I’m excited by words – the way they sound, their appearance on the page, and how they join together into phrases and sentences. The individual letters that make up words are fascinating as well, each different, and each beautiful. Throughout my life, I’ve spent nearly every spare moment with books, and reading has long been one of my greatest pleasures. An important influence is books published during the time when even “ordinary” novels - and not only novels for children - were illustrated, and my shelves are filled with such books, including Esther Forbes’ A Mirror for Witches, Mary Webb’s Precious Bane, and James Gould Cozzens’s The Last Adam - although that book has only one illustration, the lovely woodcut on the book’s cover.

These interests are the starting point for much of the cloth I make, including large linen panels with text and images woven into the fabric. In these panels, the narrative has no beginning or end. Instead, it provides vignettes of Daniel Janes, a 19th century weaver living in Randall, Massachusetts; his daughter, Lissy; and other weavers, mill owners, and farmers in the communities of the surrounding Linden River Valley. Rather than telling a complete story, the panels reflect my absorption with letters and words, including 18th century handwriting, early printing, calligraphy, and book illustration.

Illustrations also serve as the inspiration for linen dishtowels, bath towels, and small wall hangings with woven images of weavers, shepherds, textile mills, hens, flowers, lambs, and other views taken from the everyday lives of Daniel Janes, Lissy, and other people in the towns that lined the Linden River.