It’s no small challenge to weave into words the properties of a scarf that’s been hand-dyed and hand-woven by Debbie Barrett-Jones of Billy Sue Textiles. One might turn to literary allusion, charting the transitional flow of multiple colors in each piece as a kind of Homerian epic, but this approach obscures the very real science behind the art. The name value of cashmere and tencel always loom, but the fact is, these primary materials of hers are only as remarkable as the hand that manipulates them. In the end, we find ourselves borrowing the words of the masters themselves, such as Michelangelo’s: “I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set her free.” This is the glorious tension of all art, really: to capture is to liberate, and vise versa.
Folks around Kansas City might know a little something about Barrett-Jones’ ability to unlock the potential in fabric, being that she’s been commissioned to weave numerous textile pieces for public display, but her scarves, available on Etsy, were and are a Joy to discover. Tabbed with delightfully unpretentious product names such as Turquoise in the Middle with Red, Brown to Navy, and Just Around the Corner with Red and Orange Baby or Me, this line of scarves is every bit as luxurious, practical, and wonderfully unique as the crisp colors of the photos suggest, and considering the intermingling of colors within each scarf, the element of versatility is obvious. After all, who wouldn’t want a scarf that adapts to the fashion whims of every woman? For a larger introduction to Debbie's extraordinary textile stylings, visit Billy Sue Textiles.