John Gunther, Fiber Artist, creates abstract to representational works with hand-dyed New Zealand wool and Scandinavian warp surface design weaving or with hand-painted, hand-woven aluminum.
I have been a weaver/woodworker for nearly 45 years. With the gift of a loom while in college at Michigan State University, I started to learn and understand the diverse uses for woven fabrics mixed with other materials especially woods and metals. Graduating in 1972 with a degree in Arts and Letters, I moved briefly to the Mountains of NW Wyoming and from there to the Mountains of Southern Appalachians. I lived with some friends and worked on being self sufficient, raising our food. I focused on functional weaving, making woven shelving, lighting, floor coverings and wearable clothing, selling this work at local, regional and national art and craft shows through the 80’s. In the 90’s I started to dye New Zealand Merino wool in a painted style before weaving it into landscapes of water, land and sky. Moving from functional to artistic opened up my use of aluminum sheeting as a woven medium to express my creative and artistic directions.
To create these pieces I first hand prime two equal sized sheets of aluminum (.010″ thick) with a heavy metal primer that can be applied to create underlying texture and create a durable base to apply the color and texture paints making up the visual surface of the finished work. The two sheets are painted all by hand in a similar but not exact image. This allows the weaving process to create a unique and one of a kind result. I then fabricate various styles of framing from flat to curved, glue mounting the woven aluminum fabric to these frames and securing the edges with matching hand painted aluminum tape. From the landscapes and vistas of Lake Michigan to the Mountains of Wyoming and the Appalachians these experiences combined with the skills and intuitions given to me through my wood worker/engineer father, have provided me with a life path of pleasure and accomplishment.