The story of Marianne Fairbanks weaves together a deep appreciation for the ancient art/technique of weaving with modern design and innovation and entrepreneurship. Marianne is a visual artist, designer, curator and Associate Professor of Design Studies at UW–Madison’s School of Human Ecology. She also is the inventor/patent holder of Hello! Loom, a handheld, laser cut loom.
In a new PBS Wisconsin/University Place talk Marianne describes how her love of weaving grew into a business idea.
“My entrepreneurship has been driven by my desire to extend my research with weaving into the public realm,” she says. “I want people throughout Wisconsin and the world to know more about weaving and Hello! Loom gives me the chance to distribute this technique far and wide.”
Marianne is also working with UW Extension to incorporate weaving into the 4-H curriculum around the state of Wisconsin and received a Baldwin grant to develop a prototype for this curriculum in the coming year. She also works with engineering and horticulture faculty to innovate textile-based solutions for a sustainable future.
Marianne’s talk premiered on PBS on Sept 28 and you can watch it online now.