Amy Putansu
Handwoven textile, ondulé technique, screenprinted with dye
15.25H x 15.25W x 2D inches
Item #489-03

1 in stock


Ondulé is a rare technique requiring specialized tools and use of the weaving loom. Ondulé produces an undulating surface of curving threads, and the resultant cloth is further worked with dyes, paints, hand stitching, and net-knotting.

For this piece, Amy wove natural colored fabric using the technique, and the cloth was dyed after weaving. The imagery is the rushing, roiling ocean surface, silkscreen-printed onto the cloth using a discharge-dye technique. Gold leaf pen is used for highlights.


Waynesville, NC

TEXTILES | Technical weaving

Penland Affiliation | Penland instructor 2006, 2007, 2011, 2014, 1017

Artist Information | Studio artist and educator; education: BFA Rhode Island School of Design; teaching: Haywood Community College (NC), Penland School (NC), Eastern Carolina University (NC), Arrowmont School of Art and Craft (TN), John C. Campbell Folk School (NC), Maiwa School of Textiles (Vancouver BC), Peters Valley School of Craft (NJ); exhibitions: Blue Spiral Gallery (NC), Sager | Braudis Gallery (MO), Southern Highlands Craft Guild (NC); award and grants: Icelandic Textile Center Residency, NC Regional Artist Project grant, Haywood Community College Excellence in Teaching Award

Artist Bio | Amy Putansu (b. 1973) was born and raised in a coastal north Atlantic fishing village in Maine. Her family is deeply rooted in that region for many generations. Amy earned her BFA at Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. Permanent collections include the Renwick and the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou. Amy was a fellowship nominee for US Artists (2016) and American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship (2016). She has contributed to a technical
publication Ondulé Weaving: Creating Curves with a Fan Reed” (Schiffer, 2017).

Amy draws from the visual vocabulary of sea and shore, fishing, and navigating. Her first
exposure to fiber work as a child was her father knitting heads for lobster traps. Amy’s work examines the melancholic romance of the ocean and man’s relationship with it as a method of reconciling the largest of existential questions and exploring spirituality. The vastness and the power of the sea are essentially beyond human’s scope of control. Yet it presents us with elements crucial to life, sustenance, and even the origins of all living organisms.

The rare hand-weaving technique Amy uses is called ondulé, which produces an undulating, waving surface of curving threads. The ondulé weave is unique because, unlike the strict grid of typical woven interlacement, specialized tools, and equipment are used on the handloom to gently manipulate threads into a curving path throughout the textile. Amy has mastered this technique and is one of the few weavers that create ondulé and one of the only teachers on the subject. She finds that the nature of this cloth becomes the perfect substrate to express moods, ideas, or moments in time particularly related to water and the sea. Visual elements are informed by ocean-centric language and practices such as nautical charts, fishing tools, and navigational methods.