Bonnie Tarses is a textile designer specializing in one-of-a-kind and custom handwoven textiles since 1960. From the time she began her weaving journey, she was drawn to the color symbolism in all ethnic textiles. “I continue to be amazed by the fact that weavers of old attached special meaning to the placement of every thread.” In search of a set of personal symbols, Bonnie developed several techniques that have become her trademarks—Color Horoscope Weaving, Woven Words, and Turned-Weft Ikat (a twist on a traditional theme).
Originally from the East Coast, Bonnie first learned her craft at Rhode Island School of Design. She later moved to Montana where she had a brief stint as a weaving shop owner. In 1980, Bonnie settled in Seattle where she operated her colorful weaving studio until 2010 when she returned to Missoula, Montana.
Bonnie specializes in private commissions—working closely with the client to co-create a unique fabric which reflects the spirit of the individual. Since 1993, Bonnie has been teaching workshops and presenting lectures to numerous fiber organizations throughout the US and Canada.
Her art is a meditative practice. Thread by thread Bonnie works to help create a world filled with balance, harmony and beauty. Each of her pieces is a bridge between the weaving of the ancients, and those of weavers yet to come.
About her decision to become a professional weaver, Bonnie writes, “I wove for about 20 years before I decided to try and make a living at it. Why did I wait so long to jump in? I think I always knew I didn’t want to be or couldn’t be a production weaver. I suspected I would burn out, wreck my back, get carpal tunnel, lose the passion, and move further away from the sheer magic of weaving. I feared one day I would no longer be able to hear the echoes of the ancient weavers. Although it is often questionable as to whether I actually make a living from weaving, (metaphorically speaking) the Weaving Goddess communicates with me on a regular basis.”
To wear a Bonnie Tarses woven creation is to display a distinctive work of art.