Introduction to Janna Maria Vallee
Hello there Mirrix readers, my name is Janna Maria Vallee and I’m going to be posting here for the next while, sharing with you all things tapestry, bead weaving and art making. I received my Big Sister loom on Saturday and by that evening I’d already warped up and added the heddles. I was so excited that night, I couldn’t sleep. You see, it’s been a while since I’ve woven anything and I really am in my happy place when I do, so dressing my new beautiful loom was the highlight of my week…month…maybe year!
Here’s a little bit about me: I’m a West Coast Canadian gal who moved to New York City with my son and husband last August. Our beginnings here in the USA have not been the easiest (read about it here). But I’m glad to say we on an upswing of sorts, and winning this challenge has given me a new found excitement for art making (I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus since my son, Sam, was born a year ago.). I’m excited for what 2014 holds for my art practice, (especially since I’ll be adding bead-weaving to my repertoire) and have been needing something to jump-start my inevitable return to tapestry weaving. This Mirrix project is just that thing. Thank-you Mirrix team!
I’ve been entranced by the art of tapestry since 2008 when I was taught to weave by the talented textile artist and weaver, Anthea Mallinson, during my time at Capilano University’s Textile Arts Program in North Vancouver, Canada. Today, only having had completed two small tapestries, I wouldn’t call myself a tapestry weaver, but I do consider myself a weaver; I’ve dabbled in a number of different kinds of weaving since my Capilano days (from rug weaving to jacquard weaving), and am thrilled to be getting back to it.
The Textile Arts Program introduced me to a plethora of textile techniques, from dyeing and printing to weaving and machine knitting. It was a rigorous program and I remember, upon entering my second year, wondering what on earth more they could teach us. I’ve since graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec where I spent the last year focused on creating installation art using natural dyeing and printing. So, inevitably I’ll be dyeing some of my own yarns for my upcoming Mirrix projects. I’m very excited to get back to work in that way.
Below is a sampling of woven artwork that I have created over the years, and you can see more of what I do over at my personal website and blog. Also below are my social media locations where you will find me posting photos and tidbits about what I’m learning while weaving on my Big Sister loom. Please feel free to drop me line at any of these places, I love making new friends 🙂
From top left to right 1) my second attempt at tapestry weaving, a distorted sky 2) detail of a printed warp weaving printed with rubbings of mine and my late grandmother’s shared wedding dress. 3) detail of my printed warp weaving, Re-invented (the actual print is of George Harrison) 4) Egoskeleton, a sculptural piece using Turkish weaving and pulled warp techniques.