by Alex Nichols
When my mom’s best friend’s mother died, I created a weaving using her antique jewelry and favorite colors. She has a small antique shop and that was a way for the daughter to have a daily reminder of her mom and a piece of art for her wall.
I decided to call them Memory Weavings to help people remember and have something from their loved one.
My grandfather passed away and I wanted to make something that would remind me of him. So, I made a weaving using his ties and belts and shirts, favorite colors and his aloha shirt. I cut the aloha shirt into strips of fabric. You can see the ties and buttons in the weaving. I added a butterfly because he loved them. It was something I wanted to do.
I did two memory weavings for two sisters who wanted to remember their grandfather who loved Yosemite and his dogs. I used two of his flannel shirts, patches from Yosemite, colors of Yosemite, and ornaments of his dogs which were Doberman Pinchers. I cut the flannel shirt into strips and wove them with the yarn. I used some camping rope, sticks, and some beads. I didn’t want to cut the patches up so I had to glue them on with help from my mom. They were so happy that they were crying. It made me feel good to help someone remember their grandfather.
I just made one for a father who wanted to give his daughter and her wife a special present for her birthday using rainbow colors. The couple recently moved and started a new life so I used butterflies to mean change and rings and a heart for love. One of them is a teacher and the other works on games so I used colored pencils, markers, a pencil, a school bus button, and coins and fruit to represent games. I like Fruit Ninja so that reminded of games.
Alex Nichols is a free style weaver who follows the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which represents embracing imperfection.
Using a Saori loom and various hand weaving techniques, Alex creates wild and free wall hangings mixing textures and vibrant colors using yarn and unconventional materials such as strips of fabric from clothing like Aloha shirts, wire ribbon, jewelry, and toys.
Strings are left unfinished, tufts of roving are stuffed in, and items dangle to create an impressionist piece that delights and surprises viewers when they spy an unexpected item.
Alex is an artist with special needs who expresses himself through weaving and painting. Visit his website here.