John Hess

Woven Textiles


I'm a mixed media textile artist producing art for many years, including numerous public art commissions and gallery sales. Primarily, my focus has been working with loom woven fabrics, which utilize the inherent structure of hand loom weaving, with it's symmetrical and numerical operations. I often mirror and replicate shapes in size changes and move images both horizontally and vertically over the woven surface.

My art is presented in various formats, from flat woven, painted pieces to double woven, dimensional forms. I like exploring the many variations in surface design, from fabric painted patterns, to painted canvas shapes cut out from a template and applied to the woven surface. I often align shapes on a center orientation and apply fabric paint to mirror the woven patterns. My primary focus is color and its variations, working with compliment hues to create visual tension.

The double woven, folded dimensional forms have opposing facets, creating interesting changes in color, value,and shape, depending on viewer's position. I weave the four layers independently, each with its own color and yarn type, and slide the woven top layer over the bottom layer to create a 3d.shape on top. This creates an undulating surface with numerous variations in height and width, with the dark/light shapes changing positions, depending on viewers position.

After the formal process of measuring and threading the loom, my art develops very intuitively. I let the fabric speak to me before making the next move, with every change in warp pattern and color presents a different challenge. The amazing transformation of the many threads coming together to create wonderful shapes is magic.

Artist Statement
2018/1 | Artist Statement