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Jeri Vitello

ARTIST WEBSITEEMAIL ARTIST
Location(s): 
Medium: Fiber - Wearable

Booth #: LS17

Artist bio: It could be said that Jeri’s weaving career began when she was ten years old and wove potholders in Brownies. But it wasn’t until she sat at a floor loom 31 years later that she fully realized the joy and wonder of weaving.
Jeri’s first weaving class was in 1999 at her local museum. It was there she learned to wind a warp, beam the loom and throw the shuttle. She was enthralled with the interlacing of the yarn and the music that the loom played when lifting the shafts and banging the beater. She was consumed with all that one could do with color, pattern and design. It wasn’t but a few short months later that she bought a multi harness manually operated floor loom and began to stock her studio with more yarn than she could weave in a lifetime.
Over the years Jeri continued to take classes and weave in her studio. Much of what she wove was for her personal use and Christmas gifts; essentially a hobby.
In 2011, Jeri did her first art show where she sold her first scarf. Thrilled that someone actually deemed her work worthy of owning, she began to think about her art as less of a hobby and more of a career. The actual pursuit of this idea took over 6 years to come to fruition.
It was in 2017 when some life changing events occurred that the decision was made to become a full time fiber artist. Since then, her and husband travel to various parts of the United States setting up their tent and enjoying every aspect of the life of an artist.
Her wearable art begins by winding a warp (organizing the threads) spun from wood pulp. The warp is then spread out onto a table where she applies dyes that she precisely mixes from a stock of red, blue and yellow dye. These color are carefully selected to create a pallet of interesting and coordinating colors.
Once the warp is dyed, rinsed and dried it is then beamed onto the loom. Each thread, approximately 1032 threads are individually brought through a heddle on the appropriate shaft to create the weaving structure.
From that point, the weaving magic begins. A treadle is pressed and a weft thread, wound on a shuttle is passed back and forth through the shed then beat into the cloth. Color and pattern begin to emerge and the cloth is starting to show its beauty.
Once the cloth is ready, a custom designed garment is cut, paying particular attention to color and style. Each garment is sewn with attention to detail.
She is often asked how long it takes to make a garment. The truthful answer is she doesn’t know precisely. To her, what she does is a labor of love. There is no clock in her sanctuary studio. Time is of little importance when she is transported by the rhythm of the loom. What is important to her is how someone feels when they wear one of her creations.


Artist Statement: Hand painted warps spun from wood pulp beamed onto a mechanical loom woven using complex structures. Other weaving techniques used in combination with the dyed cloth to add dimension and interest to my clothing designs.
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