Lana Holden

Fiber artist
Skew Loose LLC
Terre Haute, Indiana, USA

I find my creativity is enhanced, rather than inhibited, by the imposition of structure. Much of my work pairs a standard idea from the design repertoire of some branch of fiber arts (knitting, crochet, weaving, etc.) with a mathematical idea in a compatible but unexpected way. I try to make specific connections between the mathematics and fiber arts concepts, rather than simply exploring random combinations, for the most spectacular results.

Fibonacci Walking on the Bottom of the Sea
58 x 48 cm
Cotton thread

Although usually defined as an L-system, the Fibonacci word fractal can be alternatively constructed by iterative suppression of squares. Its right-angle nature inspired me to express it using the rectangular grid of traditional shaft loom weaving. I chose a reversible weave structure (flip it over!) called "Summer and Winter," popularly used for 18th century American coverlets, because it uses fewer shafts than many other weave structures to achieve the same pattern complexity. In preparation for this work, I wove third-level iteration studies requiring 11 shafts. However, for this fifth-level iteration, which otherwise would have required 52 shafts to weave, I used the pickup stick technique, in which pattern threads are selected by hand.