TEXTILE can be a confusing label for a piece of artwork. It truly is an umbrella term which encompasses a wide range of work from quilts to weavings, from fashion to tapestries. Each of these categories of textile is identified by the manner in which the cloth and/or fiber is assembled (e.g., sewn, woven, or quilted). When I started work with textiles,I was drawn to the texture, ‘hand’ of cloth. I worked with cloth I sourced from stores, scrap, or vintage collections. My interest was to use it to assemble visually interesting compositions.
Most often these compositions also had a thread of narrative at their core.
The more I worked, the more I encountered a variety of fabrics, the more I came to appreciate the role pattern and color played as I assembled my compositions.
My stash of acquired fabric grew. My facility with needle and thread increased. All was good. Then one day I watched a demonstration of cloth dying and a new door opened for me, I was entering the world of surface design, yet another sub-category that falls within the rubric of textile. The hallmark of surface design is the manipulation of the surface of cloth through the application of techniques and substances to create a unique textile.
My facination with the process led, to the first of several workshops to learn
to dye cloth. I learned to prepare carefully the dye concentrates and then begin the magic of turning white cloth to any and every hue. Initially I was limited by my lack of experience and expertise in managing the dying process. As someone once said, “practice makes perfect.” Well, in my case, ‘practice has made good enough!” It was a heady experience to create my own rainbow stash of fabric. From early efforts with muslin and cotton sheeting, I progressed to working with embossed and textured cotton,linen, wool, velvet and silk. Each particular fabric takes the dye in its own way and each has its own particular texture. More learning,hs led to more variety with which to work. In the time to follow I have learned to use the dyes to paint and screenprint my fabrics adding pattern to the elements of color and texture. The cloth that emerges from my wet (dye) studio has become the primary inspiration for my current work which are featured in the exhibit, DREAMING IN COLOR. The use of surface design techniques leads my work to be process driven. This encourages experimentation and sponteneity in my working and results in a liveliness and sense of organic movement in the resulting works. I hope you will visit the exhibit and consider the many steps that have resulted in the works you see.
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