• Ellen Harris

#5 Fiber Art Threads of Gratitude

Fiber Art Threads of Gratitude express satisfying and joyful reminders of our connection to the Earth through the design of colorful weaving, quilting and other cultural artistic patterns that connect to our creative spirits.

Twenty years ago, as a Fulbright Senior Scholar, I taught nutrition at the University of Zimbabwe. I met women that gardened who said they’d never give up gardening because to eat what you grow was better than buying vegetables. I love fiber art that captures the spirit of food and agriculture.

To nurture my resilient self during these difficult and challenging times I choose to be grateful for the beauty of fiber threads woven into three favorite pieces featured today. Each piece represents rural, agrarian life in a Zimbabwe village.

Rug hooking technique created a village with Guinea fowl, cattle, a garden, field plot being plowed, and maize (corn).

The next two pieces were created by women artists that lived in Weya, a communal area (formerly known as ‘tribal trust lands’ or ‘native reserves’ before Independence), outside of Harare, the capitol of Zimbabwe. Six panels using applique’ technique define women carrying produce and firewood, braiding hair, feeding chicks, crocheting, and making clay pots for grain.

Sadza is the Shona (people of Zimbabwe) name for traditional maize porridge, the staple food in Zimbabwe. Leftover sadza is used to create fabric painting. When a piece is done the artist attaches a note in a pouch on the back. This piece is titled “The Visitors” and depicts preparing food and happy times. The paper has been folded for so many years, I’d probably have to iron it to eliminate the creases. Instead, it was re-folded and placed back in the pouch.



13 views
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

© 2020 by Third Ward Zen.  All Rights Reserved.  Photos: E. W. Harris  Design: Be Love at mac dot com