Surge; Wool, Alpaca, Llama, silk and bamboo; 42" x 62"
Little Valley, NY
As an artist, I like to combined raw fleeces, hand dyed locks and roving with reclaimed textiles. As for the raw natural fibers, I love the sturdy, reliable durability of time-tested conventional natural fibers. I work with a variety of natural fibers, incorporating not only wool, but also Alpaca, Angora, Llama and silk. Having raised sheep and processed our own wool, I enjoy the practice of taking these fibers from their raw state and reworking them into a palette of lustrous vibrant silks and warm woolen tones. As for the reclaimed textiles, I was raised in a small community known for worldwide its woven woolen wares and grew up with an affection and appreciation for woven patterns. As I gather discarded woven textiles, I subtly incorporate them into the background of my work, entwining my own processed fibers to "paint" various scenes. As I begin to construct a piece, the multiple textures, colors and forms are applied and interwoven. This process creates a type of contemporary tapestry, bringing a three dimensional element to my impressionistic work.
About the Artist
Raised in Woolrich, Pennsylvania, I grew up in a community with a long history of textile and wool production. Early in my youth, I began to develop an appreciation for natural fibers and handcrafted textiles. I attended Lycoming College for four years and received my BFA in Studio Art with a certification in teaching. After graduating, my husband and I moved our family to the mountains of rural Pennsylvania. During this time, I was able to teach a variety of ages and exhibit my art locally. Our location in a rural farming community allowed us the opportunity to operate a small hobby farm. While we experimented with raising a variety of different livestock, we finally settled on sheep. During our time raising our small flock, I began to explore fibers as an artistic material. As the farm grew, so did my understanding of wool’s unique potential. From shearing the animals ourselves to hand dyeing the wool, I learned firsthand the process required to transform raw fleece into one-of-a-kind, hand felted art. I began to reach out to other fiber artists in order to learn more about the process of felting. As a result, I began to explore the possibilities of using my painting skills in conjunction with fiber arts.