Harvest Festival 2012 – Weaver

The delightful and talented Ms. Omi Gray

(The following dialogues have been paraphrased from memory, as faithfully as possible to the actual quotes, but they are not actual quotes.)

I had the opportunity to meet Omi Gray during the Harvest Festival this weekend, and I regret that I can’t transcribe the entire 20-minute conversation here. Omi is a New York-based artist who lives through weaving, felting, and jewelrymaking, and loves it. Art, she says, saved her life; beading and silver clay are her first loves, but felting and weaving are excellent for mind-clearing therapy too.

“My first loom was a manual loom,” she said, “but it was so hard to set up and actually weave, I just never did it. It sat around collecting dust. This one, I saved up and bought for myself as a retirement gift. Best money I ever spent!

“It’s so easy to use, doesn’t require a lot of training. That big one, behind you,” [I turned around and faced a fifteen-foot woven banner, draped across her tent] “some Saturday afternoons, in Central Park, I go and set up my loom. The public can come and just sit down and weave, just create art, just take turns producing something long and beautiful and colorful in a few hours. It’s that simple.”

“Wow!” I said.

“…I use all kinds of materials. I have a machine that can cut any material into 5mm strips… hold on, let me see.” Omi stood up and walked over to the long woven Central Park banner.

The long banner

“Here,” she said after a few moments. Sure enough, a portion had been woven from slender strips of fabric.

Fabric!

(That’s her own peyote beadwork on her ring, by the way.)

“Over here,” she continued, “I had some yarn that got tangled. So I just threw it in the loom and wove it right in!”

Tangled yarn

“I like metal, too, so I wove some wire into it, over here,” she pointed. “I think it’s kind of fun! You can sculpt it however you like.” We stood there for a moment, pinching folds into the wire.

 

“So… do you just do photography for yourself?” she asked.

“Yeah, yeah, just for me, mostly.”

“Are you any good?”

“No.”

She shot me a Look.

I laughed. “I’m still learning. I’ll be good someday!”

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4 Comments to “Harvest Festival 2012 – Weaver”

  1. Your photos belie your self assessment – you’re good now and will continue to get better! 🙂

  2. I think I would like to weave with her loom some sunny day.. great photos and story..

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