Behind The Loom
Paula Bowers fell head-over-heels in love with weaving from the first moment she walked into the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. A vibrantly colored 'wall of yarn' with begging to be touched textures, a group of complex looking looms, and a row of sewing machines with the potential to turn hand woven fabric into wearable art, were fascinating. Joining the continuum of the ancient craft of hand weaving felt natural to Paula, and many years later she still deeply enjoys her time behind the loom, and the maintaining of a full time professional art weaving studio.
Paula considers pattern and color to be the hallmark characteristics of her handwoven fabrics. Paula has her own ‘wall of yarn’ that allows her to readily view color and texture as she selects the palettes for her weave structures. She chooses colors with an eye towards which threads will become dominant in places, and disappear in others. Paula’s keen sense of intricate patterning distinguishes her handwoven fabrics and adds to their timeless appeal. Some of Paula’s handwoven fabric is created from warps that she dyes and hand paints. This yardage features stunning variegated colors and Paula refers to them as her “Painted Warps”.
Paula works with natural fibers and unusually fine threads for a weaver. This creates well defined graphic patterns in her weave structures, and allows for fluid movement of the cloth. Because Paula's distinctive handwoven fabrics are intended for functional items, she works to masterfully balance her fabrics soft and sturdy characteristics. The resulting luxurious feel of Paula’s handwoven fabric is enhanced by the artistic styling of her designs.
Paula's wearable art pieces feature elegant silhouettes, face framing collars and striking vintage accents. Tailored detailing includes specialized pleating that maximizes range of movement, silk linings, in-line pockets and glamorous hand knotted fringe on scarves. Paula's home decor fabrics show off the complexity of her weaves and are distinctive art pieces in any interior design.
Weaving is an art form from which one learns continuously. The endless variables of weave structures, and their color and texture, allow for ready shifts in design that Paula uses to challenge and inspire herself with. Paula loves the movement of fabric, and each handwoven length of her yardage has its own kinetic energy and personality that she strives to celebrate and show off as she fashions it into wearable art and home decor items. Fiber makes a statement regarding the influences that helped create it and Paula's love of art, color and pattern move from the artist onto the cloth itself.