Braids, bands and straps encompass almost every fiber-related art; from the strictly utilitarian making of rope to the highly deco-rative kumihimo braiding (and everything in between). Early hu-mans developed the making of braids, bands and straps to hold things together, but as human culture does, we began to use them as an expression of our artistic and creative nature. From woven bands made on simple looms to I-cord and cables knitted in sweaters, braids, bands and straps are part of every culture. Please enjoy the variety of ways our invitational artists have ex-pressed themselves in the making of braids, bands and straps.
After years of working in the communications field, Linda signed up for lessons at Ruthie’s Weaving Studio in Portland on November 1, 1984. She remembers the exact date because learning to weave truly changed her life.
She started teaching tablet weav-ing in 1992, and became interested in ply-split braiding after taking a workshop with Peter Collingwood in 1993. Since then, Linda has focused steadfastly on these two rather-obscure fiber tech-niques. She has exhibited her work internationally, published dozens of articles in fiber-related publications and teaches work-shops for conferences and guilds across North America and in England.
Linda has written and self-published several instruction books, including: Please Weave a Message, Double-Faced Tablet Weaving: 50 Designs from Around the World, How to Make Ply-Split Baskets and How to Make Ply-Split Braids & Bands.
Barbara Keller Bethke
In 1985, Barbara Keller Bethke (formerly Simpson) met a woman who had sheep and taught weaving and spinning in her home. Barbara quickly signed up for classes and it was love at first warp. She not only finished all the class projects, but did a double-layer baby blanket as a gift before returning the loom. Barbara built her own 45-inch, 8-harness jack loom in 3 weeks in her garage. She joined the local spinning and weaving guild in Kitsap County in WA, serving as president for 7 plus years before moving to OR in 2007 where she was active in Heddles and Treadles in Coos Bay for many years.
In 2001, she starting giving classes in weaving, where she meet several alpaca owners. After meeting her first alpaca in early 2002, she was hooked! In 2004, Barbara turned her passion into her business by opening Star Castle Fiber Mill. Barbara has won numerous awards for her weaving, taking best in show 5 years in a row at the Kitsap County Fair. She currently lives in Bandon, OR, where she has her studio.
Rosalie Neilson loves using color and geometric design in her weavings, her specialty being warp-faced rep weave. An avid designer and teach-er, she was featured in a 2-hour DVD by Interweave Press called Rep Weave. She publishes regularly in weaving and braiding journals and maintains an active teaching sched-ule throughout the United States, Canada and England. Her mathematical interests lead her to develop the 1,024 four block symmetric motifs, in addition to the 1,157 unique 2-color patterns for the kumihimo braid structure Kongō Gumi. She recently published her research and the designs in the book Kongō Gumi: A Cacophony of Spots – Coils – Zags – Lines.