Wilsonville artist Marlene Lloyd talks about colors as if she were a painter of abstract art who slathers a kaleidoscope of shades onto a canvas.
Lloyd always wanted to be a painter — but struggled to match the ideas in her head with the product on the page. Instead, she now harnesses her intuitive understanding of color patterns into weaving.
"Nature is definitely my inspiration for color, especially in the fall with the beautiful yellows, golds, maroons," Lloyd said. "I absolutely love warm colors that are beautiful."
Lloyd, who received the Handweaver's Guild of America award for Excellence in Color and Craftsmanship and the Virginia Harvey Award for Excellence in Color, is displaying her exhibit, "A Season of Silk and Other Threads" at the Wilsonville Public Library throughout the rest of
Lloyd grew up knitting, sewing and crocheting and became enamored with weaving in college. For the last nine years, she has displayed her art in various juried exhibits. Lloyd often weaves household items like dish towels and pillow cases. Her favorite material is cotton.
Many of the items in the Wilsonville exhibit, though, are made with silk threads. For instance, Lloyd fashioned scarves with four kinds of silk threads and dyed them in four bright colors.
"Silk is very fine and it takes a lot longer to weave than cotton," Lloyd said. "It has a beautiful, iridescent shine to it. I enjoyed it. I still enjoy cotton more overall but am happy I had the opportunity to try weaving with silk."
Lloyd said she starts each project with about 50 colors of yarn, including as many as 10 shades of base colors like blue or green, and wraps the yarn together with pieces of cardboard. Then, with her warping board, she ties off about 500 threads. Finding patterns from old weaving books, workshops and magazines, Lloyd weaves the threads together with a harness loom.
"Sometimes creativity isn't forced. It has to come on its own," Lloyd said. "I do it intuitively. I'll sit with colors for weeks, move a color in and out. It will all come together."
Lloyd is never exactly sure how the colors will fuse together from the beginning to the end of the process.
"I don't know what it's going to look like at all," she said. "The pattern can change the colors dramatically."
Lloyd worries that younger generations aren't as interested in weaving as her own and she enjoys educating the community about it. For instance, she gave a 30-minute presentation at the Wilsonville Library about weaving and her work in early October.
"I like to educate people. It's a dying art," she said. "Many colleges are getting rid of textile programs."
Lloyd has gleaned satisfaction out of weaving and believes others would as well.
"It's a beautiful art form," Lloyd said. "It's very soothing to me and really rewarding."