Weaving today is allied to the arts. In the past, weavers have been classed as artisans, more of a craftsperson or mechanic. Elaine Duncan is an exception in that her training and product prove out.
After working for many years on multi-harness looms, Elaine is currently choosing up-right, two harness tapestry looms as her choice of expression.
Originally unintentional, but now a resolve, a portrait, her trademark, is emerging in the subtleness of colour almost emotionally felt before actually seen. There is a special continuity developing, a certain range of colour that is her image in life and in fabric.
Elaine obtained Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in textiles at Oregon State University. Raised in Nanaimo, she moved to Nanoose in 1975 and began the Nanooose Weavers Guild. The members meet monthly and have been awarded various honors for their work.
Elaine has been weaving since 1969 and has taught weaving since 1975. She had a weaving studio at The Old Schoolhouse Gallery and Art Centre in Qualicum Beach, B.C. where she became acquainted with wood carver, Francois Mongeau. They began collaborating on wall sculptures combining weaving and wood. The mural in the Qualicum Beach Civic Center is an example of their combined efforts.
For the past 20 years, Elaine has been intriqued with tapestry weaving. She has studied with Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie in Mexico and the United States, as well as with Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffei in Canada and the United States. Other teachers have included: Barbara Heller, Sarah Swett, James Koehler, Grete Bodegard, Lynne Curran, and most recently, Joan Baxter.
Small format tapestry exchanges and postcards have been projects she has worked on with many people around the world. These include: From Vamps to Visage; Finding Home; Doors, Windows and Gates.
Currently she weaves from her home/studio in Mexico, plays with natural dyes and travels as much as possible.