Category Archives: Handweavers Guild of America

Handweaver’s Guild of America: Small Expressions show

First Place. Tori Kleinert.
Turners Station, Kentucky.
Ceremonial Semblance: It’s in the Cloth © 2012.
Tapestry. Linen, cotton.

I had the pleasure of jurying Small Expressions 2013, sponsored by Handweavers’ Guild of America, at the Fine Line Art Center in St Charles, IL and attended the opening last Saturday. I chose 5 terrific prize winning pieces.   


My juror’s statement:  

It has been an honor, a pleasure, and a great confirmation of hope to have juried this year’s Small Expressions Exhibit for the Handweavers’ Guild of America.  I always find it humbling to be put in a position of making judgment calls.  One must be particularly wary of objectivity: it is so easy to be carried away by one’s personal biases, one’s taste.  No doubt things will be read into my choices, noting that I am a handweaver of 40 years myself!
It was a joy to see the great variety of media presented within such a small format.  The old maxim is true: it was extremely difficult to whittle the selection down to the maximum number of pieces that the show can handle.  It meant tough choices.  This show is, in essense, about miniature work.  The crafting demanded at such a reduced scale must be immaculate: larger work is more forgiving.  The scale of threads is more crucial, the fineness of edges more exacting.  Simply reducing one’s usual work to a smaller size is not always satisfactory.  I am always conscious of the danger of how one places a very small piece of fabric on a very large wall:  it may well look like a scrap.  But when well executed and presented, the smallness provides a treasure that is a reward in itself.
Framing is also essential.  It is terribly easy to overpower a delicate structure with a conventional frame.  Therefore I find it necessary to include the framing or mounting within the realm of criticism. 
I respond to excellence of craft combined with a stretch of imagination.  A perfectly executed basket, simple and proud, can be as imaginative as an elaborately woven tapestry:  it all depends upon an exact, if sometimes serendipitous, confluence of material, form, craft, color, a rightness of material, scale and structure to define an idea but leave it open to thought and imagination.
I was delighted with how often I found material completing a sentence that line or form had begun; how the magic of detail could flesh out an evocative yet sweeping form.  These are the great assets of fibrous materials, and it is gratifying to find them alive and well!
I also was sometimes heartbroken to eliminate a beautiful piece which was overpowered by an ill-chosen frame, or an immaculately and elaborately structure held up by a thoughtless armature.  Once in a while a work of staggering craftsmanship was eliminated due to a subject which was not entirely original.  Although I respected all of these pieces, the search was for the best of the lot.
I am quite excitedly looking forward to viewing all of this masterful work in its 3-D reality:  frequently a photograph is puzzling because of the arbitrariness of a reflection or a shadow.  I am hugely looking forward to a couple of works which are somewhat mysterious in the photographs yet promise something surprising in terms of materials or colors or structure.  I will be truly sorry to miss some of the wonderful pieces which did not quite make it here due to any number of the reasons explained above. One of the best things, for me, about work in textile media is simply the necessity of accessing it physically: no digital substitute can suffice.  Isn’t that satisfying?”
Second Place. Noriko Tomita. Tokyo, Japan.
Twistingle © 2013.
Embroidery, original technique.
Third Place.
Vladimira Fillion Wackenreuther.
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
Baby Snake © 2012.
Weaving.
Honorable Mention Award. Saberah Malik.
Warwick, Rhode Island.
Backyard Yield© 2013.
Self-developed technique from oboshi shibori, marbling, machine and hand sewing.
HGA Award Award. Geraldine Woodhouse.
Katy, Texas.
Big Bend Post Office© 2011.
Sixteen-shaft summer and winter figural pattern
woven in tapestry.





Fine Line Creative Arts Center • 6N158 Crane Road • St. Charles, IL • 60175 • 630-584-9443 Exhibition hours:
Monday through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays. www.fineline.orgwww.fineline.org