Books and weaving with Shutters & Shuttles

Nashville fabric artist Shutters and Shuttles

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.

Fabric artist studio with loom in Nashville
Fabric artist thread spools

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.

woven snakeskin fabric
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.