Fiber = Art
Commonwheel Artists Co-op curator for Fiber = Art
When I proposed the concept for this show to Liz Kettle and Susan Haldeman at Textiles West I was thrilled that they were as excited about the idea as I was. Liz’s “stitch meditation” series was part of the inspire for this event.
I’ve been working in fiber since childhood. I was raised by a mother who knits and sews and that modeled for me the beauty and utilitarianism of the art form. I worked in the theater costume shop in college and set up my own sewing room once out of college, designing my own wardrobe.
I started working in glass mosaics in 2001 and put fiber to the side.
But in the past decade the non-functional uses for fiber work have become more important to me than making things to be worn on the body. I started with working in alternative fibers, such as video tape and audio cassette tape. Since they were too stiff to be comfortably worn I started yarn bombing with them and created a few larger installation pieces—the first of which is still on my gate.
My pieces for this show incorporate collaged Styrofoam and ping pong balls and covered them in decorative crochet. I’ve taken groupings of these and assembled them into mobiles—a new art form for me!
I hope you enjoy seeing the work we’ve assembled for this show as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. The range of talents and fiber art styles we’ve drawn is astounding.
I have always been in love with fiber and color, in all forms. Throughout my artistic career I have experimented with fiber in many forms. My journey began in the quilting world making a blanket for my oldest child before she was born, 17 years ago. I soon began to play with fabric and thread like they were paints. Once we moved to Colorado I explored patterned pen and ink drawing and started on my journey of converting my drawings into fiber art pieces. Once in Colorado I had time to pursue my fiber arts business through raising a fiber flock that includes angora goats, angora rabbit, and sheep. In addition to my art quilts I spend time hand-dying my hand-spun art yarn, weaving, and making silk sculptures.
My pieces often come from images from my dreams. I have yet to be able to fully capture what I see in my dreams, which provides many opportunities to capture my imagination. Both "Bridge of Dreams" and "Daphne" are sketches that came about, in the middle the night, after waking from a dream. Very rarely do I have an intent when I begin to sketch. It’s almost like my subconscious is drawing. As I am working and sometimes not till I’m finished, meaning begins to take form. My hope is that working in this manner gives my work a sense of organic mysticism and spirituality that can speak to many on an individual sense.
“Daphne” is a perfect example of the evolutionary qualities of my artistic process.
I have always been interested in art. During high school and college I attended art classes, but my degree and business career was in something totally different. I used art as a way to relax, but my career took me away from it. It was my husband who encouraged me to get back to it.
I started in fiber art around 2004 or so. Essentially, I started creating my art using fabrics and stitching. Then I discovered that using pigments opened my creative potential to a new dimension. Every time I create a piece I experiment more and learn more. I call my technique “Pigment Patchwork”.
I love the challenge of capturing the spirit of my subjects in my artwork. As I work on a project each piece seems to take on a life of its own, developing through the entire process.
I love watching people look at my work, seeing them examine the piece to try to determine what exactly it is; a photograph, a painting? Then, when they realize that it consists of fabric with stitching it requires a closer look and the need for a tactile confirmation becomes stronger.
I love experimenting with pigments on fabric. In this series, called “The Eyes Have It”, my work zooms in to get a closer look at my subjects, including their eyes. For this piece I wanted the texture to come through as well.
This piece was created using my Pigment Patchwork technique. Once I decided on my subject matter, using photographs as inspiration, I sketched the chameleon onto a large piece of silk noil fabric. Using water-soluble pigments I created the texture of his skin. Once completed, I chose the background fabric and mounted him onto it. Using a sewing machine, I added stitching for dimension on my sandwiched structure, using mono-filament threads so the colors would show through. The finished product was then mounted onto a wood panel.
I love catching people’s attention with the detail and reality of my pieces. I want them to come closer to see the detail.
My artist web site is: www.RhondaDenney.com. I also have items including limited edition prints and notecards of my work at my home studio and the following Galleries:
Strictly Guffey, Guffey, CO
3rd Street Gallery, Westcliffe, CO
M. Lynette Holmes
My fascination with and love of fabric began in my childhood. It was very exciting to choose fabric for my school clothes from the catalogs. I remember the smell of the paint as my mother stenciled on tablecloths. Occasionally, I would get a peek at the Japanese doll wrapped in tissue taken out of a special drawer and wonder about the mystique surrounding it. This was the beginning of my interest in making cloth, dyeing cloth, Asian art and working as a fiber artist.
I have been weaving and dyeing cloth for many years and presently concentrating on art quilts using surface design.
Art for me is problem solving, challenging, and at the same time joyful!
In this show, all of my works use collage, layering of fabrics, and to different degrees, hand-stitching. The stitching process helped me focus during a time of transition when time and access to materials and my sewing machine were scarce. In “Under the Sun” a forest is hand-stitched onto three layers of silk cloth. The hand stitching in the three smallest pieces manipulates the cloth creating texture and movement. The colors contribute to a universal theme of flowing water and is calming.
My favorite piece is “Voyage” because I like the variety of processes I used. It is dynamic with strong color and movement. I like the spiraling and color transition from dark to light. It expresses my thought that each person is on her/his own adventure in life whether purposeful or unknown.
The process for Voyage :
I began by machine-stitching fabrics arranged by color onto a base fabric. I started with an abstract design and did hand stitching to define some forms. Fabric paint was brushed on in areas where fabric shapes were too sharp. Large sheer fabrics were fused to create movement. Smaller forms were painted with paint sticks onto sheers, then fused and machine sewn. In this instance, the original abstract design disappeared and another vision took its place. From this point on, I viewed it as a whole piece and determined what needed to be added or changed. I painted a large circular line which completes the spiraling. Then, I tweaked it by adding shapes, fabrics, stamping and painting. I machine stitched the whole cloth and added a binding to finish.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Home phone 710-696-8336
Cell phone 904-557-1187
I'm originally from Texas. Both of my grandmothers had a love for the fiber arts (though they were geared more towards clothing and stuffed animals), so I became interested, too. I was drawn towards simple embroidery because it was easy to reproduce my pencil sketches in thread. I have been sewing since I was about 8 years old. I was never terribly proficient at it, but I always found joy in stitching on cloth. I started seriously doing embroidery on canvas in 2012. I had just graduated college, and I needed a creative outlet while transitioning from a student to the real world. Ever since, I have been honing my craft. My primary medium is fabric and stitching on canvas, though I dabble in nupastel on canvas as well. I focus on mostly natural and scientific themes.
Making art for me is creating a moment of time away from the regular rhythm of life. MY aim is to make a piece that will draw the viewer into a brief period of time where they can just follow the lines and feel the tone of the piece instead of the regular buzz of everything around them.
I am primarily a fiber artist, so entering the show was an opportunity to further demonstrate to the community an often overlooked medium. There aren't many fiber art shows out there that focus on non-functional fiber art, and it’s an honor to be a part of one.
I derive my inspiration from science and nature, and crinoids is an example of both. I was in the Houston Museum of Natural Science when I saw this massive, beautiful Crinoid fossil on the wall. I felt an instant desire to capture it in embroidery. When I was able to afford the largest canvas I could fit in my car, I got to work. I started with a base layer of natural earth paints to capture the feeling of the rock. I then chose a glittering gold thread so the piece would pop. The embroidery took me around a month and a half, finding time between work and other obligations. I sewed the whole thing free hand, staring at the picture of the fossil, then trying to imitate the ancient creature on canvas. When I was finished, the piece was massive and I was full of pin pricks from my needle, but well worth it.
I want the viewer to see the subject as intimately as I did. Whether it is the feeling of seeing a magpie for the first time, or the awe of seeing a towering fossil, I want to convey that same fascinations and wonder.
My favorite piece is “Crinoids”. When you spend so much time on one piece, you have many memories associated with its creation. I have many good memories stored in that piece.
I have some smaller embroidered pieces in Piazza Navona, 12 Ruxton Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
I created a series of nebulae for sale at KJS Comics in the Citadel Mall, 750 Citadel Dr E #1116, Colorado Springs, CO 80909
I have a few pieces available in a stairway gallery at Curves, 108 W Midland Ave, Woodland Park, CO 80863
I'm on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stitchedartbypagejones/
I have a website: https://page-jones.squarespace.com/
I'm open to commissioned pieces, so contact me through my website or Facebook page listed above if you are interested.
My interest in Fiber art and craft began as a child. My grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant working as a garment maker in a textile factory in NYC. The beauty and precision of her work fascinated me even as a child. In my teens and twenties I sewed clothing and home goods more as a practical matter than artistic pursuit. And tried my hand at other fiber arts of the time such as macramé. I pursued a career as a computer software engineer so no surprise I found the order and logic of weaving especially interesting.
In the early 1990s a workshop with Lore Kadden Lindenfeld (an early female industrial textile designer) confirmed weaving as my true fiber connection. I work almost exclusively on multi-harness floor or table looms. My favorite projects have been weaving with non-traditional materials, creation of dimensional pieces, and garments.
My current obsession is woven shibori also known as crimp cloth. It is a fun and fascinating process that produces a fabric with dimension that goes further than texture. I am not sure where it will take me.
“A weaver maps out the universe, travels back in time and journeys into the future...”, Gabriel George
in A Salish Weaver
Making art is my opportunity to turn off the analysis and connect to the creative part of my brain. Seeing the joy it can bring to others is the icing on the cake.
While a majority of my weaving is functional, “Pig in the Orchard” is my second pictorial weaving. I chose boundweave structure because it has a rather folk arty look with repeating design motifs. And this structure is done using a regular floor or table loom. I created the first wall hanging as a birthday gift for my husband who had become quite interested in the revival of the American hard cider industry. While the gift was very well received, some important orchard details were declared missing. In particular, a pig. I decided to do this second piece and incorporate some techniques that are not standard for boundweave. In the future, I expect there might be an orchard at night weaving.
Designing motifs for boundweave is very much a colored pencil on graph paper process. Each motif is designed around the target number of threads per inch and whether the motif should rise from the sides to the center or fall from the sides to the center. The photo included shows how some trees have upswing on the branches and others have downswing. Each row of boundweave requires multiple passes of the shuttles—in this piece 6—to insert the color that corresponds to each shaft for that row. Going back to the graph paper, each square represents color being woven at a particular row and thread (column). Once the design is completed on paper, the weaving begins from the bottom of the piece to the top. The design is used as a reference and changes are made on the fly as needed. Pictorial boundweave is slow progress but gives the weaver control over the placement of the design motifs while making efficient use of the multi shaft loom.
Getting the pig into the picture required some nonstandard manipulations to break the repeating motif of trees and insert a single pig. (The pigs get to eat any fallen fruit while keeping the soil in good condition.) Balancing the scale of the pig with the trees and getting sufficient detail was a bit of a challenge. Luckily, folk art allows one to relax the rules to achieve the proper whimsical result.
In general, I love to create weavings that perplex the viewer due to their perceived complexity … which is not necessarily their actual complexity.
While I am in the process of setting up an online selling venue at Etsy, it is not complete
yet. I am on Instagram at @xweaverwarped.
I’ve always been interested in making art, reading and writing. I was fortunate that my family though dirt poor, encouraged me at every turn. When we planted our vegetable garden, I was allowed to grow gladiolas. My dad painted a bedroom wall pink so I could draw flowers on it. My grandmother bought me a set of encyclopedias from a traveling salesman paying pennies weekly. One aunt taught me crocheting while another set up a space just for me to use her sewing machine and my granddad taught me fine stitching by repairing his work clothes. He was a coal miner. His work clothes were torn and well work overalls. So making art isn’t so much what I do, it’s really a large part of who I am.
Though much of my energy has been focused on weaving, I also spend a lot of time quilting and eco dyeing. I encountered references about indigo while researching a book I was writing at the time about slave weavers and how they carded fiber, spun, dyed and wove a wide range of household items for plantation owners. I did not know before this that indigo still grows wild in some parts of the south. I am very protective of two indigo plants I’ve been nurturing along, whispering to them that snow isn’t really that bad!
The two pieces in the show are a reflection of two dyeing approaches. Though very different, the fiber reactive piece and the indigo dyed piece both speak to my trying to capture a sense of time and how I think of movement between dimensions as timeless and endless. The Evolution depiction, while moving up from water’s depth towards the surface, is still earth-bound. The Portal depiction feels less tied to earths grasp. When people view these pieces I would like for them to acknowledge, as I try to, things past without clinging or lamenting, and be hopeful and unafraid for things to come.
My latest efforts have been tied to gardening and figuring out how and where I’m going to plant a hemp crop (the fiber bast species, not the marijuana one) to make yarn using a blending of my alpaca fleece.
I’ve recently decided to be more proactive in sharing my work and have a website: MaryMadisonDesigns.com, where I’ve posted pictures of my work and other photographs. I also have a WordPress blog, though seriously not current, where you can read about my writing experience. It is titled Plantation Slave Weavers Remember.
I have been doing art since I was a teen. I majored in art at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I started doing printmaking, painting, and drawing. I moved to Chicago in 1986 to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program, a one-year program that gave me the equivalent of a B.F.A degree. After a few more years I decided to pursue my MFA in printmaking at SAIC. I remained in Chicago until 2016. I showed in and around Chicago and had a variety of jobs. In 2004 I started working at Columbia College Chicago. I started in a tech position for the Art and Design Department. After a year I started managing the printmaking facility. I also taught a variety of printmaking courses at Columbia. So I have been a practicing artist and art educator for quite a while.
Art is an opening into another world, like a book. When I view art I get a chance to experience another point of view, to decode whatever visual system the artist might employ to communicate a message. Art is also like a time capsule to a particular time, society, and location. Making art is a chance to communicate my perspective, my history, my background and experience. My interests are quite varied, and my work reflects that. My work is quite diaristic, it is a record of my interests, obsessions, and problems. My best pieces are ones that communicate something personal but that also transcends my life and connects to larger issues.
I have been working with fabric for a few years (since 2015-2016). My sister was an avid quilter and she inspired me to make a few quilts. I made a t-shirt quilt and that led to me to consider using textiles in a more artistic and less functional way. I use recycled functional textiles and some new fabrics. I find that textiles have a lot of potential meaning and history. At times I am simply inspired by the color and tactile nature of material. It became quite evident to me that fabric was a great medium to make works about gender roles and my own personal history as a woman.
My sources of inspiration are quite varied. I am drawn to the fashion of the 60’s quite a bit. I am often inspired by theatrical wardrobe because I feel that these pieces of clothing help to convey elements of the character’s emotion and history. Much of my work uses items like buttons, buckles, zippers that convey a sense of containment. There are so many aspects of a garment that function to contain and constrain a body and that is a metaphor for female constraints.
The inspiration for “100 Sad Stories” was my Mother. She is very caught up in regret and anger for her life with my Father and her own upbringing. I feel her most significant legacy to me is sadness and regret. So I set out to create an item that could be considered a family heirloom, such as a quilt. This quilt however, would represent poverty and sadness. I wanted to make the most meager and threadbare blanket I could think of. I used a worn piece of wool with visible holes that was about the size of a person. I used a thin but delicate piece as the quilt top and quilted them together using spare buttons. There was no plan or attempt at measuring the quilting, so it is quite off kilter. The finished result was too pretty so I sewed a latticework of lines to connect the buttons and cut out the remaining fabric of the quilt top. The sewn lines look somewhat scar-like and the piece became quite spare but also overworked at the same time. I was not sure about how to display the finished piece and I decided to create an oversized hanger to hang the work.
Fabric and home furnishings represent comfort and security of the ideal home. A blanket can be luxurious and comforting. A hand-made quilt represents history, connection and love. Fabric is also the sports pennant, the politically incorrect t-shirt, the scorched work shirt, the physical embodiment of the domestic discord, the realm of women’s work. Each piece of fabric brings to mind narratives, associations, characters, eras. I have found that working with fabric to be conducive to my wide-ranging interests.
For the most part, I have chosen to stretch my pieces and present them as paintings. The composition of my pieces is restrained and minimal. There is physical and conceptual tension in my work. I refer to restraint and a desire for release through the use of closures such as zippers, buttons, lacing, garters and belts. The closures link elements that are discordant; the winter of wool to the spring of a striped t-shirt, the purity of good-girl gingham tied up with the bad girl glitz of lamé.
I just hope that they understand the message I am conveying. I hope that they can enter the piece and connect with it visually and conceptually.
I have a deep personal connection to “100 Sad Stories”. The other piece in the show “No Real Closure” is a bit more humorous. I created a very superficial and shallow closure in this piece and it reminded me of the lack of closure we often experience in life. It makes a reference to a somewhat hackneyed psychological term. Sometimes no matter how much we examine an experience we can never comprehend its true implications.
My personal website is: aschumacher.online. There is a variety of work, drawings, painting, and prints from many decades.
I started making felted animals about five years ago. I had been doing small crocheted animals but decided to give this technique a try. I was surprised at the flexibility of this medium. I could make just about any kind of little animal, either very realistic or more fanciful. I have always enjoyed making little people and animals. It is sort of like bringing a children's book to life. I had a small puppet theater in the 80's which also satisfied this desire to make little 3-D people and animals. They are a nice way to express my love of costume and character creation.
I've doing art for a long time. I graduated from CC as an Art Studio Major 40 years ago. I got into fibers by accident, through Tom Lundberg of CSU. I used to do landscapes, pen and ink and watercolor. I transferred my skills to embroidery, I like the color and detail I can get. I've been doing embroidery for about 30 years.
I feel fulfilled when I'm working on something; I'm doing something worthwhile and enjoyable.
I'm continuing to be inspired by everything I come across.
After I come up with a design, I transfer it to Dupioni silk. I use DMC embroidery thread and do straight stitching first, and then couching-stitches perpendicular - on top of the other stitches. That's when I can get variation in color and tone and add detail.
I hope people enjoy my work. It's gratifying when people really connect to a piece.
I belonged to a co-op in Denver; SPARK Gallery. Their website is: www.sparkgallery.com
All in-store sales of Sabine’s work are 10% off this month.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My interest in art was stirred by my art teacher in Germany who introduced us to many art forms, let us experiment with different mediums, and took our class to visit art museums. But it was not until the early 90s that my focus changed from admiring other artists work to getting actively involved in the creative process. When I took a stained glass class I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I find the process of making a stained glass piece deeply satisfying, and seeing how the light enhances the colors and textures of the finished artwork is always exciting to me.
How long have you been part of Commonwheel?
What does making art mean to you?
Working with glass makes me happy and gives me inner peace. I strive to combine form, texture and color into a harmonious piece of artwork that will transform and brighten the surrounding space. Nobody said it better than Louis Comfort Tiffany: “Color is to the eye what music is to the ear”.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am finishing up some nature pieces and am starting to create smaller suncatchers as well as fused glass jewelry for our upcoming Holiday Market.
Tell us about your process—walk us through the steps of your flowing creativity to achieve one of your works.
My process starts with drawing a design followed by the selection of glass. This is the creative and most crucial part and applies to large windows as well as to my smaller table art and suncatchers. After that it is mostly craft: cutting, grinding, foiling, soldering, reinforcing and applying patina. Most of my pieces are done using the copper foil technique which was made popular by Louis Comfort Tiffany as it allows for more intricate designs than the traditional lead came.
What reaction do you want of the public looking at your artwork?
Adding a stained glass art piece to a room will transform the mood of the space and I hope that my composition of color, texture and movement will brighten the viewer’s spirits.
What is your favorite piece recent work? And why?
I like them all.
Where can we find your work?
Only at Commonwheel Artists Co-op.