Why? – Russ Mason


Why? – Russ Mason
Algoma University BFA Thesis Exhibition
April 23th – 26th, 2020
Opening reception: Online

I am a weaver and have been for nearly 50 years. Recently, due to the restrictions of Covid19 I have not found my voice. During the time my father was dying, I vividly remember that he shuffled out to watch me trying to teach myself an intricate weaving technique, he paused shook his head and mumbled “Why?

That simple statement has stayed with me for over 40 years. It has caused me to question, among other things why I weave and to gather up my responses in a coherent manner.

~I weave for the love of pattern that develops slowly as I rhythmically throw the shuttle from one side to the other.

~I weave for the love of colour.

~I weave for the love of creating a woven cloth.

~I weave for the noise the loom makes as I am working on a new piece.

~I weave for the challenge of the mathematics that is involved.

~I weave for the preservation of a heritage craft.

~I weave for the satisfaction I have as someone wears one of my pieces.

~I weave because my pottery skills are non-existent.

~I weave because I like to.

Weaving has been a major part of my life for many years. With the challenges that Covid19 has placed on us it is increasingly more difficult to do what I do. Following the sale of our house I found a studio space that I could storemy yarns and growing number of looms. While the studio is self contained it is not in my home therefore to work requires me to travel. My looms sit threaded for pieces that would be in the show they sit neglected, silent in my studio space. I have not woven for such a long time;  I fear that my rhythm for the pieces has been lost or at least it will take some time to recover once we are free to travel again.

I weave because I like to do it.

I miss the weaving part of my life.


1. Hand dyed tencel, Detail of weave structure 9 x 90”, 2019


2. Transparency, Linen with inlay, 22” wide by 24, 26, 30″, 2020


3. Hand-dyed tencel kimono warp, 9” wide x 810” long


4. Linen for transparency, Threading in progress


5.  3 Linen transparencies, Varied lengths 22” wide


6. Tencel for kimonos supply pile


7. Linen for transparencies,  ready to weave on 4 harness loom


8. End of my rope, linen hanging   2 x 12”, 2020


9. Hand-dyed tencel, I had to do something with the warp!


10. Linen transparency