Until fairly recently, fiber art such as weaving, quilting, or sewing, has been relegated to the category of ‘craft’ as opposed to the designation of ‘fine art,’ which disciplines such as painting and sculpture enjoy. Defying this prejudice, Sheila Hicks has spent her long career immersed in the world of weaving and other handmade fiber crafts. Some of her more modest but elegant pieces are her small weavings that she calls “minimes” and include found objects that range from magazine pages, wood, shells, and other odds and ends that represent the time and place in which they were made. In a way, these weavings function as records of Hicks’s day-to-day practice.
You have the opportunity to also make a documentary weaving like Sheila Hicks. Below you’ll find instructions to make a simple handloom and woven “minime.” Choose objects and materials to include that represent your life right now.
- strong piece of cardboard 5 x 7 inches or larger (you can glue several layers of cardboard together if strong cardboard isn’t available)
- yarn and/or twine
- large plastic or metal needle
- found objects to incorporate like twigs, paper, beads, ribbon, etc.
Step 1: Draw ½ inch line on each side of strong cardboard.
Step 2: Cut notches from edges to line approximately ¼ inch apart on each side of cardboard.
Step 3: Thread a single strand of yarn through the notches to form parallel lines; this is the warp. Tape the ends to the back of the loom.
Step 4: Thread the needle (or tape the end to a point if a needle isn’t available) and weave the yarn through the warp; this is the weft.
Step 5: Change colors of the weft throughout at the end of a row, leaving ends to weave in later.
Step 6: Experiment with weaving in nontraditional materials, such as sticks, leaves, rubber bands, etc.