Chie Hitchner

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Meet the Artist

Headshot of Chie Hitchner
  • About This Artist

    I love the process and potential in the handmade creation of artistic textiles. The challenge is to execute a design concept through reeled silk that I dye in my studio, place on the loom and then weave, line by line. Each piece is an original and yet I feel connected to the community and traditions of artisan craftsmanship. My textiles are meant to be held and observed, but they are sometimes best worn for personal expression.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I take a high quality natural fiber such as silk and personally fashion it, step by step, into a unique, decorative textile to be used as a shawl or wall hanging. I wash the silk, then dye it with botanicals or other natural dye materials. I create a design, place the warp on the loom, and then weave the fabric using a 4-harness (or occasionally 6) floor loom. I expand my design possibilities through the use of ikat or the manual insertion of supplemental weft.

    A: I first engaged in the process of textile creation as a student in art university, and that was like the jumping off point in a long journey of discovery and creation. Mine is a life's work pursuing the highest quality reeled silk, the perfect color from naturally occurring dyes and the possibilities in the tools of the art. It feels as if a new pathway is always opening for me with each new learning.

    A: At art university in Tokyo, I spent four years learning textiles through the lens of Japan's kogei art traditions. Upon graduation, I wanted to experience textiles in a different tradition, and I headed off to a rural Indian university. Unfortunately, textiles were taught there as a vocational craft for rural women. In an early assignment, we were given dyed fiber and a design and told our wares were to be sold at the local market. I felt a long way from Japan!

    A: Ikat is a fiber dyeing and weaving technique that developed in places as far flung as Japan, India, Central Asia and a particular village in Bali. I love to use Ikat in my own work, so on a trip to Bali, I made a trek into the hills to that particular Balinese village and found my way to a weaver's workshop. The weaver generously shared her weavings with me for most of a morning. We had nothing in common except a love for ikat weaving, and that was enough for meaningful human connection.

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