Deborah Bryant Handwoven

Deborah Bryant Handwoven

About The Artist

Deborah Bryant • Cashiers, NC

Weaving for more than 30 years, Deborah earned a degree in Professional Craft-Fiber from Haywood Community College after traveling abroad studying in England and Scotland. She lives and works in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she creates her one-of-a-kind cotton accessories through hand-dying the warps which results in unique color combinations inspired by the natural world around her. Her emphasis is on natural fiber, exciting color combinations and functional design.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

All my work begins with a color inspiration. I'll often photograph a landscape or a flower or a scene that captivates my color eye, then I take that inspiration to the dye kitchen. After winding 18 yards of 220 threads of white yarns I spread them out like a winding snake onto my work counter, mix my own colors of dye to match the image I've captured, and sponge paint the dye onto the dampened white yarn. After it sits overnight I boil it out, rinse and dry it before it gets threaded onto my loom. There I begin to weave, bringing my complete color inspiration to life in ever changing progressions. Once woven, the fabric is washed and dried and sewn into the various styles of my wearable accessories.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Color. Color and how it works with other colors. I am endlessly fascinated by the relationship of hues and how they work together and also effect a reaction from the viewer. Nature is a riot of colors and puts them together in fantastical combinations. I'm always trying new ways to mimic what I see around me, sometimes very contrasting, sometimes with more subtle shifts. I love how each piece of my work, just like everything in nature, is unique. I am also a big fan of cotton and bamboo and even some rayon fibers in my work, of different textures and thicknesses, as they all hold the color slightly differently adding even more layers of interest to the final fabric.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I've already described how my work is unique. I guess we are all unique in our own ways, and yet fundamentally the same. What's unexpected? My work is incredibly complex when studied up close, even though it is "common" plain weave. Also the softness and drape of my fabric is perhaps unexpected. The complexity comes from the variety of textures and the constantly shifting color changes, however subtle, if one looks up close. Just as we humans are incredibly complex once we look closely at each other.