On April 14, 2010, the Whatcom Weavers Guild welcomes Vancouver, BC resident and retired Western Washington University professor Toby Smith as she presents a program on how her travel [both worldly and armchair] influences her textile practice.
Smith’s talk will show the progression from inspiration to textile product. Part travelogue, part lecture on creative process, and part textile show and tell, Toby's presentation will appeal to anyone who enjoys the aesthetic that textiles provide. Special emphasis will be on India, Eastern Europe, and Norway.
"This presentation will be about my travels and how they have influenced my weaving and other textile practice such as embroidery. For example, I have been fortunate to have taken two textile tours to India. Since I love colour and acres of fine cloth flowing like water, I really felt like I had come to my aesthetic home. I am particularly attracted to the textiles of the people who live in the Kutch desert, with their sometimes rough weaving, sometimes fine weaving with supplementary weft. I also love the amazing embroidery with mirrors. As well, I have taken a weaving course in Norway where we made traditional vadmal cloth, fulling it in a water-driven fulling mill. Part of this course was the design and construction of a garment using traditional methods. I have also spent time camping around Eastern Europe, specifically, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. These countries have wonderful outdoor museums in the countryside. In the buildings brought to these sites we see the textiles of humble people. In the cities are marvelous ethnographic and applied art museums which focus on the finest craft commissioned by the aristocracy, as well as a range of other classes. I shall show slides and some gorgeous textiles from some of these places. I’ll also bring a few of my own pieces that illustrate how I have integrated these travel experiences into my own creative process. This process begins with my fat, worn design journals that I always have on me when I travel. I will use these to illustrate how I get from inspiration to finished textile. See you on April 14th."
For those of you who frequent the guild’s annual sale, Toby is known for her fabulous ruanas and sampler cards. Below are just a few images to give you a taste of her work.