Sally Eyring

none - former secondary mathematics teacher
Watertown, MA

Textiles are an integral part of our everyday existence. The clothes we wear and the textiles in our homes reveal much about us including our age, our sex, our ethnicity, and our social standing. I wanted to create a textile that would also encode an approach to living and an attitude towards the world. But, rather than using art to display an actual word, I wanted to use a word to direct the creation of art. The word I chose to use was "Hope," and I used the ANSII computer codes to direct the weaving of "hope" into this cloth. The colors depict the colors of a sunrise; the red and orange raising out of the black of night.

Hope in Base 8
Hope in Base 8
16" x 20"
Woven cotton

Weaving technology is closely related to the computer industry - Hollerith cards were a direct inspiration from dobby looms. In this piece the word HOPE is translated into a weaving pattern using an 8 shaft loom. Using ANSII codes - A is represented as 101, B as 102, etc. up to Z represented as 132. First 100 was subtracted from each code to create a workable weave structure. Next, 1 was added to each code (using base 10) because weaving software programs number the shafts from 1 to 8. That resulted in representing A by 12, B by 13, etc. with Z represented as 43. Thus, the word “HOPE” is represented by 8 threads. Rotating the set of numbers by 1, 7 times, created a twill weave with a repeat of 64 threads, producing “HOPE”, woven in base 8.