Making Things Keeps Me Centered
I love working with textiles. My favorites are those that are old, those that have already served some purpose before becoming fodder for my art. If they’re worn, torn, stained, or weary from use, that’s all the better. In my work, you’ll see fragments of precious items I’ve gathered over the years – a worn-out wool sweater, a blanket that is no longer useful to the family it once served, vintage table linens cast aside when “easy care” textiles made their debut, a long-forgotten mitten, or velvet curtains rescued from a crumbling church rectory.
Stitching by hand, I piece together my scraps of vintage wool, linen, velvet, and silk, often adding carefully chosen antique buttons and other tiny objects. I deeply treasure the sense of history I feel when I’m handling these abandoned details of life.
When I work with old textiles, I’m aware of their having had a former life; they have meant something to somebody and that infuses each piece with its own, distinct personality. I’m mindful of their importance and it informs my decisions on how they’re placed within a piece.
I’m drawn to repetitions: squares upon squares, circles within circles, triangles flying about a border. This is most readily observed in my modern day take on old folk art textiles … penny rugs, traditional quilts, and primitive paintings have all made their way into my finished pieces, albeit in a decidedly quirky form.
I have a visceral reaction to texture and color, a deep appreciation of how light spreads across a finished piece and makes much of the various “hills” and “valleys” created by all the stitching and manipulation of the fabric.
I adore hand stitches. I find it difficult to call an end to the stitching on some pieces. The act of stitching, when done a certain way, becomes a form of meditation. When I work, I often stop to look at my progress and before I know it I’m lost, wandering along the pathways of all those stitches. It makes for slow but satisfying progress.
My hope is that my work might mean as much to others as it does to me, so that we become connected at a deep and possibly indescribable way.