Ply-Split Peruvian Designs June 2023

Paracas 1 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker
World renown fiber artist, Rodrick Owen, introduced me to loop twining in 2015. I never quite got the hang of it, but as I worked on a beginner’s sample, I realized that it could be ply-split. It was quite a revelation and continues to lead me to lots of experiments.

Roderick is an expert on the textiles of ancient Peru in the Paracas area. I became intrigued with the designs, some of which were analyzed by Noémi Speiser. These designs have been wonderful ply-splitting puzzles to solve. First come the narrow bands, in which cords move from side to side and back. Then the challenge is moving to a 3-D piece, where the cords move continuously in one direction. Examples can be seen in “Paracas Family”, in my Ply-Split Baskets portfolio.

Paracas 2 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker
Paracas 3 - Barbara J Walker - Fiber Artist - Image ©Barbara J. Walker
Barbara J. Walker - Fiber Artist
Barbara J. Walker, Fiber Artist

About The Author

Barbara was awarded the Master Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving from Handweavers Guild of America in 1990. She is an active member of Northwest Designer Craftartists, has been a faculty member of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and has taught for guilds and conferences in the United States, England, Canada, and Japan. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and two of her pieces are the only examples of ply-splitting included in Lark Books' 500 Baskets. She is an enthusiastic educator and has had numerous articles published in Strands, Complex Weavers Journal, Handwoven, Weaver’s, and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot. Barbara has published two books, Ply-Splitting from Drawdowns: Interpreting Weave Structures in Ply-Split Braiding in 2012 and Supplementary Warp Patterning: Turned Drafts, Embellishments & Motifs in 2016.

Barbara’s home studio overlooks the Willamette Valley in Salem, Oregon.

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Fiber art pieces by Barbara J. Walker are available for purchase during exhibitions and through this website.