Ellen Ramsey
Contemporary Tapestry

About Me

I am a Seattle artist who works in the medium of hand woven tapestry. Tapestry weaving has been my primary form of expression for twenty years and I have exhibited my work both nationally and internationally.  I am a juried member of Northwest Designer Craftsmen and Tapestry Artists of Puget Sound.

 You can view my CV here.

You can view a video about my practice here.

Artists Statement

My current tapestries explore digital culture and the shared visual languages of weaving and circuit boards. Textiles and computers have a historic connection as both rely on a binary systems. The intersection of warp and weft is the pixel manifest in cloth. 

Tapestry weaving is an ancient artistic medium that imbues two-dimensional imagery with tactility and permanence. By taking the characteristic lines and shapes of micro chips, layering them with narratives of the internet, and rendering the result as large-scale textiles, my weavings reflect upon technology’s humanity and outsized impact on our lives.

Making tapestry is continually engaging, involving constant decision making and an element of risk - risk, because one cannot go back and fix a design or a color choice once that area has been woven over. Also, because the work gets rolled under the beam of the loom as I go,  I never see the entire tapestry until it is completely finished. Every tapestry is a bit of a surprise in the end, and always, a satisfying achievement.

About Tapestry

The word “tapestry” gets applied to many forms of fiber art for the wall, but by definition the term refers to a specific weaving technique used to create imagery in cloth. The warp threads run vertically and form the armature for the weft threads. The image is created by the weft, built by hand, line by line, in discontinuous shapes from the bottom up – a separate group of threads for each color. It is the only form of weaving that has never been mechanized. It is a very old practice and there are many different tapestry traditions in the world. The tradition that I was taught was perfected in Europe in the late middle ages, when large workshops wove elaborate, mural sized tapestries to adorn castles, palaces, and churches. In the USA and Canada, contemporary tapestry is produced by individual artist weavers like myself, on a much smaller scale. So, what's in your castle?

Using Format