Written by Diane Wise
Jenn Johnson and I have been first cousins all of our lives, but it’s only been in the last few years that we have become close friends and now collaborating artists. A couple of years ago, Jenn began weaving; creating long strips of textured and colorful “fabric”. She knew they could be used to create something beautiful. Soon after, she approached me looking for someone to sew using her weavings. I quickly jumped at the chance to get to work with her to create functional art, and as a result Fiber Fusion was born!
Fiber, Fabric and Mixed Media
Soon Jenn was sending me boxes filled with her glorious woven yarn. I began exploring different ways to combine her weavings with fabric, trim, vintage buttons, and other interesting things (like antique earrings) laying around! Woven yarn is not easy to work with. It unravels very quickly when cut, so I’m still learning how to work with it and not damage it in the process of cutting and sewing.
I always want Jenn’s work to be the star, so my process is to spread out her weavings, choose interesting textures and color combinations, then find the perfect fabric combinations to pair with it. For instance, I’ve made tote bags, crossbody bags, wall hangings, pillows, bowls, project bags and even jewelry from the scraps I save. (I don’t throw anything away!)
To collaborate means “to work, one with another, to cooperate”. Being able to work with my cousin Jenn in this way has been such a gift! We want to continue to work together, fusing our talents to create lovely, functional art. I’m currently working on some bags for Fall so we will keep you posted.