Carolina Jimenez

Artist and Creative Director at Caroline Z Hurley

Conducted by Jessie Mordine Young on March 27, 2021 at Brooklyn, New York, via Zoom

Carolina Jimenez in her home studio, April 4, 2021, Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Jessie Mordine Young.

Carolina Jimenez is a Mexican-American, Brooklyn-based textile artist and designer originally from San Diego, California. She is the Creative Director for the textile design company Caroline Z Hurley. Jimenez received her BA in Architecture from Syracuse University in 2014 and her MFA in 2018 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She makes naturally-dyed handwoven work, in the form of “woven paintings,” sculptural wall hangings, and garments. She describes her practice as “monuments—memory signifiers, vessels into which the past is poured, molded, or reshaped (woven, unraveled, or stretched).” Her work develops through a process of both free experimentation and careful planning. She weaves on a Macomber loom in her home studio.

In this interview, Jimenez discusses how she developed her art practice following her graduate school education and during the COVID-19 pandemic. She speaks about her interest in color, structure, and materials, and their interplay in her work. Jimenez shares her sources of inspiration and influences, including her own upbringing as well as painting, architecture, and quiltmaking. She also reflects upon textiles in multiple contexts, including dyeing, weaving, sewing, fashion design, garment making, and labor.

Jessie Mordine Young (JMY): I think the best way to start out is just by having you give an overview of your art practice and provide a basic elevator pitch.

Carolina Jimenez (CJ): I am Carolina Jimenez. I am a Mexican-American textile artist. I focus on weaving. My practice is really about—it's twofold: one that is more personal, and then one that is more about how I view textiles in the world. A word that I use often when discussing my work, is talking about monuments and textiles as monuments. Because I think that since we are surrounded by textiles in so many intimate ways throughout our daily lives, they often take this background role and they are more than that. And I feel, as someone who has been really interested in learning about the history of labor and the way that we value labor, that has been the reason that I love textiles. It’s just so connected to that history and generations of people and it has this rootedness in a lot of different cultures, the way that they understand and value textiles. So that's the one side which is really elevating and kind of using textiles to create this experience of monumentality and space and asks you to take a second look at what's already around you to really understand, “Oh, how was that made? So interesting, I can't believe this is actually the same thing as the article of clothing that I'm wearing.” And then the second is the more intimate part, which is that I use it as a way to revisit my own personal memories or to make those a bit more tangible to me. It is a practice of just seeing the world and being more aware of small moments that I see and trying to capture those for myself. I'm a very nostalgic person. So that's where I think that comes from. Right now, I'm really thinking about how I situate the textiles in a different world and starting to create more of a narrative or a story around what I'm doing. One that's not just connected to me, but also to other people.

JMY: That's great. If you could elaborate on your first experience with cloth as in, you know, if nostalgia is important to your practice, what was that first connection of the importance of cloth for you?

CJ: The first time that I really remember thinking about cloth being made is probably, well, when I was younger. Every other summer, my family would go to Mexico and we would spend a few weeks, usually two weeks in Chiapas with my mom's side of the family and then a week in Mexico City visiting my dad's side of the family who is there. We had spent nights in the city center or plaza with the rest of the little city, it felt like everyone was out there. We would take day trips a little bit outside of the city, which is Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where my mom is from. We would go out to San Cristobal de las Casas. So, they'd take us and, just as a weekend trip, we would go with our cousins and in the Plaza, there would be a lot of indigenous women weaving in the park. I don't know where exactly, or when exactly was the first time, but I know that's the first time that I really saw cloth being made and thought of it as, like, "Oh, this is something that people do." It comes from some place, and then, we would have the pillows made from that same backstrap woven cloth at home. It's funny, I think a lot of the textures that I remember from childhood at home are textiles. Whether that's this kind of ochre velvety or maybe it was corduroy couch that we had and the kind of, you know, fuzzy pile of the carpet in our first apartment or the linen closet that my mom would keep just stashes of linens, or my baby blanket that I tore to shreds basically—because it was on the top of my bed, but I kicked my legs around a lot, so it was just torn to shreds.

JMY: Yes, it is tactile memory, it is tactile sensibility.

CJ: Yeah, exactly, I know people say, smell is the one that is most easy to recall things, but I think second to that, I think for me, it is really the tactile.

JMY: Yeah, definitely. What about your first time actually physically making textiles?

CJ: The first time physically making textiles? I'm sure I did a weaving project when I was young, I think it was in third grade at school, but in the more formal way was my last semester at college, I took a class for weaving. And my sister at the time had been interested in weaving and had been making tapestry pieces on a frame loom at her house. And I thought that was really interesting, I wanted to learn how to do it. I had a free studio course and I signed up for weaving. I learned to thread the loom and you know, measure your warp and everything. The first time that I sat down at the loom. I had that feeling of like, “Oh, I've been missing this my whole life.” And I just kind of instinctively knew it was something that I wanted to come back to. Even though at the moment, it was just going to be that semester. And I didn't know when I would return to it, but it just felt so magical to create something. And again, I think it's just knowing that we're surrounded by cloth and I always liked clothing. It just gives the experience of, I am able to create this, and it's very empowering, I guess, to have that. Yeah.

JMY: Yeah, definitely. I do not think I knew that about you—I know we've had conversations in the past, but I don't think I realized that prior to going to RISD [Rhode Island School fo Design] you actually took a weaving class in undergrad.

CJ: Yeah, yeah. That's why—I mean I had taken it and then it didn't come out of nowhere that I decided to go to RISD. I bought a loom, I think, a year out of college. I was working here in the city at an architecture firm as a designer and really missed making with my hands because everything was digital. Some offices obviously make models and do that. But we were primarily digital and I missed the physical aspect. I was the person creating that final tangible object but with architecture there's an intermediary, you hand off a drawing and you're not the one building it, the contractors are. Jeff, my husband, he will stop me in the street and ask, “Can we see how this facade is going up? I really want to understand how this window is being put in” or, “How they're doing the flashing or weatherproofing.” I didn't care about those things and I felt really guilty that I didn't care. And I wanted to find something where all the little aspects of whatever I was doing, I was really interested in. And for me, that is textiles because I could be surrounded by all different kinds of yarns forever. I just think that they're so intrinsically beautiful and the material itself is just, I don't know—it lights me up and gets me really excited, so yeah.

JMY: But it seems that, with that, even though those buildings didn't “light you up,” structure is obviously inherent to weaving, but it is almost like your weaving is a part of this language of architecture through the way that you implement structure. You're still an architect in some ways.

CJ: Totally. Yeah, and I think the reason why is, we do think of weaving as being a plane. You just think of it as one material. And I mean, for good reason, most of the fabrics that are around us are usually a plain-woven cloth. They feel, they look as though it's just like a plane, but if you're really thinking about the interlacing and the space that you're creating, it is spatial. and at RISD, I was creating eight layers of cloth on the jacquard loom that you could cut open and it unfolds in different ways and walk around it and kind of a book you could move these pages around. And I was always really interested in how you could push the loom to do all of these different things. I had an internship in Providence which was called TEAM or Textiles Engineering and Manufacturing. And they were creating these thick bricks, maybe three inches thick bricks of kevlar, ceramic, fabrics that they would make on the loom and then bake or inject resin into and create these really thick things. But when I was there, I was working on creating this kind of shaped blade, that had thickness and it would thin out. And this is in the cross section, if you're looking at it, you know, from the loom, it would have a shape to it. So, at one point I thought that's probably more likely what I'll end up doing. I considered, "Oh, what if I worked for Nike and got into that really technical side of it?" And I think because my brain does work like that in many ways, and I find the puzzle of it really satisfying and enjoyable—but then that's like, I am kind of seduced by the really fine, or not even fine materials, but lustrous materials that it's difficult to think about losing those and just doing technical work.

JMY: When do you think that shift kind of happened in your practice? from more of this architectural, design, production realm to transitioning more to fine art or, you know, selective design, niche design or art.

Carolina Jimenez's loom in her home studio, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Mordine Young.

CJ: Yeah. I think probably just in the last year, I've only gotten comfortable with calling myself an artist in the past year. and I think part of that is working with a painter who then got into textiles, and being around her studio made me feel a lot more comfortable, like, “Oh, you do art. Like it's a practice, just like everything else.” I think I just gave myself a little bit more space to be honest with what I really wanted to do. Because I think that the reason that I went into architecture is because I thought, "Oh, this is something that I'm going to be great at because my brain works like this. I love math. I can figure those things out." And my dad's a math professor. So, there's definitely that layer of wanting to be like your family, you know, and make them proud in a certain way, but I know that I do make them proud. Now they're just happy to see me doing what I love to do, which I feel really thankful for. But yeah, it's been recent to just be like, "Okay, I'm not sure if this will be making money from it now, and hopefully I will be, but I just—I can't help but do it, you know, I think that's the thing. 

JMY: With that, as you've considered yourself more of an artist this year, how has your practice changed over the course of the year What and how are you seeing as thematic things? I know you talked about the monument, but if you want to talk about how you develop the series or the colors that you're using, the materials that you're using.

CJ: Yeah. Oh my gosh.

JMY: How has that evolved?

CJ: Yeah, so many things. The practice itself has changed just because I have been a lot more disciplined about it, and really wanting to carve out the time to do it. Then from there, it was just about exploring and not having the idea for what it's going to be, or for whatever the piece is going to be like at the beginning, but rather just finding it as I go along. Because when I first got out of school, I had this project that I wanted to develop, which is hand weaving fabric and making them into garments. I made samples of the fabric. Then I made the actual fabric, but I was really struggling because, it felt like plain labor, as if I was manufacturing this fabric, which I was, but there was no sense of discovery in it. I think that for me, my practice has to be about discovery and listening to what my materials are telling me to do next and kind of following them. Sometimes things will sit and I'll be like, “Oh, I don't like that.” As it comes off the loom, especially for the first more figural works, like shaped works. and then I would just sit with them and stare at them and treat them more like a sculpture going back in and cutting stuff, or binding them or pulling things closer or further apart. Cutting them completely in half to create two different pieces, like the one behind me. Then I just kept following that train of thought for these woven pieces, because I was really interested in how I was using the double cloth and the interchange that was happening there between the two colors. And then that was leading me to think—as someone who was trained in weaving, it's very interesting to me to see people from other disciplines using our medium, and again, kind of using it as this plane, which they cut or sew back together. But for the woven paintings that I've been developing, I really wanted to highlight the actual yarn and say, “This is what makes fabric!” and let that element kind of grow and be brought more to the forefront. So that's what I've been thinking about in terms of how it's situated in the discipline. And then for me personally, again, it's just memories and things that have been coming up over the course of the year. And sometimes I won't even know what the work is really about until after. But it is really led by color and material. I guess is there's anything else that you want me to elaborate on?

JMY: Yeah, well, it's interesting, because I feel like quilting is having a moment, as you know, but there is the way that most weavers work, there is not this piecing together process or quality to it. But I really admire quilting because of the fact that it feels very painterly, in that you're applying fabric to a structure and creating an applique. And as you work with a painter and she's working in quilting there's a connection there—it feels like these works do feel like quilts, in a sense: quilted paintings, but in its own unique singular way, it's not kind of in the trajectory that's already happening because of the medium that you're using, you're using a structure in a totally different way. You're not salvaging previously used cloth. You're using your own choice in threads and yarns and creating gaps and tightness. And this is a really interesting way to be commenting on quilting. 

CJ: Yeah, it is. I mean, this is something that, as you mentioned, Caroline's work—seeing it and seeing how—I don't want to put a value on speed or how slow something and how long it takes something to be made, but I was really inspired by how quickly she was able to make a piece, you know, just grab some things and put them together. Then you stretch it, and all of a sudden, almost like the act of stretching, it creates the painting. And I felt like weavers often put a lot of emphasis on labor and how much time something took to make as a way of assigning value. But I really missed making things in a way that felt faster and like you're responding to one thing. And then like making the next move based on the move that you just made, which I, you know, can do as you're weaving. And oftentimes you are just—you're creating layers. But when I was working on these, it did feel like I'm kind of creating something as I go, and cutting pieces off and pinning them to the wall and then saying like, “Okay, I need more of this.” Or I need actually these two colors to sit next to this thing. It did feel more like painting. At RISD we got to do a bit of painting. One of our first winter sessions was just about painting and you'd paint these large, three foot by seven foot paintings over two days. It was really fun. And one of my classmates said, “I feel like you're actually a painter. You've never done this before?!” I was like, “No, I've never, like, I never took a painting class in school or in high school. Or anything like that.” But it just felt very natural. And I actually really, really enjoyed that. I have a friend who did study painting in undergrad. She asked me, “Have you seen Joan Mitchell's work?” At that point, I hadn't heard of her, and I just fell in love with kind of the looseness and the gesture of it. It just feels really free. And so that's something that I really wanted to try to capture as well: very gestural movement.

JMY: I think also your consideration of color is rooted in that it seems, in that you are really either actually dyeing your own materials, right. Or the interlacing of threads creates new color and the way that you select those threads, it seems important to your work.

CJ: I definitely see the connection. But I don't know if you want me to talk a little bit about the material.

JMY: Yes, please.

CJ: So, with the woven areas of my pieces, I'm using stuff that I've actually dyed. I naturally dye it for various reasons. The first is that I love the colors and the life that the natural dye brings to the piece, but I also don't use any recipes, I don't measure. and it does feel almost like I'm mixing paint. It definitely has the palette that I gravitate towards. And one of those reasons is because the colors that I'm really drawn to, especially like the cochineal pinks, I feel a connection to just because of where they come from in the world. The cochineal pink has been used for, you know for years and years in painting and Mexican painting in a really purposeful way. Rufino Tamayo uses that color a lot. Frida Kahlo used that color a lot. Luis Barragán, in his architecture, used that color a lot. And actually, I think he is one of my major color inspirations. He captures the kind of environment of Mexico really well. And kind of a sense of, of light and luminosity really well. and I think that kind of like shifting, or like shimmering of light is something that I like to capture in the way that the threads are moving one into the other color. kind of like a blending or almost like a reflection of color onto a white surface. And so that's for the colors that I'm naturally dying. And then the materials that I use, a lot of cottons that are hand dyed in Oaxaca. Thanks to the wonderful world that we live in and having access to artisans through Instagram, I can see what my friend Elsa is dyeing with. And it's important for me to be able to support someone who is rooted in that place and preserving that kind of cultural knowledge. That is natural dyeing—I'm using it because I love the colors that it makes, but for her, I'm sure it means something different to have that passed down generation to generation. So, I want to be able to support her in that way. I do use conventionally dyed yarn. Because I also think that there's a nice juxtaposition between the variation that you get. It almost heightens the naturally dyed yarns by having it next to this one-tone color. I think that there's also something to be said with that.

San Cristóbal, 38 x 58 in., cotton, silk, linen, and natural dyes. Photo by Carolina Jimenez. Courtesy of Carolina Jimenez.

JMY: So, you're saying collaboration with others is nice, but also that question of time that you presented and that whole question of labor. And I think, there is an inherent association that weaving has to be intensively laborious in every step of the process, which it is. But then if you're naturally dyeing your warp and you're naturally dyeing and then you're also hand weaving it after you've threaded the loom. It's kind of, to what extent with each project, do you want to have to provide that amount of dedication or devotion to something? When of course it seems with that every week, there is an element of that that is important, but it's okay to also have less intimacy with the work because of the way that you are sourcing yarns.

CJ: It doesn't always have to be intense. And I also think that there's something nice about the limitations it places on you like the, from one batch to the next, the colors will shift or be slightly different depending on how long it was in the bath for, or, you know, like how hot the heat turned up and it might've changed or shifted the color. It really means that that piece is [one of a kind], it's not like fabric where you're going to be making many yards of it and maybe you could recreate it. The certain spots where there's a resist on it might show up in one place where on the next panel it would not be there. and I do love that part about it too. Having someone else dye it means that it's more of a surprise almost. I keep that kind of discovery that I was talking about. It keeps me engaged, not knowing what's going to happen next.

JMY: Definitely. You said that you initially were working on a series of garments, but it seems like you've come back to that over the pandemic. Can you talk a little bit about how you're making essentially art for the body as well?

CJ: Yeah. Now that I have woven, I guess I finished weaving those last year, right before the pandemic started. And they had been sitting for a while and I got back in touch with an acquaintance that I had from undergrad who studied fashion at Syracuse. Since she lived in my neighborhood, we could meet in the park or go for a walk. And I had been talking to her about this fabric that I had, and she was saying how much she really loves the fabric—“I've been wondering if you'd be interested in turning it into garments.” At first, I thought that I would be doing everything from start to finish, from dyeing it, to weaving it and cutting it and sewing it. But it felt, as you were saying, since time is so precious and there are so many other aspects of it, that she had the skill set that really served the pieces well. I wanted them to be really carefully made and beautifully made. We've been working together to create a few silhouettes, shirts and jackets. and yeah, I think I want to use that project and you know, we’re still in the middle of it, but I think a big part of that project is actually about describing the whole process and really letting people understand what goes into making a garment. I think that the actual art of it is the educational aspect, because I know that before I learned how to sew, I didn't know how long it would take me personally to make it a shirt. And then once you start to understand that it really gives you this different relationship to your clothes and to all sorts of different things. I think it's a matter of value and understanding and having that connection to what you're wearing. And I think like, to be able to not necessarily, I know it's going to be expensive. I know it's not for everyone. You know, most people can't afford it. I couldn't afford it unless I was making it myself, but I think that's why for me, the real part that I'm excited about is sharing what goes into making a garment. That happens at all different scales. Even what people say is fast fashion is someone like those are still handmade clothes. Someone is still cutting and sewing all of those things and so, we still do need to value and care for them. Maybe the companies shouldn't be making as many, but if we own it, then it's ours and we're responsible to care for them.

JMY: I think as you kind of point out the educational aspect, it seems that with the onset of living in a world where social media, so, you know, pervasive or prevalent, even just sharing, you know, the number of hours and also, demonstrating that this is something people can do. I think it is really inspiring. I myself feel that with Instagram and TikTok, it seems like there's an uptick in people exploring craft, making, and process, particularly during the pandemic. And even having that conversation where people are having a heightened sense of awareness of what goes into a weaver's practice, what goes into a fashion designer’s practice? It's so important because I don't think that necessarily was happening even five years ago to the same degree.

CJ: Yeah, I think that there's a heightened sense of appreciation that kind of happens, which I think really great. That discourse around it, I think is really important. I was like, “Why don't we have theory like in undergrad?” We had courses about architecture theory and not that you need theory necessarily, but I think it's a way of learning to describe what you do to other people and being able to describe to its value. I think that's something. another part of my practice that I have been really trying to think about is like, how I can fold in what I love about weaving, in a way that helps us situate it or creates a universe around it. That other people can be welcomed into it, so that's the next step.

JMY: When you're constructing fabric for either a cloth or a painting, is there a set of time that's just purely playing and experimenting, where you kind of allow yourself to see that interaction of threads. It was artists sometimes it's first go actually is, you know, something where that rarely happens. I feel, but still sometimes you look at something you're like, “Oh, I really like how this is going,” or sometimes it is that trial and error stage where it does take four or five kinds of runs or different color combinations. How does that work for you?

Woven work, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Mordine Young.

CJ: Color-wise? Color-wise usually things work out fairly well. I might have to leave some things overnight. But I think it really depends on the type of work that I'm doing. With the woven paintings, there is so much more flexibility that I put one more warp on and then I might put on another and say, actually, I need this other work as a third color to bring in, or I might for like the actually woven areas, make extras and then play around with them as you were saying, kind of more quilting and placing one and seeing how it fits next to another. and then with the more figural ones. That really just felt like it is a one off. The finishing of it or feeling like it was finished, came once it was off the loom. I definitely have more time when I'm sampling, and really figuring out what ends per inch or how many picks per inch is this going to be. Do I want to do stripes or do I want to do twill or do I want to do plain weave? Or do I want to do double weave? I mean, sometimes I'll weave something, then take it, cut it and or then rethread it that it's at a different width. I mean, there are so many variables to adjust. I think sometimes you just have to say, this is the one variable that I'm sticking with, I'll try changing these other things, but definitely.

JMY: Yeah. Is there anything that you're working on currently that you're excited about? You've done a couple of these woven paintings, but yeah.

CJ: Yeah. I'm really excited to go up in scale for these. I want to go eight by eight feet or ten by ten.

JMY: Wow.

CJ: I really want them to be super immersive. I want to try one that is made of these panels, but only two colors throughout the whole thing. So that's something that I'm really excited about. And then I have this collaborative project that I'm working on, which is, I'm adding my weavings onto a ceramic head. I guess I can really quickly, I'll just show you. [...] Can you see this?

JMY: Oh, wow. That is great and so fun—lovely. I am excited for you for this one.

CJ: Hopefully I'll finish that up soon, but it's not like, I mean, all things do it probably will inform something that I do later on down the line. But I think this is something I'm really excited to be focusing on, now the woven paintings and then I want to go back to the old ones and go up in scale with those so that they're maybe ten feet tall or something more of the width of a body.

JMY: So, you need to show in 2022!

CJ: That's the goal, honestly. I'm just going to keep making work until someone gives me a show.

JMY: That's great, I love that. I mean, that's all you can do really is just keep developing your practice and having fun with it and exploring and playing and work you're excited about.

CJ: Instagram is great. I think I do enjoy just making it for me, but I think part of it is also kind of about that storytelling part. So that's why it's nice that you don't need to have a gallery to share. You can share with people on Instagram and hope that it touches them or inspires them, you know, through that medium, then leads to more.

JMY: Where in New York City do you find inspiration? Or if there is any inspiration that you get from living in this city?

CJ: I mean, I love going to museums. I love going to the Noguchi Museum: it is my favorite museum. He is a master of his material, really embracing all the different aspects of stone. And even though that's not my material, I feel like I learn a lot every time I go, which is usually once a year. I get a lot of inspiration from other artists, people that I know, that I'm talking to. It's funny. It's funny that this year, that this would be a question, because I haven't been able to do anything in New York. Also, books, which I guess doesn't have to be New York, but that, and then, I guess just like relationships really. Because I think a lot of my work is about relationships and that aspect of my life. So, whatever I am learning somehow gets put into my work too.

JMY: What are some books? What are some books that you constantly find yourself going back to?

CJ: I love Sheila Hicks’s book Weaving as Metaphor.

JMY: That's a great one.

CJ: Another favorite is a book that's called Luis Barragán: His House and His Studio. That one's in Spanish, but I really love reading it and I love looking through the photos. I love my Gee's Bend one. I go back to that all the time. Let's see, which other ones are like a constant source? Joan Mitchell. I have a few books of hers and I have a new Helen Frankenthaler one, which I'm really loving. Yeah, those would be like the books, I guess it's like artists. I don't really read too much fiction. The last one I read was the Parable of the Sower. The last nonfiction one was actually a Joan Mitchell biography. I feel like I learned a lot about her in that one.

JMY: In terms of textile artists, because you mentioned Sheila Hicks is that who are some of the others that really inspire you?

CJ: I mean the Gee's Bend is cool. But besides that, I don't know. I don't look to other textile artists that often. I think I'm more interested in l sculptors or painters, painters really and maybe architects. I'm not sure why that is, but I think I don't want to influence myself too much with other people's textile work, but I get really inspired looking at how a different discipline does something. And then trying to understand how that can be, in some ways, like translated through textiles. I've been thinking a lot about Mark Rothko lately—about like those just large-scale color field paintings and the way that those impact the viewer. So that's something that I've been thinking about with these larger scale pieces that I'm working on is like, will that translate in a similar way? And if not, like, that's really interesting, but I want to see if I can get somewhere close. And is it doing something that's different and unique to textiles?

JMY: That makes sense. And then you're currently working at a really large scale or trying to scale up. But you’ve been making a lot of smaller works. Can you talk about this series of smaller pieces that you've been making?

CJ: So that has been an exploration really of color and material. Because I had this wonderful yarn and I wanted to spend some time kind of creating a color palette, because so much of what I think I'm interested in is the effect of color. After dyeing all of those yarns, I really wanted to use this silk on a smaller scale that would be faster and more like studies. I was inspired by Josef Albers and his studies of the squares and just thinking about those color relationships and what one change might do in a piece. For instance, with the little changes of the weft yarn up top at the bottom or in the middle -because that's a different type of yarn. That’s a way of studying color, really what I'm looking at with that series. Once I made those smaller pieces, I was thinking, I really love the interaction of that material. I have some of that yarn on the loom now, and I'm working at a little bit larger scale, kind of in the same way as, as those bigger ones. But since I'm waiting for yarn, I can't work on those yet. So yeah, really embracing the luminosity of that fiber and trying to celebrate it.

JMY: That's great. And then to connect it back to your education, can you talk about how or if this relates at all to your samples that you made during your time at RISD? What's the gratification, behind, I mean, why would someone be drawn to making and focusing on these smaller works. And then how does it relate to kind of your sampling process or practice at?

CJ: So, the reason why I enjoy making something quicker and [at this scale is] I have a bit more control over changing all the different aspects of the weaving instead of committing to putting a lot of yarn on the loom. So that is similar to the sampling process at RISD where you're really exploring different things and your samples turn out completely differently under that same kind of guidelines that are set up. But it is actually funny. Like it's something that you still can't do from the samples because they create such a—they're like fully finished little things. I feel that they could be even more like an object than just a sample, and because it's cut, you kind of can consider it being this larger amount.

JMY: And then in terms of record, such as recording or archiving or note-taking, do you have systems that you kind of rely on to keep records of either process or projects for like finished things.

CJ: Yes. I photograph and have an archive on my computer, recording the materials, the dimensions, titles, year. And then I keep notes in a journal, like for sketches and thoughts and sometimes even material samples in there. That's a main way of seeing different things that I want to get back to or have an idea for. And the other thing is that, I'm always like taking photos and thinking about how Instagram is like a source of record keeping for me too. Which is for me, but also, you know, for others to get a peek inside of what I'm doing. I have a lot of photos on my phone to scroll through and I like having the work up so I can always see it so I can, it will trigger other ideas of what I want to do.

JMY: Well, thank you so much for your time. I would love to get together soon. I am fully vaccinated. So, when you are, I would love to get a coffee.

CJ: Yes, that would be great!
Jimenez in her home studio, April 4, 2021, Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Jessie Mordine Young.
Detail of woven work by Carolina Jimenez, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
Detail of woven work by Carolina Jimenez, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
Detail of woven work by Carolina Jimenez, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
San Cristóbal, 38"x 58", cotton, silk, linen, and natural dyes. Photo by ???
Bajo la Jacaranda, 47"x 36", cotton, silk, linen, and natural dyes. Photo by ???
Sample wall in Carolina Jimenez's home studio, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
Carolina Jimenez's loom in her home studio, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
CJ test
Carolina Jimenez's loom in her home studio, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Young.
Woven work, April 2021. Photo by Jessie Mordine Young.