Weaving Water

Weaving Water is a public art project exploring the intersections of water, weaving and recognizing shared—yet unknowable—experience. Participants are invited to become part of an informal indigo dye and weaving workshop. They transform plain yarn or cloth through a series of steps: folding and binding the cloth or fiber, wetting in water from specific sources, dipping in indigo dye vats, unfolding to reveal the pattern made. These dyed materials are transformed again as participants weave them into new cloth on the SAORI loom, obscuring the patterns made as these fibers becomes part of a new whole.

Public workshop dates:

7/25/2018 Water Bar in Minneapolis, MN

10/19-20/2018 North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN

My current thoughts as I develop this new public art project:

SAORI weaving embodies a philosophy of “weaving one’s true self.” A simple but complex ideal! I want to connect the ideas of how we can make new patterns from old and how cloth records information about ourselves and our environment. Each individual creates their own patterns using the same steps but producing unique results. The dyed fiber bears the maker’s personal imprint, and it absorbs the unique qualities of the water used in the dye process. However, this information becomes unknowable as the fibers are woven into a new whole. It’s not necessary to understand these precursors in detail to appreciate and value the finished cloth.

Though we walk through life together, each of us bears intricate and unknowable truths made up of our personal lived experiences. To find commonality is not to delve into the details as much as appreciate the beauty of the varied whole.

Can weaving help us reconcile our inner turbidity? Can dyed cloth capture subtle differences in the waters from different sources? What use or beauty is created by transforming fibers to cloth? What questions should we ask about weaving or water?


Sarah Nassif is a fiscal year 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from tlte National Endowment for the Arts.