Jessie Mordine Young is a Brooklyn-based artist who researches, writes about, curates, makes and teaches textile art. She believes that textiles can be carriers of empathy, memory, and lived experience and that they are evidence of humanity. This sentiment is at the root of her art practice. In one of her more recent bodies of work, she embarked on a project of creating daily artworks, which she calls “woven drawings” or “thread sketches.” These pieces directly connect to her experiences in nature, where color and texture become tangible references to memory. The small scale of these woven works offers a sense of intimacy through its reference to miniature scene paintings and portraiture. Jessie is enamored by the alchemy of the dye vat. She often paints her yarn and woven fabrics through a natural dye process, where she creates her own visual language with color by thoughtfully sourcing plant matter.
Jessie earned her BFA in Fiber and Material Studies and Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and an MA in Material Culture, Design History and Object Study from the Bard Graduate Center in NYC. She is a part-time faculty member in the School of Constructed Environments and the MFA Textiles Program at Parsons School of Design. Through extensively researching craft histories from various communities, she has developed an appreciation for slow, thoughtful acts of making as an act of self-preservation.
What if I wove a weaving a day for the rest of my life? How many artworks would I create? Would it be enough? Will it ever be enough?
On January 1st, 2023, I will embark on my next long form weaving project, one that is far more ambitious than anything I have done previously in my creative career and truthfully, in my life. I will create one woven drawing each day for an entire year. One woven artwork per day, for 365 days. This is my promise.
This new project is inspired by the immense creative and professional success of the 100 Day Weaving Challenge, which I completed last spring. The 100 Day Weaving Challenge was an incredible learning opportunity; I was able to create an entirely new body of work while pushing my practice forward in new and exciting ways. I developed a new personal style and visual language within my work. I explored material, pattern, texture, color and form in ways I had not done before, and I learned to work comfortably with a frame loom. I also let go of perfection, taking the woven drawings that didn’t go exactly to plan as new learning opportunities. The project was also humbling, I found that starting each day with the laborious and meticulous task of weaving to be both a soothing rhythmic ritual and a challenge in self-discipline and commitment.
Now, as I prepare to wake up each morning and create an original woven work for a year, I am excited to see how I can become even more intentional with the techniques I employ and the materials I use. I will be creating a visual diary through weaving - where the 100 Day Series was quite intuitive and improvisational, this will be intentional and reflective. I will also document my process through photography, video, and written word as a way of exploring each piece in more depth.