In the Studio with Sheri Ward
This week we join Sheri Ward in her studio!
Weaving instructor and textile artist Sheri Ward graces us with a peek into her life. Learn about how she came to teach at the J and more!
What initially attracted you to textiles as a medium?
I’ve always enjoyed working with fibers. From early childhood, I knitted, embroidered, crocheted, and sewed. In grad school, there were some short classes offered between academic semesters, and one of them was frame-loom weaving. I was hooked! Shortly after that, my husband bought me a table loom. And then soon after that came other looms, more yarn, and a growing interest.
What has kept you interested in weaving?
I find that it feeds all parts of my creative and intellectual passions. I’m a bit of a geek, so figuring out weaving drafts and those technical parts is always an interest and a challenge. As one of my students (and fellow geek) said, there always seems to be some sort of “problem” to work out, and that’s a good thing.
The somewhat repetitive act of actually doing the threading and then the weaving can have a calming, meditative aspect, and I enjoy that. Then there’s the finished product, something to be treasured for a long time to come.
What inspires you?
That varies tremendously. Sometimes it’s a photo in a weaving or other textile magazine, or it could be a weave structure I haven’t tried before, or a striking color combination in nature, or simply the yarns on my shelf, in my stash.
What kinds of weaving do you tend to do?
Almost all of my weaving has been loom-controlled, rather than pick-up or tapestry. I admire tapestry, but I’m happy to let other people do that.
I’ve made rugs, garments, table linens, blankets, and wall hangings. I enjoy them all, and usually have an assortment of items on my three floor looms at home. I say “usually,” but currently all three are taken up with garment projects.
How did you come to teach classes at the J, and how has that been for you?
When the Textile Studio first opened at the J, I saw it as an opportunity to expand the number of local weavers, to grow the weaving community. I had never actually taught new weavers before, but somehow had the conviction that I could do that and it’s worked out pretty well.
I love it when that light goes on for a new weaver, and she or he realizes this is an avenue for expressing creativity. It opens options for people.
It’s been a privilege to teach at the J.