In this episode of Art on the Island, Maureen Bader interviews Amy Robertson. Amy is well known on the island and has been here since 1998.
Amy weaves cedar bark but started weaving with willow, learning from Alaster Heseltine at Linnaea farm. Now Marlene Little is Amy’s mentor in Masset, and Amy has also studied with Joan Carrigan on Salt Spring Island. Although Amy has studied with other people, she says experience teaches us the most.
Amy studied fine art at Colorado College in Colorado Springs but came to Canada in 1986. She actually started out as a math major and finds weaving to be quite mathematical.
Listen as Amy discusses her style and how she works to improve. She has explored the full gamut of size in her cedar bark creations, from two-inch baskets for the Cortes Craft shop to her largest, a full sized person who she calls Manfred, at five feet, 10 inches tall. Listen as Amy describes how she wove Manfred. Manfred is on display at Herschel Supply Company in Gastown.
Amy talks about how she harvests cedar and processes it to create material ready for weaving. If you have a cedar tree coming down, let Amy know and she can harvest some of the bark for her work. This allows her to harvest much more (and not from live trees), which allows her to teach more as she is limited by how much material she has available.
Amy gives workshops here on the island, in Vancouver, Tofino, and through North Van Arts in North Vancouver. She is also teaching with Elizabeth Burr in May at Linnaea in a two-day workshop. Find out more about this on Tideline (look in the notice section).
Amy has a show in collaboration with other artists at the Schoolhouse Gallery this summer. You will be able to see how she wove Manfred in a video on the second Friday of the show. The group show happens during last two weekends of August.
Amy’s phone number is in the book and you can see her work at Amyrobertsonweaving.org. The Co-op is also a good place to leave messages for Amy.