For over 30 years, husband and wife, Lisa and Cris Berry of Motherloom Studios have created tapestry impressions of nature’s infinite textures and strived to share these creations with others.
Motherloom Studios creates handwoven tapestries featuring hand-dyed, hand-spun yarns. Lisa hand-dyes many of the yarns to achieve desired colors, making each tapestry truly unique. Wool, silk and cotton yarns from all over the world are selected to express the images and textures of the design.
One of the most rewarding challenges for Motherloom Studios is creating custom tapestries for their clients. Working from photographs of homes, vacation spots, or nature snapshots, the client becomes an important member of the creative team. Their feelings and reflections are essential to completing the finished tapestry. The finished product is an heirloom piece intended to be treasured for years to come.
Lisa Berry has been a full time professional tapestry artist since 1974. She has created work for numerous corporations around the world such as Upjohn Corporation, Amway Corporation (Alticor), Haworth Incorporated, Trendway Incorporated, and McDonald’s Restaurant Corporation. Berry has also been commissioned for private collections including world-renown golfer Arnold Palmer, Edie Magnus with MSNBC and Amway Founder, Richard DeVos. She has been included in prestigious exhibitions such as the "International Textile Exhibition" in Manila, Philippines and the "Art in the Governor's Mansion" in Lansing, Michigan.
Cris Berry has been a partner of Motherloom Studios since its inception. Not only does he spend his days being a part of Motherloom, but he also is a practicing Architectural Designer of over 35 years. Berry’s projects have included nationally published custom homes, office furniture showrooms and renovation designs for Chicago’s Sears Tower.
Motherloom Studios’ handwoven tapestries can be found in galleries and shops across the United States. To learn more about Motherloom Studios, contact Lisa or Cris through firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE STUDIO...
Surrounded by a suburban landscape, Cris and Lisa have created an unexpected sanctuary for making art and gardening where they nurture flowers, fish, and herbs. In the studio, Lisa hand-dyes small batches of handspun yarns and weaves original designs inspired by their oasis. Cris demonstrates his remarkable woodworking skills in their workshop. Creating tapestry impressions of nature's infinite textures and sharing those creations with other art and nature lovers is their passion!
ABOUT THE PROCESS...
Some of the great museums of the world hold tapestry weaving fragments dating back to the 15th Century B.C.E. Following in the traditions of this ancient art, Lisa has been weaving her creative impressions since 1974.
Lisa and Cris "cartoon" (draw) the design and begin the process of selecting yarns. Handspun wools, silks and a variety of synthetics gathered from all over the world are selected to express the colors and textures for every area of the design.
Cris and Lisa create their own dye recipes through a multiple step experimental process. After testing many samples, small kettle batches of yarn are stirred and carefully watched until the the desired color is achieved. Constant changes in the humidity and barometric pressure often make getting color consistency a real adventure! This part of our process is demanding and can take several days. It is truly a crucial step in making each tapestry unique!
Next, Lisa winds nearly 5 miles of wool warp yarn onto the warping tree! With Cris’ help, the warp is beamed (wound) onto their six foot high-warp loom, which Cris designed and built. After beaming, 400 warp ends are threaded through the string heddles and then sleyed through the reed. The loom is “dressed” and ready for the weaving to begin.
The cartooned design is mounted behind the warp to serve as a guide. Strand by strand each weft thread is meticulously guided over and under each warp end. Lisa uses a wide variety of both ancient and contemporary tapestry techniques such as; blended and distorted wefts, seeding hatching, Soumak and Egyptian knots, interlocks, and slits to name a few.
After cutting off the loom, Lisa hand blocks each tapestry in preparation for the next steps. She transforms some of them into soft pillows trimmed with satin cording or luxurious fringe. The others wait patiently for Cris’ careful attention.
In the workshop, Cris works on the tuffet legs and bases. Each piece of wood is fine sanded multiple times, stained and varnished with several coats. He then cuts upholstery foam, wraps it with batting topped with a muslim cover. Next, he carefully stretches and secures the tapestry over the foam form. Finally, he assembles the completed parts, creating the heirloom quality footstools, ottomans, and benches.
ABOUT THE ART...
Important: Our handwoven tapestries feature hand-dyed wool yarns with beautiful color variegations which change with every dye lot making each tapestry unique. These yarns are not 100% colorsafe; spot clean only with cold water and gentle soap.
Pillows: filled with a cloth covered polyester fiberfill form, backed with upholstery quality fabric, and trimmed with braid or fringe. Upholstery fabric may be substituted according to manufacturer availability.
Footstools, Ottomans, and Benches: filled with hi-density upholstery foam, and treated with FiberGard for water/spot resistance. Gentle vacuuming is suggested.
Congratulations to Motherloom Studios for
First Place in Fine Crafts at the 2010 Holy Hill Art Fair
Thank you Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood !
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