Maine Craft Portland is proud to highlight two dynamic emerging artists and their earth conscious work! Wharf Warp are Jeanine O’brien, Tim Barthelman and 10 tons of reclaimed lobster rope in their back yard! They are a husband and wife team on a mission to create something out of a material that would otherwise add to our current pollution crisis.
Maine is known for its rocky coastline, maritime history and LOBSTER. Jeanine and Tim gather unwanted warp from wharves along the coast. The warp is sorted, cleaned and woven into wreaths, mats, rugs, and pet products in their Freeport, Maine barn.
What is WharfWarp? A Wharf is a structure projecting into a harbor so that vessels may moor alongside to receive and discharge cargo. Warp is a series of threads on a loom over and under which other threads are passed…i.e. rope. Another rope term used in the lobstering industry is pot warp. Pots are the traps used to catch lobsters. The pot warp connects the buoys on the surface to the traps on the ocean bottom.
The fishing industry is prominent in our seafaring state. Stacks of lobster traps and piles of rope are common sights along the coast of Maine with lobstermen using thousands of feet of warp to secure and pull traps. After years of work in the Maine waters the warp loses its strength and usefulness. When old fishing gear is no longer functional it can end up littering wharves, filling dumpsters and entangling sea life. Jeanine and Tim help divert this material from an unfitting end and use it to create treasures.
Maine Craft Portland now carries these wonderful creations in dog leashes, wreath trivets and throw rugs woven in variations of the traditional ‘Turks Head Knotting’. We are also fortunate to carry their newest design ‘9 foot long warp garland’ that is flying off the shelves at just $25. each!
Wharf Warp is a great representation of teamwork, ingenuity, strong design, craft and conscious current thinking for textiles today.
Maine Craft Portland Manager