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Artist ID: 2455

My art is the handcrafting of art textiles of my original design.
Starting with raw, undyed fiber, I create each piece by dyeing the fiber and then weaving it, line by line, into cloth on floor looms that are powered by hand. My current works are made of high-quality filament silk from Japan, which I dyed in small batches in my studio using natural dyes. The dyes are all derived from materials that occur in nature including plants, minerals and even insects. Many of the colors were dyed with plants foraged near my home/studio in Montgomery.

My art seeks to explore the expression of my aesthetic vision through textiles that are created using only basic tools plus of course my years of experience at the loom. The tools: Natural fiber, a four-harness floor loom, pencil, paper, electric light, heat. Nothing more. My goal is to create aesthetically exquisite fabrics crafted with these basic weaving tools.

I am both inspired and intrigued by the pace and impact of digital technologies on our lives. I know that my art is inspired by the digital world that I live in, but I try to keep the technologies themselves at arm’s length where it concerns the processes used to create my works. I remain committed to pre-digital techniques for the crafting of an aesthetic vision on a textile format.

That said, the textile floor loom such as I use in my work is a kind of technological precursor to today’s digital technologies. In the process of weaving, the warp – the long vertical fibers – and the weft – the horizontally placed fibers – form a pixel-like grid in the cloth, and the design emerges by the artisan’s selection of warp fibers to place above, and those to be placed below, the next weft fiber to be inserted in the weave.

In addition to the mechanics of the loom, the range of design possibility is extended by using fibers that have been strategically dyed more than one color prior to placement on the loom. This is known as ikat or kasuri (in Japanese). At other times weft fibers are inserted manually in select locations.

Chie Hitchner
Instagram: instagram.com/chiehitchner.textileart
Website: http://www.chiehitchner.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chiehitchnertextileart/

My art seeks to explore the outer boundaries of textile design when using only very simple and conventional tools of the textile craft: Natural fiber (usually silk), a floor loom, pencil, paper, electric light, heat. Nothing more – and absolutely no computer aided design or production. I dye the fiber in small batches in my studio, using locally available natural materials from my neighborhood in Montgomery whenever possible. I extensively use warp and weft ikat, and supplemental weft, to expand the design possibility on each textile canvas I create. I exhibit my work at juried art exhibitions and juried craft shows in the United States and Japan.

Education:

Tama Art University
Tokyo, JAPAN
1984 MA in Design

Indian National Tagore University
Santiniketan, INDIA
Special 1-year study of Indian textile arts, 1979-80

Joshibi University of Art and Design
Tokyo, JAPAN
1979 BA in Arts with concentration in textile design

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