In the gallery I work at there has been a recent change in media on our walls, woven fabric and textile materials have taken over where photography and abstract painting once dominated. And it has inspired me to go and explore for more on Etsy, that is when I stumbled upon Heddle And Needle. I had the chance to ask Rachel, the creator of Heddle and Needle some questions about her weaving work, which ranges from woven tapestries to jewelry.
Look Out Tapestry, is currently for sale in Heddle and Needle Shop
Rachel has a background in illustration and has been a painter for 15 years. Where “those projects have to be very carefully planned out and take ages to finish. I like the weavings to be spontaneous as a break from that mentality, so I tend not to plan them out ahead of time. I’ll just look in my cabinet full of yarns and grab ones I feel like using that day. Sometimes I have a general idea of what I’d like it to look like ahead of time, but it’s rare.
I haven’t been weaving that long, actually, only since last summer. I started after using some linen thread to make a necklace for my sister (it wasn’t woven) and it got a good amount of attention from strangers so I bought some more thread and sheet brass and started to play around with it.
It dawned on me that they would look great as little weavings, so I created a makeshift “loom” out of a piece of board and a row of nails. I still use it; the nails act as the bottom part of the loom, and the brass pendant as the top part. I thread the warp in between the two, then just trim it up when I’m done.
Shortly after I started with the jewelry, I bought a very small frame loom and some yarn, then a larger frame loom, and then a Schacht Wolf Pup LT floor loom after taking a class at the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center. I’m still very much a beginner and still learning by trial and error.
Tools: It depends on the project, but for the jewelry I use brass stampings/sheet brass, an awl & hammer, a dremel, waxed linen thread and needles. Sometimes I also use horse hair. For the weavings, I use various looms, wooden needles & boat shuttles, plus all kinds of yarn; mostly fingering, sport or DK weight for the warp and pretty much anything I like for the weft.
I like creating both ,(jewelry and tapestries) obviously, but there’s something so gratifying about a finished weaving, much like a painting that you can hang up on the wall. I decided to open up an Etsy shop when people I knew pestered me enough to do it. I really needed the extra money and decided it couldn’t hurt!
Click here to see more of Heddle and Needle – Thank you to Rachel the creator, for taking the time and sharing her story (along with her imagery) with Munro Shea Designs!