Maine Crafts Association presents:
Hillary Hutton, Handweaver
On View at the Center for Maine Craft: September 1 – 30, 2021
Hillary Hutton of Vienna, Maine is a professional weaver creating colorful rugs in five original designs using egyptian cotton and cotton-blend fabrics. A maker on the Maine Craft scene for over 40 years, Hillary is a longstanding Guild member and exhibitor in many New England craft shows. Her love of color and a background in design inform her unique practice. One project inspires the next as she explores the many potential textures, patterns, and dimensions of each individual piece. The Maine Crafts Association is pleased to be the host of a new collection created using a developing technique of colorful panels and abstract patterns.
Hillary has collected cotton quilting fabrics for years, carefully stashed away until the day they are perfect for weaving into one of her custom rug designs, (this is an obsession that many weavers, quilters, and fiber artists can surely relate to). The effort of recycling cloth, letting nothing go to waste, is rewarded on the day when that electric orange is just right.
The warp yarns are hand dyed Egyptian cotton, threaded in a “log cabin” threading that alternate in dark and light combinations of carefully selected color. Upon this foundation, Hillary builds her designs.
In recent years Hillary has sold her collection of larger looms. This change has forced her to reimagine the methods formerly utilized to create her designs. Working within the limitation of three foot panels, she builds her rugs with elements of her original patterns. The woven panels are then hand-sewn together to create the final work of art. Hillary first maps out her plan on graph paper, alongside swatch cards and snips of fabric in the planned color story. As Hillary builds her skills in this new design method, the elements have become increasingly more abstract. The construction of panels has expanded her design possibilities.
When the design is plotted and the fabrics chosen, the materials are cut into one inch wide strips in preparation for weaving. Meticulous measuring as the weaving progresses is essential, and will result in panels where the design elements match. The pattern is complete when the carefully measured and matched panels are finally sewn together, and the design is realized.
About the Artist
Hillary Hutton learned to weave at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in1978. She purchased her first loom in 1980 and began her venture into self-employment as a full-time weaver. In the early days she created weavings as yardage for clothing. With a background in fashion and costume design she launched a line of clothing that she sold to boutiques and childrens shops.
After ten years of weaving and sewing clothing, Hillary discovered rug weaving. In 1990 she turned her focus more on rugs, and has since turned entirely to weaving rugs. Over the past thirty years, Hillary has gathered a plethora of skills and techniques to create her colorful, utilitarian, and beautiful works of art. Each project informs the next: she is focused on improving her skill with each rug she weaves.