Anaphase Overshot

Maddie Olsen, Fibers 23′

Project Overview

This project was an investigation into the conceptual and technical Venn diagram of biofabrication and weaving practices. When presented with new, much higher technical programming than I am used to as a fiber artist who works mainly with the slow practices of hand craft, I wanted to figure out how these two seemly disparate methods of making could be in conversation with each other. The literal microscopic imagery of mitosis, in particular the stage of anaphase, reminded me of the exponential, organic, repeat patterning of overshot weaving. In the process of drafting, these designs become exponentially grown as a repeat, not unlike the multiplicity of cell division. By physically layering two varying visual representations of cell division, this piece draws connection between the microscopic and macroscopic acts of exponential growth that are happening all around us.


I designed one unit of a repeating pattern that was referencing both mitosis and overshot patterning. Then, using an online weaving program I developed a draft that could be woven on an 8-harness floor loom. After creating a draft for my cloth, I used a digital fabrication program to create a print of the draft, grown with actual cells that magnify their own biological function. Cross referencing my weaving math and the program I was using to create my print, I was able to make the print and the woven pattern have the same dimensions, so that a seamless overlay could be displayed in their final presentation. This involved sampling various weft materials to make sure length of the repeat would match as well and the width, which could be calculated before weaving.