Ommazinglife, Melissa Terrels

Weaving was something I landed in. It chose me.

I took a turn into some art classes and fell in love with the art and the building where the art classes were held. It was old and worn down and smelled like popcorn. My favorite food group.I went to college thinking I would become a therapist. I quickly learned that would not be possible. I flunked Psychology 101. Going to class was required and Wednesday was party night. Priorities…

So I stuck around. The school hired a weaving professor. A small Asian/Hawaiian soft-spoken woman, Akiko Kotani. I signed up. The machines (looms) looked interestingly complicated but the kind of machine I could handle. My first assignment in Weaving 101 was to weave cloth for a shirt. I chose bright pink for my sister. It wasn’t about the process of weaving, it was about knocking off a Christmas gift from my list. I was so proud of my work. I don’t remember what my professor said but I could tell from her demeanor that pink wasn’t a color she would have recommended.

I stuck with weaving and it stuck with me. I stuck with art. It was a hard life dividing my time between parties and the exhaustive amount of time required for art projects. The night before projects were due I often bribed my friends with alcohol as we sat in the halls winding warps, coiling jute and other projects they had no interest in other than the alcohol.

I graduated with a BFA, went off and married my high school sweetheart. Got a job, raised three kids and tried to sew and weave in my spare time. As anyone with 3 kids knows, there is no spare time.

My kids are almost grown and my time has come back to me. I live in Philadelphia with a small loom and my sewing machine. I like to keep one going at all times. I got tired of weaving scarves and towels so I began to just weave. I put a warp on the loom with nothing in mind as a completed project and started to weave.

What I ended up with was yards and yards of fabric. Multi-colored, soft and fascinating. I had no idea what to do with all this fabric. I began with a simple bag. I gave it to my daughters’ friends and they loved it. So I kept going. What you see here is a continuation of that journey.

I don’t know where the journey will take me but we can find out together. Won’t you stick around for the ride?