My interest in textiles dates to my Nova Scotia childhood when I was completely in awe of my grandmother, her French accent and the magic she created with her needlework tools.
I explored different kinds of weaving (tapestry, art-to-wear) and finally settled on functional textiles such as towels and napkins. I also make a limited number of table runners, scarves and shawls. I'm a firm believer that something as "ordinary" as a towel can be beautiful, a delight to use and improve with age. I enjoy taking a traditional design, modifying it, and adding exuberant colour.
I still consider myself a student of weaving even though I've woven for over 35 years, studied it at college and taken many workshops. The more I weave, the more I'm aware that cloth, which so many of us take for granted, embraces more than I could learn in five (or fifty) lifetimes.
Some years ago, my son tompoirier.com apprenticed with me. We began collaborating in 2018.
Using manually-operated traditional floor looms, we design and weave a variety of textiles, primarily towels, napkins and table runners. Our looms are 4 and 8 shafts with no mechanization or computer attachments. Our heads, hands and feet do the work. Color is the most noticeable design element, but the texture and quality of the finished cloth are equally important.
Our towels and napkins are woven of unmercerized cotton and/or linen with absorbency and durability in mind. The more they're used, the softer and more supple they become. It's our personal experience and that of long-time customers that they will last through decades of daily use and machine washings. We weave towels in 3 different sizes. The 14x23 and 20x30 sizes can be used in the kitchen or bath. The bath towels are 28-30x48-50. Customers also use the smaller towels for other purposes such as placemats, bread basket liners and table runners. All can be machine washed and dried. The napkins are square versions of our towels, using the same fibers, techniques and care instructions.
We use the same materials in our table runners/scarves as well as exotic fibers such as silk, alpaca and even superfine filaments of copper and steel.
The designs are our own, sometimes inspired by the weaving heritage of Scandinavia, Japan, or the Art and Crafts Movement.
My grandmother would be proud.
Local news segment about us and our work: YouTube