This month's NYGH Member Spotlight shines on Michele Burke, a tapestry weaver who has been a part of the NY Guild since 2020. Michele's love of weaving began the moment she started a beginner's weaving course at the Brooklyn Brainery, but her weaving life really came alive during the Covid lockdown when she started to work from home. She finds weaving to be exciting, soothing and grounding. She is motivated by both the stories she looks to tell in her work, and the actual craft of weaving that expresses those stories.
"Layers of Consciousness" was created during the Covid-19 lockdown, a time of intense uncertainty, fear, and isolation for Michele and many people here in New York City. It is based on the Hindu myth of the churning the ocean in which all manner of things are revealed. "These waves, so to speak, are layers of consciousness, and as you go deeper you'll find different things in your past... when you go deeper in your life, all different aspects of your life emerge."
A frequent participant in the Guild’s monthly Show & Tell, she finds inspiration within the Guild community, which helps keep her motivated to continue to give voice to her ideas in her expressive tapestries. “The Guild is very supportive of my work. I love being around them,” says Michele. “When they do critiques of my work, they’re beautiful and gracious about it... “I think I landed in a really good place.”
Her advice to someone just getting into weaving: “Be vulnerable, do whatever you love; whatever fiber, fabric, yarn that you want to weave with, just do it - and find community… people who will support you in a genuine way… and work very hard at your craft."
You can watch the interview by clicking the image below, or visit our NY Guild of Handweavers YouTube channel. And enjoy!