Studio Assistant March 2023
Meet Papi, my current studio assistant. Her calming presence helps me stay focused, and fortunately, she usually doesn’t want to get intimately involved with threads. She’ll curl up beside me on my loom bench or be nearby when I work on other projects. Sometimes I’ll get head butts in the back, which usually means it’s mealtime according to her clock.
When I was a beginning weaver, with my big loom wedged into a small extra bedroom, I decided to do a sectional warp using 72 spools. I had started a section, the phone rang, and I wasn’t away from the loom more than five minutes. When I returned, I found that our cat at the time had decided it was a playground just for her. Maybe she thought she was a spider—oh, what a tangled web she wove! To say I had to start over is an understatement. I have never sectionally warped since!
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.