Anyone Interested in Weaving by Jenna M. Eason PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Jenna Eason Grey Gold
In December 2007, I graduated from North Carolina State University’s Anni Albers Program with two degrees: BS in Textile Technology and BA in Art and Design.  In January 2008, I began graduate studies at the NCSU College of Textiles in the Textile Technology and Management master’s degree program.  My focus is in Automotive Textiles and Design, conducting research with Professor Nancy Powell.
To support my studies, I spent the summer of 2008 at Nagoya University in Japan, taking a course in Advanced Technology and Tasks in Automotive Engineering and participating in global lectures and company visits hosted by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Denso, Yamaha, Koito, and JARI.
[grey & gold cloth woven on 8 Harness Dobby loom, photo by Jenna Eason]
 I plan to graduate in 2009 and pursue a career in Automotive Textile Design.  I am maintaining a blog about my graduate experiences at www.automotivetextiledesign.blogspot.com and have my portfolio featured at www.hereiam.carbonmade.com.  
 In addition to summer travel, events such as the Inspired Design: International Jacquard and Entrepreneurial Textile Conference have proved inspirational and advantageous to my career as a textile student and artist.  Hosted by the Center for Creativity, Craft, and Design, Inspired Design was held in Hendersonville, NC January 7-10.  I was selected along with 9 other students from Art, Design, and Textile programs across the country to receive a student assistant scholarship.  We were awarded conference registration and board in exchange for our help in ensuring the conference run smoothly- and it certainly did!
student interns
 Student Interns/ confrence assistants, Jenna M. Eason is on the left with the orange scarf photo: Dian Magie provided by CCCD
jenna dance piece
Structure of Dance; Designed and woven by Jenna Eason.  Inspired by Louise Lemieux Berube.  2m x .9m

 The Conference began with a reception at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, where the featured artists’ work was displayed.  We had a chance to network with the artists, keynote speakers, and conference attendees over cheese and crackers.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were full of stimulating lectures and break-out sessions, followed by evening events such as the opening for the Blue Spiral Gallery in downtown Asheville and the Silver Fox Gallery opening in Hendersonville.  Both events allowed us to network with the conference attendees and speakers in a relaxed social setting.

Each day we were given the opportunity to tour Oriole Mill.  Oriole Mill is a new weaving facility that provides a chance for textile artists to work on industrial size jacquard equipment.  They have a large variety of Jacquard looms as well as industrial dobby looms.  The Mill also offers software classes for designers to make the most of their weaving experience.  Being one of the lucky few to have Oriole Mill in my home state, I never quite realized its value and potential until seeing the mill for myself.  While the machinery may resemble that of an industrial facility, the atmosphere represents a completely different world.  Here, artists outnumber technicians and creativity outweighs production quantities.  Oriole Mill has successfully created a design studio that has opened new doors of possibility for jacquard weavers.

 My overall experience far exceeded my expectations.  The opportunity to network with so many students, teachers, artists, and professionals of weaving from across the globe was invaluable!  The most unexpected and prized experience from the weekend was being introduced to Louis Lemieux Berube, Pauline Verbeek-Coward, Joanna Berzowska and so many other innovators in the field of jacquard weaving whose ground-breaking techniques have paved the way for students, such as myself.  Until now, I viewed their art as just pictures in a book; the Inspired Design Conference, however, allowed my to connect with them and their art on a much more personal stage and encouraged new levels of innovation in my work and research.

I highly recommend this opportunity to anyone interested in weaving and textile arts. Whether their interest is artistic or industrial, educational or experimental, Inspired Design captured the imagination unveiled endless possibility.

photographs provide by Jenna M. Eason and used with permission

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