Fiber and More Fiber


Fiber...it has always been about fiber for me.  From the time when I was little, I have sewed pieces of fabric together.  Then I learned how to embellish fabric with buttons, embroidery floss and needlepoint yarn.  Learned how to do needlepoint, and at one time taught it

At one time, we  raised a herd of Angora goat:  we had about 150! We bred the goats to produce fabulous fiber for hand spinners.  Let me tell you, I miss those goats and that abundance of fiber now!

When I began creating vessels and then window pieces here in Asheville, I used wool and mohair.  Then, I started exploring using a wider range of fibers. The pieces now include: silk, bamboo, tencel as well as mohair and wool.

I’m really excited that 2019 will see the use of hemp fibers!  Also this year I’m hoping to begin to study the history and use of fiber.

It's not what you think it is!

Recently I answered a question on a group site.  The question was:  tell us something we don't know about yourself".  My answer was that my 2nd grade teacher took my box of crayons away because I kept coloring outside the lines.  And that now I'm an artist here in Asheville.   I included a pic of one of my fiber vessels...the first one I ever created.  This is the one I saw whilst having radiation therapy.  It set me on my path when we moved to Asheville!

best vessel!!.jpg

The comments humbled me, to say the least.  One comment was "I love glass".  BUT it's not glass!  It is colored wool, silk, and mohair sewn together, cast into shape.  Then there layers of paint and epoxy resin!   

So, things aren't always as they seem!

Asheville Skies

Just finished the final bronze "gilding" on this sweet vessel.  Visitors continually remark about the glorious skies in Asheville.  From early morning dawn to our spectacular sunsets, we are blessed each day with this incredible blue, white clouds scudding by.  Beautiful golds and purple caressing our mountains.  

So this vessel with the brown mountains on the bottom and spilling up the sides and the blue, white and gold in the skies is a tribute to Asheville's beauty.

Talking Art...A Follow Up

Another day of "talking art"  and demonstrating what I do is in the books.  Saturday at Mountain Made Gallery in the Grove Arcade, I was painting a sunrise and talking to people all the different fibers I use in my pieces....silk, wool, mohair, and bamboo, to name a few.

Downtown Asheville is quite the place for people to visit when coming to our City. I talked to folks from Fort Meyers on vacation.  A couple from South Carolina try out their new motor home.  People from Arizona in town for a nephew's wedding.  A lady from Austin here for a conference.  People from Winston-Salem, PA, MA, VA.  All over the place.

My two favorites, though, were the ladies from Charleston, who were there as "Art Appreciators" and the high school junior from MA who proudly showed me here collaborative entry into a state-wide competition.  It was a very remarkable portrayal of the Cliff Dwellers.  The kids signed that piece with their handprints, much like the artists of long ago.

So a big thanks to all the people who stopped by.  And if you are visiting our City, or if you live here, when you see a working artist, feel free to step up and chat! 

Below is a close up of a smidge of sky in one of my vessels.

Thoughts On Creating Commission Pieces

I find so much joy in doing commission work.  As the artist, I get to develop relationship with the clients.  If they are local, I even get to design the piece for space, considering the colors, geometric aspects of the site and seeing the furniture and other art work the clients have.

Currently, I'm designing three window panels for the greatest young couple.  There house is quietly elegant, without being stuffy!  Full of stunning pieces.   Because the couple are here in Asheville, I've had a chance to actually check the windows for how the light will come through, which really is exciting for my artist's mind.

It has been so much fun adjusting the approved sketches to the actual size, to source the various fibers (wool, silk, and bamboo), and to work on the layout.  Stretches my artistic "muscle".  

There are large pieces.  The first two are a rendition of our majestic French Broad River, done in two section.  It's 24x40!  Below is the "first draft" of the left window panel piece.

Just Sayin'

Over the years, I will admit I've probably driven my family crazy, saving this and that.  Those items that I "might use in a project".  Lots of fabric, from wee snippets to a yard or two.  Broken glass and tile.

In my studio is a box labeled "Organics".  What is in that, pray tell?  My collection of elk hooves that will some day, in my spare time become a wind chime.  Crushed walnut shells for dirt.  Crushed almond shells for lighter dirt.  Bottle caps...never know when you'll need those.   Tickets.  May want to incorporate those in a painting.  There is more.  It's an eclectic collection.

Today, I'm working on a window panel.  Now these are all sewn fiber that is then painted.  I needed sand for the bottom area of "Koi Pond".  Yep!  Right there in my "Organics" box is sand.  And it was just perfect!

So ya never know when you need just the right thing.  I'm going to have to get a bigger box!