Kim Gavin

Moment: A Weaving Spell

(From an article for the Times Free Press by Maura Friedman)

Weaving came naturally. Kim Gavin felt as though she’d done it before.

“I could feel the rhythm of this and it all made sense to me,” Gavin said of her first time at a loom, a year and a half ago.

For each line of yarn woven into Gavin’s tea towel, there’s a woosh as she treddles, using her feet to raise and lower the harnesses of the loom, and a clatter as the beater bar pushes every strand into place. After a few minutes, the pattern sounds musical. It hangs in the stillness of her studio.

“You get into that state of flow,” Gavin said. “You’re doing something that’s a little bit challenging but not overwhelming and you can completely immerse yourself in it.”

Weaving is Gavin’s primary art medium. For her it was a natural progression from “instant-gratification knitting,” when she used big yarn to make projects go by faster. Now no matter the size of the yarn, Gavin’s loom speeds the process.

Gavin said the effect is therapeutic.

“Your brain quiets down and you just go.”

She started weaving on a rigid heddle loom, a simple frame with no moving parts. But this floor loom – an old loom, but new to Gavin – will go even faster and her projects can be even bigger.

Light streams into the studio space and wraps around the cherry wood of the floor loom. Gavin saw it for sale on Facebook a few months ago and went to Charlottesville, Va., to make the purchase and arrange shipping.

The Jack-type floor loom has 50 inches of weaving width and eight harnesses, which means lots of pattern possibilities.

“It’s really just basically your two yarns at right angles to one another,” Gavin said. “But when you start manipulating them over space, you can create effects as if you’re doing diagonal things or circular things.”

Gavin misses a warp thread and her yarn gets tangled. She begins to unweave the problem spot, slowly and methodically.

“You have to go back and fix it and that means patience,” Gavin said. “That helps me practice a skill that I need.”

It doesn’t slow her down much.

The studios in the Chattanooga Workspace, including Gavin’s, are open on the first Friday of every month.

“It’s a good time to come by and see the loom in action,” Gavin said.

Katherine Rogers

Katherine Rogers ― Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio

Katherine was raised in San Antonio, Texas with a great appreciation for the outdoors, imagination, and creativity. Since a young age, she was encouraged to explore her surroundings and find solace in nature- particularly in the Texas Hill Country. Each summer she and her family would move from the city to their “home away from home” in the Hill Country. It was there that Katherine was first able to freely explore creativity and know herself as an artist.

Katherine studied art at The University of the South with a focus in photography. While a student, the great majority of her photographic work was focused on children who lived in a transitional home with their mothers. It was through those projects that she discovered her deep desire to work with adults and children, incorporating art into those relationships. Soon after graduating, Katherine discovered a love for clay and has since completed an apprenticeship program. She and her business partner, Stephanie Guthrie, are now establishing a private ceramic studio in Chattanooga Workspace. Their studio is known as Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio where they create work for local businesses, promote their work online and throughout the greater Chattanooga area, and offer small wheel-throwing classes.


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Jacquie Williamson

Jacquie Leavitt: A Self-Taught, Mixed Media Painter

Jacquie Leavitt is a self-taught mixed media painter specializing in whimsical art. She grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and after attending the University of Tennessee she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked in property management.  In June 2010, she discovered mixed media painting and began exploring different techniques in order to find her own style. She moved back to Chattanooga in 2011 where she began selling her work at the local markets.

Now, Jacquie has branched out to art festivals in the Southeast, along with showing in local galleries, and teaching at art retreats around the United States. In her work she uses lots of color and texture — often times utilizing several different mediums for the same piece. This can range from collage work, acrylic paints, watercolor, oil pastels, soft pastels, ink, markers, graphite, charcoal, and even paper
that she custom prints. In addition, she loves to include an inspirational quote or two.

Jacquie stays busy painting and raising her six year old daughter, Victoria, who also loves to make art.

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Sherry Leary

Sherry Leary – A Different Type of Painting

“A different type of painting” is the way I describe my work because first, I am a painter. While working on my BFA in painting and drawing, I discovered I could present ideas in a different way, with cloth and thread. I work in this medium because I want to make a connection with the viewer, to leave a lasting, warm-hearted impression.

Buddhism’s second noble truth states all human suffering is based on attachment, an unrelenting craving or clutching grasp. Yet the opposite is detachment, signifying loss or deprivation. My work skates along the middle path, to describe a loosening-a letting up of fear and old habits, a softening of attitude. Along the way, there is the danger of ritual, where comfort can prevail over experimentation and discovery. A diligent tact is essential. Stitching holds firm yet generously, like you might hold the hand of a young child.

Hand-stitching takes time. The stitching in the finished work gives away the subtle rhythm of the hand, the care in the making.

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Alex Nelson - Spun Jewelry

Alex Nelson, semi-precious jewelry/mixed media

I make jewelry for people who want to buy with their conscience — for people who want to both love and feel good about the things they own. I use as much recycled and sustainable material as I can in my jewelry — copper, aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, recycled wood, brass, fabric, recycled leather, and glass.

Alex Nelson - Spun Jewelry

Alex graduated from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2009, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. After college, she began experimenting in jewelry design with items out of her recycling bin. What began as a hobby, rapidly evolved into a small business. Her real passion is to take images, objects or forms that are not normally seen together and transform them into re-interpretations that are unique, fashionable, and fun. She strives to use recycled materials for their Eco-conscious, and affordable appeal. The designs incorporate post-consumer materials, such as, paper, plastic, salvaged wood, recycled titanium, brass, copper, aluminum, and tin. Other pieces are created with traditional techniques and elements such as, wire wrapping, cast-resin, beading, and polymer clay. The goal is to evoke nostalgia, style, and imagination through inventive design. You can learn more about Alex’s jewelry by visiting her website, spunjewelry.com.