Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Making of Unspoken; an art installation by Debbie Barrett-Jones

Unspoken; an art installation by Debbie Barrett-JonesOctober 7 - November 26, 2016​
First Friday Crossroads Opening October 7 and November 4, 6-9pm
Artist Reception- Saturday November 5, 3-5pm
Leedy Voulkos Art Center- Front Gallery

As our devices become more immersive, we find ourselves in an echo-chamber. Our own biases are fed to us through algorithms of likes, memes, tweets, and news stories. Instead of human connection, we bath ourselves in dopamine that never feels warm enough. Rather than the depths of our humanity, we give our attention to the litany of messages that never answer our inmost questions. This “curtain” of 32,000 pieces of yarn thrusts the viewer back into the physical world. The mirage of multi-tasking is shattered. The hand-dyed color gradation asks the viewer to let in the richness of human connection, to let stillness fall before us. The viewer's search for identifiable images or shapes is the interior search for presence.

I am working hard to get ready for my show in October. Here are some images of the progress.

Monday, April 18, 2016

New Weaving Studio Open House

I am thrilled to announce I have moved my loom into a shared art studio with the lovely and talented Amina Marie Millinery, located at the corner of East 63rd and Holmes, in Brookside, Kansas City. This will provide me with the opportunity to interact with a milliner, share weaving with the public and provide a space to sell my artwork, including custom colored, textiles and accessories such as scarves, shawls and necklaces. 

We are ready to open our doors and invite you to our Open House on Friday April 29th, 5pm-8pm. If you have never seen a weaving loom in action, I would love share the wonders of weaving with you. And make sure to stop by Golden & Pine Artists & Artisans, our awesome neighbors, Golden & Pine are having an event in celebration of the Brookside Art Annual.

Please contact me through my website,, to schedule a private visit or stop by most Fridays where I will be weaving new scarves.

Upcoming Events:
New Weaving Studio Open House
Friday April 29th; 4pm-8pm
633 East 63rd St
Kansas City, MO 64110

Art Opening; Woven Shades of Blue with Gold Triptych Art by Debbie Barrett-Jones
Friday May 6th, 10am-6pm.
Lead Bank Kansas City Crossroads
1801 Main St
Kansas City, MO 64108

New Weaving Studio Grand Opening
Thursday June 16th; 4pm-8pm
633 East 63rd St
Kansas City, MO 64110

Solo Show at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center/ KCMO
October-November, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Honored to be featured in Kansas City Star/Ink. "Textile artist brings and finds peace in weaving."

Honored to be featured in Kansas City Star/Ink. "Textile artist brings and finds peace in weaving."

The Making of Woven Shades of Blue with Gold Triptych Art for Lead Bank in the Crossroads KC

*Art Opening; Woven Shades of Blue with Gold Triptych Art by Debbie Barrett-Jones*
Friday May 6th, 3:30-6pm.
1801 Main St
Kansas City, MO 64108

Careful consideration went into choosing the right colors for this piece. Josh Rowland of Lead Bank in the Crossroads and I decided that the design with the shades of blue would be great for the space in the lobby that provides a sense of simplicity and complexity at the same time, using a gradual color gradation from white to dark blue interrupted by a bold golden yellow stripe. The the weft woven all in gold, helps the blues to pop out visually depending on how/and where you view it. The amazing thing about a woven piece of textile is that you can see something different from you view of the piece from right to left and top to bottom. 

We chose a design with less colors throughout the piece to help viewer not to be too overwhelmed or over stimulated visually by an art piece. An art piece that is calming, intriguing, beautiful and thought provoking. 

Here's it something from my artist statement. That I think is perfect for this piece.

"It is so easy to live each day being distracted and overwhelmed with worries and the chaos of our busy lives that we don’t take the time to slow down and allow ourselves to enjoy a calming moment.  The goal in creating my art is to be able to give my viewer the opportunity to have time to slow down and breath, being stimulated by visual art that is pleasing to the eye and peaceful to the mind."
The Process
Winding more than 26 yarn skeins

Yarn skeins soaking in hot water before dyeing. 

Almost ready to start dyeing. 

After I have spent hours and hours of winding yarn skeins from white cones of yarn, dye all those skeins using a percentage gradation dyeing process each in their own dye bath, rinsing and drying all 27 of those skeins from the lightest of blues gradating to a dark blue; next up is winding each one of those dyed skeins into a usable "yarn ball". One by one, I set the yarn skein back on the metal swift yarn winder, cut the original knot that keeps the yarn skein together, connect one of the loose end threads to the ball yarn winder, and away it goes. As I turn the handle of the ball winder that the yarn on the swift winder is connected to, the swift winder moves round and round; stopping every so often when there is a yarn tangle that needs to be fixed and eventually when the yarn skein is finished winding into a ball. 

All the winding for this project took many hours and days to finish. While I am winding I sometimes watch movies or listen to music or audio books, but lately, for this project I found myself listening to nothing but of the sound that the winders make. At first it can feel very uncomfortable not being entertained when doing something so monotonous and "boring". I can also loose my patience, especially when there are tangles in the yarn. But when I try to focus on the present moment as the metal swift and yarn on it goes round and round; I find myself enjoying the quiet, calming and almost meditative state I am able to experience. My worries and the stress that I carry that moment are a little less and I have room to be thankful for more. 

These balls of yarn are now in a form that can easily be used in the next step of the weaving process which is winding the yarn on a warping board, to measure out exactly how many individual pieces of yarn I will need for the width and length of each woven textile to then thread on my weaving loom.

Wind the yarn at the Warping Board. My warp, the yarn that will go on the loom, is 3 and 1/2 yards long. 

Threading the yarn through the reed. 20EIP which means 20 throughs per inch. So I have more that 880 individual threads that are each 3 and 1/2 yards long. 

Threading my pattern.

All done thread.......this is one of my favorite views. 

The best part, weaving. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Weaving During Lent for First Christian Church

Right before Easter this year I was asked to create a table runner for First Christian Church's communion table. This church in North Kansas City is special to me because the fall after graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2007, I was commissioned to create two large weaving for their sanctuary. These two pieces were created on my 45" dobby loom that I was able to purchase with the commission money that I received from Community Christian Church the summer after graduating. (Have I mentioned how much I love my AVL loom?) I really, REALLY do!! :)

Two hand-dyed, hand-woven textiles made for First Christian Church in the fall of 2007. 

Down below are all the process images I took along the way to create this piece. 

After calculating the exact amount of yarn I needed for this project, I started winding my skeins. 

Soaking skeins

Preparing my dye baths, using large plastic cups. 

Yarn skeins in their dye baths.

It takes much time to rinse all the skeins........and back breaking. 

All the rinsed skeins on the dry rack.

Winding all the yarn skeins into usable "yarn balls".

Measuring our warp on my warping board. 

Threading each piece of yarn the a dent in the reed. 

Threading my pattern. 

After all is threaded, look how beautiful the yarn looks on the loom. 

Brushing, tightening and winding the yarn on my loom. 

Weaving time.

Working with my daughter.

Hemming both ends. 

Finished and delivered in time on Good Friday.

What a joy and honor it was to create this piece especially during the Lent season.