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Doris Florig: Biography of a Textile Artist

I spent the last 50 years looking over shoulders, asking questions, reading and experimenting with weaving techniques. I’m committed to a lifetime quest of learning weaving technical skills by connecting with people who have a cultural history in textile arts. I have absorbed the skills of netting and braiding from the Cree Indians, Flechee finger weaving from the French Canadians, spinning from Ontario sheep farmers, natural dyes from the Navajo, plaiting from the Bahamians, and seat weaving from the blind. I learned their techniques, then experimented until I became comfortable adapting the skill to suit my own creative style. Fiber is my connection to history, environment, people and their cultures. When spotted with fibers in hand, strangers open up their homes knowing that we have a lot to share.

My excitement in weaving is now in designing for both indoor and outdoor locations. I am inspired by the architectural surroundings, the environment and the people sharing those spaces. I focus on site specific installations which enable me to dye my own fibers and create very large weavings to meet the needs of our surroundings.

As a fiber artist living a nomadic lifestyle I am often confronted with limited space which does not discourage me from continuing with my large scale installations. My choice of loom is dictated by my living situation at the time. When in a studio situation, I weave on an upright traditional tapestry loom. I also own many multi-harness floor looms. When traveling across the country or internationally to teach or learn, I weave Navajo style, taniko, tablet or use any number of off-loom techniques. Oh, and of course, I always travel with a dye pot for experimenting and learning about the native plants.

I weave from morning to night. I am constantly learning and creating something new and different. My eyes are always open. Teaching and traveling is a big part of my education. When I teach I often feel like I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. It is the nature of a fiber artist to share their technical knowledge.