I begin my creative process by capturing photographs of the world around me and then import them onto my computer. I use Photoshop to edit and enhance the image. Once I am satisfied with the design, I allocate weave structures to it and transform this information to the computer assisted Jacquard loom. The loom chooses the sequence of warp (vertical) threads according to my programming but the actual weaving is done by hand. Image and structure are, thus, locked together and the relationship of the two affects the overall content of the finished piece.
My current work is woven only in black and white, with cotton warp threads and thin Korean paper weft threads. Inspired by my earlier interest in painting I now add colour after the weaving process with acrylic paint and soft pastels that are then bound to the fibres with fixative. This after treatment gives a softer and more poetic view of the image.
Technology has transformed art and textile is no exception. Using a machine does not mean the artist simply pushes a button and the finished product appears. Computer–aided weaving, for example, is a labour-intensive, highly skilled process. The artist still needs to know how to weave: preparing a warp, dyeing and organizing fibres for the weft, and deciding on structures is essential. In addition, she has to learn Photoshop, the loom’s unique technology, and must refine all the elements into what is best for the particular image she wants to present.
— Bettina Matzkuhn