What's better than a friendly, unannounced email from a fellow artist?
I recently received a complimentary note from Nashville fiber artist Allison Shelton, of Shutters & Shuttles
. She said she couldn't believe we hadn't met yet, and neither could I. We had crossed paths often at local arts shows —
including at Porter Flea, where I show up in some of her photos —
and I had seen her work in shops around Nashville. But we hadn't yet connected.
We decided to meet to discuss a weaving and bookbinding collaboration. After a rendezvous at a coffee shop, she invited me to visit her in-home studio. No surprise, it turned out to be just blocks from my home. You never know what great, creative things are going on in East Nashville!
Inside her studio, I marveled at the spools and spools of yarn. Plus, I had never really seen how a loom works. I didn't realize how big it would be.
It was exciting to watch Allison work on fabric that I would soon use for bookbinding. We looked together through samples of patterns to choose what we liked best. And by the time I went home, I was able to take along some varieties of fabrics to begin using. You can see one of them in first photo below (top left) on her work table.
I also found some surprises, including one of Allison's experiments.
On her website about page
, she refers to a poem she wrote in fourth grade, when she described herself as a "reptile lover." That strikes me now, having seen one of her most interesting woven designs, which incorporates snakeskin. In another, she used cassette tape ribbons.
In the next few days, I hope to being work on a book that will feature the woven design that Allison has completed. I'll have more photos to come, but in the meantime, please check out Allison's work