With a weaving gameplan that runs in the opposite direction of rigid rules, this creative lives for the thrills.
Behold the rare specimen, like a gleaming Pegasus in the pink glow of a red moon, who loves her day job and her creative pursuit equally. This mythical creature is Nikita Sheth communications manager at an architectural firm by day and free-form weaver by night. Sheth stumbled into her calming pastime three years ago, while browsing Etsy. “I was going through a bit of a rough time and wanted something creative and positive to focus my energy on. I was browsing and a frame loom popped up on the ‘suggested items’ list. I had no idea what a loom was but for some reason added it to my basket and bought it.” With loom in hand she looked to YouTube and other weavers online for tips. “Weaving immediately just felt so natural and familiar – my ancestors are from Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India, which is, historically, the epicentre of all Indian textiles. I often wonder whether I was a weaver in a past life...”
To start a weaving session, Sheth cranks Ravi Shankar. “His ragas stir my soul, open my mind and completely relax me. I like the way he improvised, it aligns with my method of weaving.” A method that doesn’t involve sketching ideas, agonising over a plan, or even picking out colours. This fluidity is echoed in the finished pieces, they have a sense of harmony without being scripted or forced. That’s not to say there haven’t been some that have missed the mark. “Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, they can be complete fails... but that is a natural part of it.”
For Sheth, weaving is a meditative process. “I can’t be typing, watching TV or reading. I need to be completely present. The world outside disappears and my mind slows down. It is completely immersive. It is the process of weaving that I truly love. I love the rhythmic repetition. I love the tactile nature and I love the way the weaving connects me to my ancestral roots.” She also enjoys the artistic freedom and is fearless with experimenting, recently weaving cassette tape and AV cords together for a DJ friend. Sheth brings positivity to all she does, from her job, to the soccer field, to volunteering as a cook at a soup kitchen for the less fortunate. And of course weaving. What excites her most? “Yarn, yarn and more yarn. A girl can never have too much, although my stash is getting out of control. I’ve made friends with all the Indian grandmothers, just so I can get their ‘leftovers’.”
See more at bynikitasheth.com.