Sylvie Boyer is a weaver with an unassuming workshop down a quaint side street in the Lot Valley (Penne d’Agenais), France. She has spent many years as a successful weaver. Within the her weaving life, her trajectory was forever changed by a craft exchange with a weaver from Mali, over 20 years ago.
The weavers had the chance to try out each other’s looms, and as Sylvie puts it, “I was at once taken under the spell of the Dogon loom. Luckily for me, I was able to trade my own loom for a Dogon loom right then and there. For eight years after that, I kept it on display, as though it was in a museum. Can you imagine? Only a stack of major life changes got me to rethink the Dogon’s place. I decided to take it off the pedestal and give it a try again. We instantly fell back in love with each other!”
During that time, she worked with a group of friends to develop an exhibition titled “Three Views of Africa.” This gave her the opportunity to pursue weaving on the Dogon loom even further. Sylvie says, “It seemed like serendipity, but I know it was fate. With the work I did for this show, I weaved my own story and my family history at the same time. I took up with my African roots, both symbolically and tangibly.”
What materials does Sylvie use? The base of the band is often cotton or mixed cotton/acrylic for the warp and cotton or fine wool for the weft. But that is only the beginning. That’s where Sylvie starts to add the textures and treasures that make her work so special.
“I choose materials according to the people I meet. I know many creative craftsmen of many practices and their materials inspire me. I shape my textures and items in clay, metal, and wood, which transform in terra-cotta; I cut, engrave, burn, according to my inspiration. My work speaks about meetings, about separations, about life and about the journey of people who have died.”
“There is no research for the beautiful, just a quest for sense.” ~Sylvie Boyer
Learn more about Sylvie Boyer and her work on her website.