzie on a more personal–and creative–level.
Board Term and Role: Currently serving as Treasurer, September 1, 2017- August 31, 2019.
Member of WGM since: February 2017
I am a: Weaver! But I love it all. I just learned to spin over Federation weekend, so watch out for that new skill.
Skills I bring to the WGM board: I am a middle child in an incredibly complex and passionate family of mostly women, and I bring the gift of calmly seeing many sides of a situation and negotiating a compromise. I have also had the amazing opportunity to travel and study textiles in many parts of the world where hand dyeing, spinning, and weaving are still vital practices and livelihoods, and these travels have really cemented my dedication to the textile arts.
My weaving story: I went to a private high school, and at 15 signed up to take weaving. At that age I wasn’t thinking about anyone else’s normal, so having a weaving studio the size of a football field didn’t strike me as anything extraordinary. By then I was already making clothes from patterns at home, and totally obsessed with texture of different fibers and materials. In school, math was my favorite subject before I found weaving – where I could combine math AND soft things. The rest is history!
Dream loom: I yearn for a digital TC2 loom from Norway, but I want to share it within a collective studio. Stay tuned as this develops!
Best class I’ve ever taken: Shannon Stratton, Making Meaning – this was an art history class where we did a lot of talking around the divides we perceive between art, craft, and culture. It blew my mind. Shannon is now head curator at MAD in NYC.
Current projects: I’m playing with summer/winter structures and ideas around encryption and code currently, as I develop work for a Jerome fiber art project grant in the spring. Come to the show in May!
You can find my work at: heather-mackenzie.com (always and forever under construction)
I have so much yarn: – and so many small bits, or ends of cones – I even have it hidden in mason jars in my basement. I have a real thing for both old glass canning jars and fiber. There were a few years when I was moving every year, and in packing my stuff as small as I could I filled all my jars with yarn and fabric. The collection would make a very intriguing or confusing exhibit.
I wish you’d asked “What class are you most excited to take this year at WGM?” and my answer to that is “I can’t wait to work on my natural dye game!”