Weaving wound its way into the heart of my life quickly and succinctly. It began with the textiles of India. At first I bought a hand crank sewing machine and would go weekly to the local Khadi shop to purchase handwoven fabric from which to sew our clothes, and practice by sewing clothes for others.  As soon as I saw looms at work, its seemingly infinite number of threads and wooden pieces running in every direction, I knew that was the thing I needed. I needed to weave.

Upon returning to the Rocky Mountians from India I found a loom on craigslist, and that was it.  The loom belonged to an elderly man who had passed, his son was selling his loom along with a lifetimes worth of weaving tools, books and materials.  In one fell swoop everything that I needed to begin my journey landed into my lap.  Kyle and I packed up our homeade wooden teardrop camper and headed for the Sonoran Desert to spend a winter in the mountains making art and exploring this new life back in America.

A woman in red puffy vest sits at a loom in the forest in front of a wooden teardrop camper.
This was my second warp, and the first moderately succesful foray into weaving. In the background is our homemade trailer.
Hands sewing together two panels of fabric, one white, one yellow
Jeannie Ortiz's hands at work, finishing a naturally dyed handwoven blanket.
Handwoven fabric with geometric designs of brown, black, grey, red, orange, yellow and blue
Details of an organic cotton-linen and raw silk shawl by Jeannie Ortiz
An instalation of work by Jeannie Ortiz and Kyle Cunningham in Desert Archaic Gallery in Truth or Consequences, NM
Handwoven fabric with the moon phases and salmon colored stone-shapes woven into it on a background of blue and brown
Details of Querencia, an organic cotton-linen and raw silk wearable piece by Jeannie Ortiz
a handwoven brightly colored orange, yellow, purple, grey, blue shawl is held out by hands in front of a sand dune, desert mountain landscape
A handwoven organic cotton-linen and raw silk wearable piece by Jeannie Ortiz
Woman in the desert, standing in dirt, wearing a blanket that is brown, grey, red, yellow, purple and blue
Handwoven, hand dyed raw silk blanket by Jeannie Ortiz.
Woman wearing a dark grey, maroon and white blanket standing on a green grassy hill. The blanket is blowing in the wind.
Handwoven blacket made of merino and Indian wool by Jeannie Ortiz

This was the first large piece I ever wove. It was a turning point of feeling what was possible.

white strings lead from the camera to a woman in a pointy hat sitting at a loom in a green grassy field with blue cloudy skies and mountains in the background.
The early days of warping. In Montana August 2011