Handwoven Velvet and Arashi
Shibori by Barbara Setsu Pickett
The September/October 2009 issue of Fiberarts includes the handwoven
velvet of Barbara Setsu Pickett. The article focuses on Pickett’s passion
for velvet and how her penchant for historical research has allowed her to travel
the world to study with the masters. Here we share an additional example of her
velvet work on the loom and the sketch from the church in Venice, Italy, that
inspired it. Below, author Marilyn Robert shares images of another body of Pickett’s
work involving arashi shibori.
Pickett’s 1997 drawing of the floor tiles at the Venetian
church Santa Maria della Salute.
One of several Salute velvet weavings (shown on the
loom) that Pickett made based on her drawings and her experience of the space
during her travels in Venice. “Salute” means “health”
Barbara Setsu Pickett
By Marilyn Robert
Barbara Setsu Pickett’s current work includes pleated and dyed silks
shaped with arashi shibori patterns, flowing textured panels, and intricate three-dimensional
forms, all of which challenge her to tell stories wordlessly, relying instead
on visual concepts. With her son, Michael Pickett, and their business, Mihara
Shibori, in Eugene, Oregon, she continues her exploration with color, transforming
her work by layering patterns of immersion dyeing, compression, resist, and painting.
Colony, 2008; crepe de chine, bomaki shibori; hand-dyed,
handpainted with metallics; 18" x 14" x 5". Photo by the artist.
Courtesy of Beet Gallery, Portland, Oregon.
Falling Water 1 (with detail), 2008; handpainted, shibori-resisted
silk organza; 32" x 16" x 84". Courtesy of Beet Gallery, Portland,
Both the velvet weaving and the shibori feature prominent textural components.
The common thread in these different art forms is the artist’s response
to the breadth of human experience, gleaned from her travels and reflections.
Each of Pickett’s remarkable artworks references significant moments or
ideas, acting as reservoirs of her memory.
To learn more about Barbara Setsu Pickett’s work, visit Beet
Gallery, Portland, Oregon.