Weaver Pamela Whitlock creates amazing, intricate designs in fiber. She shares her portfolio and talks about her business.
ABI: What has been the strongest influence on your fiber art?
PW: Probably the strongest influence has been my mom who always had an appreciation for great textiles. She was an avid knitter who used interesting and wonderful yarns. Our furniture was upholstered in fabrics designed by Jack Lenor Larsen.
ABI: What weaving technique do you use?
PW: I weave on a simple 8-harness loom. Nothing fancy. No computers are used in the designing of the fabric. My designs are complex weave structures called shadow weave that look very difficult to make but after weaving for over forty years are actually pretty simple to do.
ABI: You create your scarves using bamboo. Tell us about this fiber.
PW: I have used so many different fibers over the years but about five years ago the company that supplies me with yarn introduced bamboo fiber as a weaving yarn. I haven’t looked backed since then. It is the most wonderful yarn. It is completely stable and the designs come out looking clean and crisp. It is produced in China.
ABI: Many of your customers are men. What can you share about this market?
PW: I think lots of men attend craft shows because their spouse wants to go so they are along for the ride. They are surprised to find something interesting that they can wear. I have always made a line sort of reserved for men since there is so little for them out there.
ABI: What’s the best advice you ever received?
PW: Make a hundred scarves and see if you still like what you are doing. This was advice given to me in 1988. I haven’t stopped since.