Sharon Ensminger's Profile

About

I began finger weaving after observing a woman weaving a long colorful sash on a PVC pipe hanging in a tree. I was captivated!
I knew I had found the connection to my Southeastern Native American heritage I had been longing to find. I have been finger weaving for many years now and my work has been taken to many parts of the world.

I finger weave belts, sashes, wall hangings, memorial sashes and custom orders. I like to weave with nylons, wools, wool blends, buffalo, alpaca, and other combinations of exotic yarns. I will also weave custom orders for regalia.
Long Hollow Leather worked with me on several prototypes to back my woven pieces in leather. Thanks to LHL, I have a unique and beautiful line of original finger…

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  • Female
  • Born on July 22
  • Joined November 3, 2008

Favorite materials

wool, wool blends, buffalo, exotic fibers, nylon, synthetic, leathers, glass beads

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S E E W O R K S

About

I began finger weaving after observing a woman weaving a long colorful sash on a PVC pipe hanging in a tree. I was captivated!
I knew I had found the connection to my Southeastern Native American heritage I had been longing to find. I have been finger weaving for many years now and my work has been taken to many parts of the world.

I finger weave belts, sashes, wall hangings, memorial sashes and custom orders. I like to weave with nylons, wools, wool blends, buffalo, alpaca, and other combinations of exotic yarns. I will also weave custom orders for regalia.
Long Hollow Leather worked with me on several prototypes to back my woven pieces in leather. Thanks to LHL, I have a unique and beautiful line of original finger woven instrument straps professionally backed in supple leathers.

HISTORY OF FINGER WEAVING IN AMERICA
Finger weaving is a rare and ancient weaving technique used by Southeastern Native American tribes in North America. It is also considered to be an art form that is in need of preservation.
The weaver will loop dangling threads over a stick and arrange them in color and pattern. In the world of weaving these vertical threads are known as "warp" threads.
Weaving begins when the weaver manipulates the warp threads by pushing them back and forth with their fingers. A warp thread is pulled horizontally through the others and sometimes interlocks with them. When warp threads are horizontal they are renamed "weft" threads. Weft threads will be returned to the warp as the next row is woven. This process of the weaver's fingers weaving the warp and weft threads and weft threads returning to the warp in a continuous recycling pattern is finger weaving.

My Disclaimer of Who I AM NOT and Who I Am:
I AM NOT federally recognized by state or nation as having any blood claim or written history to a Native American tribe. My grandmother said we are Irish, Native American, and African. DNA shows my blood line origins are 5% African, 15% Native American, and 80% European.
I am uniquely woven by the Creator..

By LAW:
I can say my work is Southeastern Native American Style finger weaving, and Cherokee style finger weaving. I'm saddened I cannot openly identify with the tribe my grandmother believed my ancestors were from, though my DNA markers would seem to confirm but only tell of my general North American indigenous roots, not a specific tribe. My tribal line identity is forced into unwritten silence, not because of fear or shame, but by Law.
My 15%, though small, is still MY link to MY ancestors and has been a driving force for finding a connection with my history. I do understand the need and purpose of the Law but wrestle with it's exclusions.
Through finger weaving, I have gained relationships and connection with my heritage that had been lost to me. I love the history, technique, the art of this rare craft, and work to preserve it.

There is a blood line that I AM 100% sure. Through this line I am born a second time having been engrafted and immersed and even given the Spirit of Truth. Nothing can separate me from it- from HIM. The very one who breathed life into my first earthly father after he was formed from the dust of the earth, has freely given me new life, by HIS blood. I am not mixed blood, my blood line is not illegitimate; I am pure blood and a full citizen in HIS tribe with full rights and benefits as a child born of it. I am second born of the Original Tribe, Creator’s tribe, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Yeshua Messiah. I am accepted, eternally loved, forgiven and live my life in mercy and grace… I am welcomed and I know who I am.

Thank you for your time and hope you enjoy shopping at seeworks.etsy.com
Most of all, I hope you see a relevance for this simple and beautiful finger weaving technique.
Sharon Ensminger
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