Gay started weaving in 1971 on a Herald (4 harness, 42", Jack) purchased from Magnolia Weaving (Mrs. Hjert) in Seattle when we were living in a refurbished chicken house outside Port Angeles, Washington and running a health food store out of business... The Evergreen State College, a Coastal Zone Mannagement degree from University of Washington, a law degree from University of Oregon, and work in law in New York, Connecticut and South Carolina followed. Gay returned to weaving in earnest in 2002 while we were on sabbatical in Seattle and she participated in several extended weaving workshops at the The Weaving Works.
Gay still weaves on the Herald, as well as a Baby Wolf, and a Harrisville Rug Loom. Much of Gay's efforts involve chenille scarves and rag rugs, but she also explores other materials and styles.
"I make handwoven scarves and rugs. I also weave and crochet baskets from non-traditional materials. Handweaving requires planning. My designs are initially inspired by the colors and textures of my ever increasing supply of yarns and are further refined as I weave. The baskets pretty much have minds of their own."(GGV)
Gay and I both grew up in St. Louis, dropped out of college, and moved to Port Angeles (WA) in the early 70s where we lived in a converted chicken house, hung put with creative people and ran a health food store out of business before returning to university and a life of academics and professional pursuits. Weaving, ceramics, photography all drifted into storage until an epiphanal sabbatical in Barcelona in 2002 when Gay passed evenings crocheting things and I started slipknotting what we have decided must be Gaudi inspired birdhousey things using very heavy macrame cord we found in a shop on Passeig de Sant Joan near the Arc. The year continued in Seattle where Gay became re-involved in weaving at the Weaving Works were we both also took a couple of basket classes. Seeing Polly Sutton's and Marilyn Moore's work at a Best in the Northwest show that fall proved even more epiphanal. When we returned home, Gay continued weaving on her looms and I started weaving off loom, making baskets out of string, a medium that did not require water or wet (i.e. cold) hands. I began twining with various grades of jute, and switched at some point to waxed linen because it was more cooperative.
I tend to weave in black and/or white (natural), because I'm a bit color blind and have difficulty choosing color combinations that I like. I tend to work small because our house is rather crowded with stuff and one can collect more small stuff than large stuff... The pattered baskets always surprise me, that complex visual patterns emerge from the repetition and slight modification of very simple elements. The addition of twilling has created some really interesting patterns, and the development of a double weave technique has allowed me to explore more free form patterns in part inspired by a black ash class I took last year from JoAnn Kelly Catsos at the JC Campbell Folk School. I am strongly driven to less regular shapes, and found inspiration from a work of Ann Coddington Rast in a group show at Peters Valley Craft Center prompting my less geometric forms, th heads and vessels embellished with woven structure and glass...
I am clearly driven to understand something, I just have no clear idea what it is. I've been playing around with lampwork glass the last few years as well, and my most recent interest has been weaving bodies for some of the glass heads I've been making. Playing with dolls at nearly 60 yrs of age seems a bit perverse, but it does seem to have its moments and I'm currently quite curious where those moments are going to take me.
Following our life in a chicken house, Gay and I graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1975. I attended graduate school briefly at University of Oregon before transferring to University of Washington, receiving a doctorate in Zoology in 1984. Post graduate work took me back to University of Oregon (Neuroscience), to State University of New York at Stony Brook (Chemistry) and finally Yale University (Molecular Neurobiology). I've been in the Biology department at University of South Carolina since 1991 where I'm currently a Professor and Director of my department's graduate program. I dabble in streamed media, and manage a research laboratory studying the molecular basis of smell, mainly in insects.
I'm addicted to data, to information, and at the same time overwhelmed by it. I'm excited by discovery in the lab, but it comes at an incredibly slow pace sometimes, most of the time. I don't really care what the discovery is, it takes on its own life and suggests new directions. It's the same with art, but art seems more immediate, at least relative to the seemingly glacial time scale of the laboratory. Still, they both have their moments... And there is no doubt that art has dramatically increased the data flow...