Emelie Weber Wade: Crafting Narratives with Handwoven Textiles

Emelie Weber Wade: Crafting Narratives with Handwoven Textiles

Nestled in the artistic haven of Asheville, North Carolina, Emelie Weber Wade stands as a beacon of creative expression in the realm of weaving and fiber art. With a dedication to intricate twills and a palette drawn from the rich hues around her, Wade's work not only showcases her technical prowess but also embodies a profound connection to the Appalachian heritage and the environment that surrounds her.

Drawing inspiration from the flora and fauna of the Blue Ridge, Wade's creations emerge as one-of-a-kind garments and accessories, each weaving a story of its own. Working predominantly with complex twills on 4 and 8-shaft looms, she meticulously designs her patterns, infusing them with the vibrant colors and textures of plants, trees, and insects. This homage to traditional Appalachian weaving techniques forms the cornerstone of her artistic journey.

Central to Wade's ethos is her commitment to sustainability and eco-conscious practices. Utilizing Tencel, a cellulosic fiber derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp, she crafts textiles renowned for their softness, drape, and lustrous sheen. Beyond Tencel, Wade incorporates a diverse array of biodegradable plant and protein fibers, each chosen for their unique textures and symbolic resonance. In every thread that graces her loom, Wade encapsulates the essence of photosynthesis, weaving a narrative that intertwines with the natural world.

At the heart of Wade's work lies a profound narrative connection, bridging the gap between herself, her environment, and the enduring history of weaving in Appalachia. Through centuries-old production techniques, seamlessly melded with contemporary sensibilities, she forges modern textiles that resonate with the soul of tradition. Vibrant colorways dance across her creations, breathing new life into age-old patterns and motifs.

Emelie Weber Wade's journey as a weaver began in 2012, as she embarked on a path of learning and exploration at Berea College. Immersed in the artistry of fibers, she honed her skills as an apprentice weaver and pursued a concentration in studio art. Her dedication and talent were duly recognized in 2014 when she received the prestigious Sarah Fuller Smith Loom Award, a catalyst that propelled her weaving career forward.

Photographer: JEN JOHNSON | Copyright: JEN JOHNSON

Today, Wade's weaving studio stands as a testament to her unwavering passion and artistic vision. Located in the vibrant Pink Dog Creative within Asheville's River Arts District, it serves as a sanctuary where creativity flourishes and stories are woven into the fabric of existence. As a member of the esteemed Southern Highland Craft Guild, Wade continues to inspire and captivate with her prolific collection of handwoven wearable art.