Louisville Magazine

JUN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 6.19 35 gerbil, Dave. The room's focal point is the large bay window with dozens of crystals and other meditative emblems on the sill. Tanner calls this her "altar," and her hus- band calls it her "hippie stuff." Above it is a tobacco lath ladder covered in a mass of macramé weavings, the long, unwoven ends dropping down below. "I don't really know what you'd technical- ly call what I do," says Tanner, 41, her bright purple hair almost fluorescent. "I guess we'll call it fiber art. I just take fibers and weave them into different places." Tanner, who is also a poet, says her pieces are po- ems she can't verbalize. "Sometimes there are poems that go along with them if I can get the poem out, but most of them stand alone," she says. Her weavings are informed by the struc- tures that highlight them, like the metal crawfish trap suspended from the ceiling with pastel roving (a puffy, unspun yarn) woven heavy at the bottom, or the framed winding chicken wire with ivory roving woven in and out of the tiny holes. "I'm obsessed with giving something new life, especially in this world where we throw ev- erything away," says Tanner, who finds old pieces at places like Tickled Pink Memora- bilia Mall in south Louisville and sometimes even in the garbage. "Going to antique stores is like going to my own personal museum. I like to take things out and make them do things they weren't supposed to do," she says. She once used an old oven rack as the base for a piece. Tanner works part-time with Louis- ville Youth Group (providing services to LGBTQ youth) and is in her studio at least twice a week, working on projects that can take anywhere from a day to an entire year. She sells some of her pieces online, at local pop-up markets like the Flea Off Market, and at local businesses like Block Party Handmade Boutique. Nearly three years ago, Tanner shut down her photography business on a whim. "I was going through a period of pretty significant depression and anxiety and was just really out of sorts," she says. "The only way I could really focus was by doing some- thing with my hands." She found a weaving tutorial online and made "like a thousand" standard weavings to learn the process — but she quickly set the rulebook aside. "I don't want to make the typical weavings you see on Pinterest or whatever," Tanner says. "I want to flesh it out more. I want to make it bigger, stronger — and I want them to have more teeth. "Anything can be fiber. I've deconstruct- ed a bath towel, pulling it apart to make it look like mesh," she says. She says she was beholden to following the rules as a kid, but now: "Rules are stifling to me." — Katie Molck

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