Kate, tell us about yourself. What led you to start practicing weaving?
I am a textile artist based in California, forging new terrain within the art of handweaving. In an effort to provide an antidote to our over-digitized world and to champion tradition within a contemporary palette, I am working to transform a practice previously thought of as a children’s activity. My handweaving work on square metal hand looms is creating an important medium that has depth and presence for the 21st Century; pioneering new techniques, application of sustainable materials and development of pattern form to reinvent handloom-woven work for the modern age.
I practice handweaving as a form of embodied meditation. Making beautiful handwoven textiles helps me to tap into my inner stillness and creativity, and I teach others to do the same via my workshops; to slow down, engage the rhythms of the body, and access a state of wholeness and flow. I offer a unique approach to developing a clear mind and an open heart through “Weaving as Meditation”.
Several years ago I unearthed a forgotten item from my childhood; a simple 7 x 7 inch metal handloom. When I rediscovered weaving, I remembered something that we, as a culture, find easy to forget; that we can always access inner stillness and peace through simple, embodied practices.
How do you find weaving helps you tap into inner stillness, peace, and creativity?
When I focus my attention on the process of weaving I am able to eliminate other distractions. Slowing down and following the natural rhythm of my breath helps my whole body relax. When my hands are involved with the loops and the loom there is a further deepening of my attention to color, texture and pattern that nourish my creativity.
How do you incorporate weaving meditation into your daily routine?
Weaving is always part of my daily routine. After a morning of yoga or Pilates or hiking, then I weave. The wonderful thing about handweaving is that you can take it with you anywhere. The loom is small, portable and light, making it ideal for weaving out in nature, in small moments between jobs at home or while travelling.
What is your mission with your workshops?
My mission is to help others to slow down, to find peace, to connect with themselves and to explore their creative weaving voice. My workshops also allow me to build a community of like minded women who support and nurture each other in all aspects of their lives.
Where do you source the weaving material?
Harrisville Designs is my main source for cotton loops and then I seek out natural plant dyers to create specialty loops for my weavings. I am always on the lookout for new and unusual sources to add variety to my palette. I have a special section on my website of Curated Loops to make these available for my community and I also teach how to make loops from your loved socks to help give these fibers a second life and save them from landfill.
What inspires the patterns you create?
Nature inspires all my weavings! I also love to look at the colors used by painters like Richard Diebenkorn, Miton Avery and Morandi.
Where can our community members find your online classes and workshops?
My website www.katekilmurray.com or instagram @katekilmurray