Link to www.bevpolkhandweaver.com email Link to Bev Polk



MY STORY

In my earliest memories, I have needle, thread and fabric dangling from my hands while I explore my world on a tricycle or camping with the family. I knit during second grade recess. I wove bright potholders and a placemat in fourth grade. I sewed my way through high school. It’s what my mother did. It’s what her mother did. I collected EVERYTHING - everything to do with design, texture, and color combinations.

After my builder-craftsman-father was killed in an airplane crash, my mother re-married, and I gained a Swedish weaving grandmother. My mother learned to weave, and our house filled with yet more fiber. I was not then at an age when I wanted to intentionally emulate my mother; still, the “dye” was cast. While away at college in the winter of 1971, I heard of a course in weaving. That was my only excuse to step foot inside of the Home Economics building, but I was hooked (or perhaps warped?) from day one, and I’ve never looked back.

Today, after more than 40 years, several looms, and more miles of thread than you can travel or I can hike, I’m still in love with weaving practical and vibrant heirlooms for your “every today”.


ARTIST STATEMENT

I live, love and WEAVE on the edge of a town that time forgot, in a converted horse barn that I call Weaverbird Studio.
My landscape is sagebrush hills in a river valley ranching community surrounded by six mountain ranges. When I’m not weaving, I love to hike with my husband or girlfriends, dig in the dirt around my flowers, or sit on my porch with a cup of coffee and my herd dog Izze. My life is simple and practical. My weaving is maybe not so simple, but it is vibrant and pleasurably useful.

I’d rather be weaving than cooking, so I appease my conscience by weaving practical kitchen items of washable and enduring beauty for our color-starved kitchens. My staples include towels - always lots of towels - runners, and table toppers in colors and designs inspired by my surroundings. My ideas evolve as I hike, tend my flowers, or sit at my loom surrounded by shelves of multi-spectrum cones of some of the finest cotton thread in the world. I wake up dreaming about color and design ideas.

When Weaverbird Studio turns dark and cold, I often paint my toenails and “migrate” to where the real Weaverbird lives: Uganda. It is there that I love to teach weaving, knitting, or sewing to orphans and widows in the Rafiki Village. (www.rafikifoundation.org)

RESUME’
Resume


I would rather RESUME WEAVING.
I have been weaving my thread-addiction for over 40 years. I cannot stop.

What began as a “found” ball of tangled cobalt blue thread that I retrieved from the neighbor’s garbage when I was 4 years old untangled into a marvelous full-blown love affair by the time I was a restless art major in college and enrolled in a weaving class.

Soon I was married with no furniture, except for the loom that filled the living room. I began accumulating weaving books and periodicals, cones of thread, shuttles, and bobbins. I wove and wove.

I enrolled twice in classes from Mary Pendleton which she taught in her studio in Sedona, Arizona. Mary was at that time already awarded the “Who’s Who of American Handweavers”.

While bicycling in British Columbia in 1974, I came across the farm of a Swedish weaver named Wanja and discovered she had a very large barn full of looms and that she taught, yes, weaving. I signed up to eat, sleep and weave in that very barn the following spring.

Once thus launched into a weaving world that I never once turned back from I continued to weave, weave, and weave some more. I collected more books, patterns and magazines and miles and miles of thread. I attended many weaving conferences, classes and workshops. I have shown at several art venues and have held several shows in my barn studio here at home. I’ve always sold most of what I’ve woven.

I have taught and am developing a small book on a method of winding warp onto a loom that has evolved from my early classes with Mary Pendleton. This will be useful to other interested weavers as a way to remedy common weaving frustrations.

My weaving addiction and skill has also opened up a small door into Uganda, Africa where I have traveled to several times since 2004. It is there at Rafiki Village (rafikifoundation.org) that I taught weaving to teen-age girls. I love to pass on my addiction to color and thread and see the satisfied and proud joy in the faces of my students.

Now to RESUME weaving….