Shirley Carnahan has loved anything to do with fiber even as
a child when she made doll clothes from her mother's sewing scraps.
In her teen years she became an avid knitter and added various
forms of embroidery to her fiber repertoire through college. About
1980 she learned to spin and weave. Realizing that she would never
live long enough to do it all, she chose to focus on weaving.
"Weaving can be wonderfully simple, or complex and challenging.
You can concentrate on one small aspect and become expert on it,
or let each exploration take you where it will, learning more
with each thing you do. You can never learn it all."
Shirley has woven everything from heavy rugs to delicate lace.
She enjoys experimenting with old weaves and recreating them in
modern ways. She makes interesting wearable art by dying her own
threads to create fun and different color ways.
Shirley plans to use fiber from her own flock of sheep in her
work in the near future. The sheep mostly are gray and brown.
Adding color to the fiber from these fleeces should create beautifully
saddened colors from which to weave shawls and scarves. Using
natural dyes will make the threads even more unique.
Sharing her art and craft is very important to Shirley. She can
frequently be found demonstrating the craft at various locations
and events in the area. Shirley's work can be seen at the 60 North
Centre Street Gallery in Cumberland, MD and at the Carnahan Fiber
Studio in Green Spring, West Virginia.