Red Front Door Store would like to introduce you to Lawrence Peters, the handweaver and fiber artist behind Bewoven Studio. He makes the handwoven scarves and mug rugs, eco-printed silk scarves, & upcycled silk note cards that you wear and use all year long. We are certain he has more work up his sleeve. So, we asked…
What led you to become a weaver and fiber artist?
As a child I was drawn to fabric. I loved seeing how it draped on the body. And, those sumptuous gowns worn by actresses in movies and at award shows were stunning. I thought about learning to be a fashion designer but did not travel that road. So, I compensated with decorating every apartment I lived in being schooled by the home magazines I sold advertising for. I bought and sold antique and vintage items which I sold at a multi-dealer shop. I even dabbled with handmade by crafting jewelry out of cool plastic pieces and those tiny people used by model train enthusiasts. After my last media job ended, a trusted advisor suggested I take up the craft of weaving. Since then, I have woven the proverbial mile. In essence, practice makes perfect or at least you are on the road to semi-perfection.
What inspires your creativity?
Exposure to new techniques and chance and curiosity. I started eco-printing on silk because I took a workshop on eco-printing. I was blown away that actual petals and leaves can print / dye on silk or wool because they are made of protein fibers. I am so curious as to whether a particular leaf or petal will eco-print and what color it will produce on the silk. For instance, eucalyptus can print a vibrant or muted pinky-orange, a beigey-gold, a gold-green, etc. I just never know. In my quest I have tried, to varying degrees of “success, “rose petals and leaves, citrus leaves, eucalyptus leaves, grevillea stems, peony petals and leaves, trumpet bell leaves, pomegranate leaves, red-tipped photinia leaves, and more.
Can you give an example of chance?
I started making the upcycled silk note cards because I had kimono and necktie silk in a closet and RFDS was looking to expand its card inventory. I had received the silk from a lovely Japanese lady who I met by chance – I was working a shift at the gallery where I was selling my pieces. She said that she was no longer making quilts and wanted to make sure that the silk did not end up in the trash when she passed. One day the light bulb went off and I started experimenting with making note cards from the silk. There has been a lot of trial and error but the results show that the effort was worth it. Every time I go to Goodwill or a thrift shop, I hunt for silk neckties and Hawaiian shirts and other apparel to upcycle.
What do you like most when you create?
When eco-printing, I savor the intoxicating aroma that comes from the eucalyptus and citrus leaves as they steam in the dye pot; pressure, heat, and moisture are part of the process. With weaving, there is such pleasure in feeling the strands of yarn move through my fingers as I measure out a warp. Watching the yarns turn into fabric is almost magical. I also enjoy creating my own weaving drafts from time-honored patterns.
Do you have a website?
You bet, www.bewovenstudio.com. The best way to keep track of my works-in-progress is to follow the Facebook page @bewovenstudio.