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Weaving Every Day ~ An Interview with Natasha Khiev of Mighty Loom

Today we're sharing an interview with Natasha Khiev of Mighty Loom. Natasha has been working on a daily tapestry weaving project, and we found her because she frequently uses Array in her work, which she shares on Instagram. Each piece Natasha shares is somehow more exciting than the last. She has a keen eye for color, and continually pushes the boundaries of what a tapestry can be by finding new ways for her pieces to take up three dimensional space. 

Mighty Loom

Can you tell us a little bit about the background behind your daily tapestry weavings? When/how/why did you begin this project? 

The main goal of this project was to make the weaving process feel more natural. At the beginning of my journey, I struggled with perfectionism. Reluctant to produce anything that wasn't flawless, I wasn't sure how to approach tapestry design. As I began to lose my enthusiasm, I realized that the best way to progress was to commit to weaving something every day, regardless of how it turned out. Warping my Mirrix Saffron loom has almost become second nature and I don't overthink the process as much anymore - many of my pieces were made on the go, with no planning except, maybe, the size of the piece and basic color scheme. Allowing the weaving process to guide me has been an incredibly liberating experience.

What was your experience with weaving prior to this?

I started weaving tapestry about 4 years ago, after studying all the books on the subject that I could find. The most information I learned came from Rebecca Mezoff's "Art of Tapestry" book. She's a fantastic teacher and amazing artist!  

What have you learned so far as a result of this practice?

My project made me realize that in order to move my art forward, I have to weave anything every day, and post it, too. Even if it's completely ugly.

Do you have a favorite piece?

It's hard to pick one, but I really like my shaped tapestries. When this project is over, I definitely want to focus more on three-dimensional weaving techniques.  

What inspires you?

Generally speaking, I find inspiration in so many things! First of all, I'm a huge art admirer and my phone is brimming with snapshots of works by other artists - from weavers and fashion designers to architects and illustrators. In particular, I'm deeply inspired by Belgium's school of textile design and fabric manipulation which influenced me a lot. Also, I'm a nature lover - the textures and colors you see on forest floor or at the beach are an endless source of inspiration. As for my daily weaving practice, often times it's the textures and colors of the yarn in my stash that serve as the initial spark for my next piece, and I take it from there.

Mighty Loom Tapestry Weaving
Tapestry Weaving by  Mighty Loom

Do you have any advice for others who may embark on a project like this?

Weaving every day takes dedication, so make sure to set clear goals to keep yourself motivated.

  1. If you're juggling a full-time job and weaving, test out a few smaller pieces to see how long they take you. Anything over 30-60 minutes might be tough to finish on busy days.
  2. Keep a variety of colored fibers on hand so you don't get stuck in a creative rut. Don't forget to stock up on warp yarn, too!
  3. When inspiration strikes, write it down or even sketch it out. You'll forget it in five minutes otherwise. I've got notes everywhere - on paper, my computer, and my phone.
  4. If you're sharing your progress on social media, don't get discouraged by a lack of likes or comments. Keep weaving and have fun with it!

What do you like about working with Array?

Array has a gorgeous silky sheen and the colors are so bold and saturated! It is the best fine tapestry yarn you can get. I never have any problem auditioning colors for each of my tapestries (my dear husband gave the entire Array set for Christmas), because I can always find the yarn that either matches my design to a 100% or is close enough. Also, I love the weight of the Array, as it allows bundling 3 or 4 strands of different colors for blending.

Where can people find your work?  

Right now I only post my work on Instagram and Facebook, but I am working on a website. When this challenge is over at the end of  2023, I am going to offer a card-matching game inspired by this project, and quite possibly a small book showcasing all the 365 pieces I have made.


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