While on our vacation to Wisconsin earlier this month, I had the great honor of meeting Susan Johnson of Avalanche Looms. I have been following Susan's blog for some time and didn't realize until several months ago that she lives not far from our friends farm. She warmly welcomed us into her studio and allowed me to snap photos as she worked and we talked.
Her studio is filled with light. Such grand windows give one the sense of being (almost) outside. Everything about Susan felt so comfortable and warm. The rhythm of her voice matching the throw of the shuttle. She showed me her very old bobbin winder and how she wound the weft yarn on to pieces of paper straw that served as her bobbin. I loved hearing her story of how she began weaving. She left oil painting when she became pregnant and began the safer practice of working with textiles. Her paintings were scattered about the studio, peeking out protectively from behind yarn and spools of thread.
There is so much color and texture and beauty in her workshop. It is very hard not to leave feeling inspired and quite giddy surrounded by all that thread and yarn.
I wasn't about to leave Avalanche without buying myself a Susan Johnson original. This table runner called to me from the moment I walked in the door...with her signature cross in the middle...I knew this was the piece for our home. It now rests on our table (made by another artist in SW Wisconsin).
If you can't make it to Avalanche to see Susan's work in person, I recommend you visit her blog, where she documents her beautiful work with stunning photographs. If you'd like to buy one of Susan's pieces, keep an eye on her Etsy shop, but you have to be quick, her weavings sell fast.