Fiber has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I learned to knit at age 5, and as a teenager began making my own clothes in colors such as teal and purple which my mother thought were outrageous. At one point, I flirted with macramé and basket making, neither of which took hold. I then began to make baby and wedding quilts for friends.
Later, I used a small settlement from a car accident to buy a secondhand loom. I started making and wearing handwoven clothing, and when people asked me where I got it, I realized that I might be able to sell what I made. I took samples of my work to craft galleries and boutiques and got several orders. What a surprise! Weaving was a great thing for me to do while also caring for a small child, and for two and half years I sold hundreds of pieces of handwoven clothing at high end craft shows and boutiques.
Eventually, practicalities took over. Since I was not able to figure out how to make (enough) money from my art, I had to focus on the non-artistic work for which I was trained and put my fiber art on the back burner. While working to pay the bills, I stoked my passion for fiber by sewing and making quilts in evenings and weekends. Initially, my quilts were traditional, but when I saw my first art quilts, I was hooked and started shifting direction. I struggled to find my own voice in this new realm.
To learn more and improve my skills, I began taking workshops from inspiring teachers such as Jan Myers-Newbury, Carol Soderlund, Elin Noble, Mary Taylor, Beatriz Grayson and Joan Schulze. In 2010, I took a shibori dyeing workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts that changed my life and the direction of my work. It inspired me to create my own fabrics from white or black cloth and to incorporate much larger pieces of fabric in my work than I had previously used.
Following this workshop, in addition to continuing with shibori dyeing, I began to experiment with other surface design techniques including printing, painting on fabric and paper, silk screening, snow dyeing, rust dyeing, and–more recently–botanical printing. I also started to include paper, interfacing, and spun bond polyester into some of my pieces.
Now retired, I am happily pursuing my lifelong fiber passion, finally able to devote time to my art work on a daily basis. My work continues to evolve as I experiment with combining materials and techniques.
SDA (Surface Design Association)