John Harrison

Artist’s Statement

I am inspired by the weavers of the Navajo Nation, particularly the work of the Klagetoh and the Teec Nos Pos and often develop weaving design concepts that reflect this.  I am committed to weaving with yarn spun from fleeces off our farm flock by my wife Marilyn.  I largely follow Navajo weaving method. 

My approach reflects a life time working as an Architect. I begin by developing a concept and a cartoon that is more like a construction drawing.   I am drawn to orthogonal shapes, often combined with sloping forms. I seek a unique and dynamic expression emerging from this formal combination.  As I am working with a handmade product from our pasture to the wall or floor of our house, there is an unexpected quality about my weavings attributable to the natural variation of yarn gauge and the sloping forms. The design subtly changes as the actual in-place weaving conditions emerge within a fixed and predetermined warp framework.  I have learned that irregularity of the handmade is an endearing quality. I find I am often designing to the last rows of the weaving, which lends to each piece a measure of spontaneity uncharacteristic of the machine-made.

At this time I am more interested in the interplay of form and color in my weaving than in intricacies of weave.   The lashing twine traditionally used to tie the warp to the top and bottom edge cords and dowels, generally discarded upon completion, is useful as a fringe. 

After the Klagetoh
After the Teec Nos Pos
Inside and Outside
Quiver
After the Chevrons
A Square Cubed
Down the Straight and Narrow
From a Border
Fractured