Late last Fall I started thinking (seriously) about what I would like to create for the graduate show which would represent the culmination of two years of my life in fiber. Not one to ever take the easy pathway, I knew whatever I decided to do would need to both inspire and challenge me to greater achievement or it wasn’t worth doing.
I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, it’s been a great resource over the years, looking for inspiration: wedding ideas, craft projects, home remodeling, and recipes to name a few. A couple of years ago I took an embroidery class and while searching Pinterest for stichery ideas, I went down a rabbit hole and discovered a Japanese embroidery technique called “Sashiko”. I was immediately intrigued and “pinned” much for future exploration. I came across photos of historical Japanese textiles, farmer’s and fisherman’s coats. In short, the garments were indigo dyed and constructed and repaired using Sashiko.
After much more research, sketching and rumination, I decided creating a garment inspired by the Japanese Fisherman’s coat would be my “thing” for the grad show. I began the process of bringing my ideas to fruition in early January 2017, and have been taking lots of process photos along the way. I will be sharing photos and blogging about the process over the next few months, I hope you will follow along and leave your comments, as well.
Since my earliest memories, I have always felt most alive when I’m walking in the sand at water’s edge on a beach; observing the patterns made by the waves, and beach combing for shells of interesting shapes and colors. Similarly, I feel one with nature, when walking down a path in the mountains, stopping to take in all the intricate designs and textures found in the landscape. The concept of my work is most represented in classic, small repetitive patterns, woven using the natural materials, cotton, linen, wool and alpaca; in their original colors, or enhanced using natural dyes. It is my desire as a maker to provide a product, which is classically inspired, thoughtfully designed, and expertly crafted for the buyer with discriminating taste.
I decided to start this blog to give me a place to share thoughts, inspirations, challenges and successes on my journey as a student, textile artist and designer. I plan to include photos of my current projects, the processes I go through to create them, and what I learn along the way as things may or not go as planned!
Currently, I am in the second year of a professional crafts program specializing in Fiber. So basically I’m a weaver of cloth. I will be graduating in May 2017. It has been an interesting, enlightening and challenging program. I am sure I will greatly miss being in the classroom/studio, but I am excited about this next step in my post-retirement venture.
This photo was taken last weekend at one of my favorite local spots along the Broad river in Chimney Rock, NC. It’s about 20 minutes from my home, and it’s a place I enjoy visiting often to soak up the beauty and energy I find there. As a point of reference, the movie “Dirty Dancing” was partially filmed just down the road at Lake Lure.
In the photo I am wearing one of my recent creations, the Mandana “Hug” cowl. The bandana was the inspiration for my original concept. I designed it with the hope it would appeal to men, but of course it is not a gender specific design. My intention as a designer is to produce products which will appeal to everyone, and not be labeled specifically to either gender, in color, or style. This cowl is woven using silk and the natural colors of Alpaca. The “Hug” is having its public debut this weekend at a local craft guild show, the Southern Highland Craft Guild show. The school program is supported by the guild, so we have a booth and can sell to the public and get valuable feedback on our products.
Thank you for reading my first post, and I hope you will decide to follow me along on this journey! I plan to post at least once a week.