Fascinated from a young age by the roles thread, cloth, and color play in our everyday lives, Karen Crenshaw has, in turn, embroidered, quilted, sewn, knitted, spun yarn on a spinning wheel, dyed yarn and cloth, and created her own cloth through weaving.
Her woven works nod to thousands of years of making cloth, translating patterns that first appeared hundreds – even thousands – of years ago into a modern aesthetic and color palette, transforming them into something totally new. “Handwoven textiles used to be among the most treasured possessions, bequeathed by name in a person’s will. In the modern world, we’ve lost track of what it means to make an object thread by thread and use it in our daily life.”
Her dyeing practice uses native dyes such as osage orange and cochineal as well as indigo – with other natural materials, including leaves, rusty iron, and copper – to create textiles that radiate light in unexpected ways.
Crenshaw has studied with talented textile artists including Judith MacKenzie, India Flint, and Lisa Hill. She is currently enrolled in the Master Weaver program at Olds College in Calgary, Alberta. She discovered Marfa in 2004 and made it her permanent residence in 2014.
Blooming Leaf Baby Blanket. 32 x 32 inches. Cashmere, silk, and lambskin. Handwoven overshot cashmere baby blanket bordered with handwoven warp-faced silk band. Backed with lambskin.