Pacific Northwest College of Art
Center for Contemporary Art and Culture

Found in: Museum Events

Artist-in-Residence: Elizabeth Whelan

Jun 21, 2011 – Jul 2, 2011



Textile designer Elizabeth Whelan creates a handwoven prototype, demonstrating the process of moving from hand to industry in product-specific design today. Using Herrick’s shawls as inspiration, Whelan’s project brings Herrick’s early years of weaving textiles for the interior design industry into the exhibition and initiates conversation about weaving and design today.

About her residency project and her studio practice, Elizabeth explains:

I will be working on one or two designs that are intended for production on a Jacquard loom. Including painted artwork and woven studies, the work I am doing is preparation for the Jacquard design by doing weave studies and working out the artwork in repeat. I plan on trying out different weave structures that would be suitable for Jacquard production, all based on 8-harness weaving.

I design textiles that will go into production—often large scale productions and those that are sold on consumer products world-wide. Most of my work in the last several years has been designing textiles that are for very specific products that need to work within other production technologies beyond the textile itself. The textiles become components of a larger product, and have moved beyond both decorative and technical aspects, evolving to include other characteristics that are important the assimilation into an end product. My work is found on the ergonomic chairs designed by Niels Diffrient for Humanscale, and I am now creating textiles for specific products for Nike.

I design from the bottom up—experimenting with materials, doing hand-woven work on my loom, dyeing samples, in addition to drawing and painting a pattern for repeat. These designs are sent to mills around the world to produce. Craft is both the starting point and end point of my work. I create the textiles employing craft techniques and finish the textiles by inspecting production and guiding workers in their correct and proper installation.

Elizabeth Whelan is a New York-based textile designer. Whelan’s clients include Nike, Humanscale, KnollTextiles, Spinneybeck Leather, Richard Schultz and Wolf-Gordon. Her work has been recognized with awards from ID Magazine, </i>IDEA</i>, and is included in Material ConneXion. Whelan has taught as adjunct faculty at Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design and as guest foreign faculty at National Institute of Fashion Technology in India. She received a BFA in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and she is a member of the Board of Trustees at Haystack Mountain School of Craft.

Learn more about Laurie Herrick: Weaving Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.</a></p>


Free for Museum members; $3 general admission.


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