This Just In: Audrey Ducas of Audrey Weaves
Where do you draw inspiration from?
All of my weavings are improvised, guiding themselves as they go. They reflect a multitude of inspirations gathered from my years of traveling to different parts of the world. I’ve been exposed to various textile techniques and resources, from ethnic fabrics woven in far reaching places like Guatemala and the Philippines to modern, high-end textiles in Europe and America. I admire makers, methods and designs that are thoughtfully created and produced, and that humbly honor the lineage of makers they evolved from. I’m also influenced by abstract painting. Artists like Richard Diebenkorn, Nicolas de Stael and Milton Avery depict deeply poetic sceneries that are soothing yet powerfully moving. I love Paul Klee’s classical sophistication infused with his individuality and humor. I also draw inspiration from folk art and how it reflects tradition and community in a simple and unpretentious manner. Turning to nature, I’ve always been fascinated by the “Wild West.” This calling is so strong that it has kept me in the US, while my family is still in France. I’m in love with the American desert and its grandiose canyons, the juxtaposition of muted tones with bright skies, the textures of rock formations with their richly ribboned layers, and the rare vegetation that pops up as a little surprise of color. The American desert is a billion year old hypnotizing and slowly evolving work of art.
Where did your interest in your craft come from?
My parents were factory workers. They had hands-on jobs, which in my head means they were makers. My father was a welder and my mother worked in a candy factory and a boulangerie. We didn’t have a lot (by Western standards) and there was a strong sense of appreciation for anything material (furniture, clothes or food). I took great care of the few toys I had and was very deliberate with potential acquisitions. I filled in the gaps by creating; from drawing my dreams to making things (home decor goods, textiles, and jewelry). A lifelong obsession for color combinations and tactility quickly emerged as well as my awareness that textiles can powerfully affect your mood. When I found out in my teens you can make a career out of textile creation, I enrolled into a seven year classical textile training at a technical school in Paris. There, I mastered all the loom’s possibilities, strangely finding myself enjoying math for the first time in my life, calculating how yarns would cross based on their thickness, and experimenting with all the ways a fabric could feel and look.
How do you hope to make people feel when they see your art?
Unlike a painting, a weaving is inherently tight, tedious, and full of parameters. It’s inevitably square and mathematical. I love being a renegade and unexpected: mixing natural fibers and metal to create jewelry, looping yarns that travel down and up, up and down, and sometimes leaving the frame before landing back with the rest of the yarns (like a river meandering through a canyon). Or, surprising my muted palette with little explosion of bright colors. Even leaving parts of the weaving unwoven, defying all I’ve learned at school! I hope the rhythmic nature of the weaving, along with the soft colors, feels nurturing, and that my creative exploration with unlikely yarn detours, materials and applications induces a sense of playfulness.
What is on your playlist?
I’m an 80’s baby and sometimes it feels like I got stuck there: Madonna or Hall & Oates never fail to make me smile. I also love the music of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. It’s quirky and sensual with an appealing intensity. Snoop Dog, Drake, Beyoncé, Jay Z, 50 Cent and Lauryn Hill get me going. And I’m quite obsessed with Brazilian music. Dicro, Beth Carvalho, Caetano Veloso. It feels very grounding, cheerful and sexy. I also listen to podcasts, especially On Being with Krista Tippett and Tara Brach’s guided meditations. They remind me to stay open. Finally, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 often lands in my ears as a reset.
I’m often told I’m a bohemian. A primal, sensual kind of bohemian who is always on the go. I tend to follow my emotions, which are strong most of the time and serve as my impulses. My nature has guided me to travel around the world and explore ways of doing and thinking that are foreign to me. My strong emotions give me a deep sense of purpose. This is often challenging, but always rewarding.