Kate from HeyLoomCat will be part of Project Pop-Up, a one day market featuring 6 designers/makers in the Portland area. We stopped by her studio and immediately fell in love with her space. Only starting around a year ago, Kate has explored different shapes and even incorporated ceramics into her woven tapestries. You can check out her Instagram and see her in person at Project Pop-Up.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm Kate, the creator of LoomCat. I weave out of my home studio in southeast Portland, which I share with my plant babies and 2 cats, Athena and Posie. I am a proud homebody, perfectly happy spending my days off indoors. A year ago I started working from home, and living my dream life as a lazy cat lady.
What events led to creating HeyLoomCat?
I had quit my job of 3 years as a full time baker, which left my hands and my brain itching to do something creative. Over time that feeling turned into some pretty terrible anxiety, so I started exploring new creative outlets while I wasn't busy with work. After awhile, I bought a loom and taught myself to weave. I fell in love with how repetitive it and slow it was. My walls filled up with wall hangings in no time, so I created LoomCat to share them with others.
Where do you go to gather inspiration?
My work is hugely inspired by my favorite things around my own home: ceramics (especially speckled pottery!), plants, mid century modern designs, there are so many! My main goal when weaving is to make something simple yet whimsical that can bring cheeriness to any space. If I find myself in a creative rut, I'll usually walk to the plant store and come back feeling refreshed.
Current favorite piece in your home?
My current favorite piece is hanging right above my nightstand. It was the first fiber squiggle I ever made and will always be my favorite.
Who has been instrumental in your personal and creative growth? How so?
A lot of my creative growth has come from my alone time when it's just me and my loom (and my cats). I do feel incredibly lucky to be an artist in Portland. I'm surrounded by so many amazing makers and shops that support them, which gave me the confidence to say "hey, I can do this too!"
What issue(s) are you passionate about?
Mental health has been a constant struggle in my life but was never something I thought to speak out about until I started my weaving journey. Weaving has completely changed my life because of the way it helps me deal with anxiety. I really hope that by sharing the ups and down of my journey, someone out there might be inspired to pick up a hobby that will make them feel the way weaving makes me feel.
What are your next steps?
I would love to sell my work at Renegade or the night market. Otherwise my only plan is to keep weaving, turn my studio into a jungle, and maybe rescue more cats!