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This project was successfully funded on December 15, 2012

Weavings, Drawings, Collages

by Christy Matson


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I am a specialist ... a Jacquard-weaving specialist.

For the last decade, I’ve used the Jacquard loom as the primary tool to make my work.

In May 2012, I left a tenured teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) to relocate my life and practice to Los Angeles.  During my 7 years at SAIC I had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of students how to incorporate this very old, and somewhat obsolete, technology into their art practices. And I am one of only a handful of artists worldwide who has chosen to focus their art practice around this loom – my work has been shown over the years at venues such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Renwick Gallery, The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Unfortunately, the nearest hand-operated Jacquard loom is over 350 miles away from Los Angeles. A sense of displacement from the tool I know and love is becoming very real as I realize how difficult it will be for me to continue working in the way I am accustomed as a full-time studio-based artist in Los Angeles.

Through this campaign I hope to raise enough money to purchase my own Jacquard loom, which will allow me to both produce a new body of work for exhibition and also continue teaching students.

Recently I’ve been translating drawings and watercolors I make into weavings. The processes of drawing and weaving are totally different in terms of material (ink vs. thread) but even more so in terms of the flexibility of the pen vs. the constraints of the hand-loom. However, I believe that the drawn marks on the paper and the threads in the weaving are intrinsically related because both processes are about the marriage and binding of materials – ink and paper, and warp and weft.

Through the successful funding of this project, I intend to continue this investigation, but to shift the work into much larger scale and to make the weavings with a much greater level of detail.

It is impossible for me to overfund this project. The more money I raise, the bigger and better loom I can buy. The goal amount allows me to buy only the most basic version of the loom, very much like buying a new car without any of the extra features. Additional funds allow me to add modules that increase the complexity, resolution and scale of what I can weave.

I need your help!  I wouldn't have dedicated the last ten years to exploring, learning and teaching this rare technology if I didn't believe in my work and the importance of preserving this history.

I’ll take whatever you are able to give, even if it’s just a high-five and helping me spread the word to others.  I am forever grateful for your help, thank you!



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    • December 10, 2012 Donald Day Community Member

      7K to go this week. Time to double down/up/over fellow Jacquard fans! Think Chrisy, think of Jacquard's Babbage portrait.