Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Art · A Life of Fiber
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A Life of Fiber

Insurance was a less than perfect fit for Marcia Koppa, who left her job when the urge to get creative struck her.

Al Parker - March 31st, 2014  


“About 15 years ago, I felt a real need to do something artistic,” said Koppa, who lives just outside of Grayling. “I tried sketching and found out I couldn’t sketch. So if I couldn’t sketch, how could I possibly paint?” Koppa turned to weaving, turning out hundreds of scarves, vibrant table runners and wall hangings. Using silk, cotton, rayon chenille or linen, Koppa spends many hours each week at her 42-inch wide custom red oak floor loom.

Weaving can be a solitary art, so Koppa keeps in touch with other artists through the AuSable-Manistee Fiber Arts Guild. About a dozen guild members meet every month to share ideas, and catch up on news and trends in weaving.

HOW I GOT STARTED

While traveling out east with a friend who weaves, the notion took root as we stayed with her mother, who also weaves. Plus we shopped at one of the larger weaving supply stores in the country so that must have ‘pushed me over the edge; so to speak. Eventually I took a class and that was it. I also went to The Sievers School of Fiber Arts in Washington Island, Wis. I mistakenly signed up for an advanced class and quickly learned I didn’t know what I was doing. So I took a beginning class and everything was fine after that.

THE STORY BEHIND MY ART, MY INSPIRATION

The planning can be fun. I’m a little more free form than those who strictly fol low a pattern. This winter I had a problem with a particular weave, but other than that everything usually goes smoothly.

I like the process of weaving as much as the results. There are so many variables in designing a piece, from type and size of yarn to the density, or sett, and the weave structure itself. Much of my inspiration comes from nature, traveling and even family photos.

WORK I’M MOST PROUD OF

Sharing my work with family and friends. There’s nothing like giving a piece of yourself to another person for them to appreciate and wear.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE

One of the biggest surprises for people, and myself in the beginning is how much time there is in getting the loom prepared before the actual weaving begins. It can take days to design on paper, wind the warp, the yarn that goes on the loom, wind the warp on to the loom and then thread it through and tie it on. The actual weaving step is usually the fastest and easiest part of the process.

MY FAVORITE ARTIST

No one artist in particular but those whose work is well-crafted, understated and speaks with simplicity.

ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS

Beginners should realize that weaving takes a bit of patience. There’s a lot to learn, a steep learning curve. But then play and enjoy the process. Be true to yourself and let the work speak to you.

MY WORK CAN BE SEEN/PURCHASED

I don’t display at a lot of galleries, contests or shows. I just like to play with my loom. Others enter competitions, but I just like to play. All of my work can be found in Grayling at the Main Branch Gallery or online at mainbranchgallery.com.

 
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