I’ve been a weaver for over 40 years and I live just outside of Williams Lake, British Columbia, in western Canada. Weaving was a hobby until about 2010 when I started winding down in my profession and gearing up for a life change. I began Cariboo Handwoven two years later and my business has been growing since. It’s been a wonderful learning experience in many respects.
I weave on two Leclerc Colonial 60” (130 cm)-wide, eight-harness looms. My studio is airy and spacious with several handmade display racks and lots of floor space for examining blankets. I savour all the natural light, with views of Douglas-fir, aspen and birch through the windows.
I learned to weave on a little pirta backstrap loom in Finland when I was a university forestry exchange student in the summer of 1979. My teachers, new friends at the time, are still dear to me. After returning to Edmonton for my fourth and final year of university, I took an after-hours course in weaving and advanced from a table loom to a floor loom. Once I was in Williams Lake with a new job, I bought a 36” (90 cm)-wide floor loom with my first pay cheques.
Weaving was my hobby while I worked for 35 years in British Columbia as a forester. Now forestry is my hobby and weaving is my passion and business. My forestry background gives me numerous ideas for colours, design and ecological insights that I often reflect in my work.
My weaving milestones so far include co-presenting a show at our local Station House Gallery entitled “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” in 2014, providing six blankets for the 2015 Canada Winter Games VIP Gifting Program, and being interviewed in my studio by Sheryl MacKay of CBC Radio’s North by Northwest followed by the broadcast in October 2017.
I am committed to making quality items that will last for years or probably decades. My blankets have proven their longevity; I have some of my earliest ones from the late 1980s that still look great. My cotton towels last up to 15 years according to many reports and are beautiful and practical throughout that time. And I have many scarves that have received lovely compliments over the years.
I guarantee my work under reasonable use. Anyone with questions or problems with my handwoven products is encouraged to contact me about repairs or replacement.