Posts Tagged ‘TAFA’
I have a list………….
Don’t we all? I start one every year – but this year seems to be somehow different. I have a small composition book (like we used to use in elementary school, back in the day, and I got myself organized very differently. I have a page for yearly goals, then a page for monthly goals. I have separate pages for each of the weeks of the month. Right now the notebook is set up though March.
I can at a glance see what I’ve accomplished, and I have a way of listing items ahead in the month they’re due, and I can backtrack to begin working on them. This helps me see the bigger picture much better…..and I love crossing things off my lists.
I think the thing that is also different is that I am feeling so much better than probably the last five years. The weight is slowly rearranging itself, clothes are fitting, the knee doesn’t hurt, I’m getting stuff accomplished (more than I thought), and I feel calm, centered, and productive. A great way to start the New Year!
Lots of new pictures, revising items, getting ready to do a “retirement sale” of older items that have been around the country one or two times. We’ve lived in places where we could have better photography set-ups, but we are making do. Lots of great suggestions and tips from Rachel Biel of The Fiber and Textile List – she is amazing when it comes to set-up, marketing, and all-round general encouragement.
I am looking for a royalty-free piece of music for our second marbling video, finishing up pieces that have languished for years, taking apart a major piece from 2003 and modernizing it with my new skills, keeping up with blogging (I WILL hit 1000 blog posts this year…….) and constantly looking for new venues and ideas.
Here’s to 2017! What are you doing to start your year out right?
This is an interview with Rachel Biel, the founding mama and guiding light of The Textile and Fiber Art List. Barbara Harms interviewed Rachel about this amazing journey in creating TAFA. Check out her website, with some glorious work. This interview is from Barbara’s blog.
Defining the woman behind TAFA. An interview with Rachel Biel.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this interview with Rachel Biel. She is the founder of TAFA [http://www.tafalist.com ], a fiber artist, a business woman and a innovator. Rachel is interesting, informed and candid. Rachel has a lot to say that you’re going to be interested in hearing.
#1-What first interested you in fiber art? How did that lead to a career in that field?
I’ve always enjoyed making things. My parents both kept themselves busy with projects that were utilitarian, but creative. I learned how to embroider when I was around 12, taking classes with a scary old lady down in Brazil who was a master embroiderer. Even though I didn’t much like her, I loved the threads and what could be done with them. In my 20′s, I started making hats and bags from fabric I found at thrift stores, then became interested in quilts. I continue to explore stitching in different ways, but would not consider this my career. For twenty years I worked with handicrafts from the world, selling them through various enterprises in Chicago and then online. My primary interest all along has been in the economic development potential that crafts have in contributing to a more sustainable and beautiful way of living. I would like to see artists, villages, and people in general have the option to choose a handmade and green lifestyle and be able to have their needs met while they do it. I finally focused on textiles for practical reasons: easy to ship and store, not breakable, etc. I buy vintage textiles and re-sell them online, figuring that if they don’t sell, I can always use them in something I make. This path has been a winding, wonderful process of discovery!
# 2- Your resume shows a long history in the field of fiber art. Are there any highlights which stand out in your mind?
I am fascinated by the use of found materials, of the conversation between traditional and contemporary, of building bridges between cultures and people. Textiles are such a tactile and personal expression of who we are and I am constantly inspired by what I see. I also believe in the healing component that comes from doing anything with your hands, whether it is gardening, sewing, turning wood, spinning clay on a wheel. We have removed ourselves from the creative process and become sick as a society. Art can heal us.
# 3- Do you recall any decision or choice you made or choice you made which changed the of your life or career?
Yes, the decision to become self-employed when I was 28 removed the security net under my feet. I have been without health insurance since [ I’m 50 now ] and often financially stressed. This is something so many of us struggle with and it has definitely affected my life. In the beginning, I thought it was my choice. About eight years ago, I tried to get back into the regular work force and found that there are only entry-level jobs available to me. I was forced to look at my skills and find a way to carve out my own niche. I was able to do that, but it’s a daunting task.
# 4- Do you have any advice for a person who wants to pursue a career as a fiber artist?
You have to be passionate about anything in the arts in order to make a living at it. Competition is fierce. It takes quite a bit of discipline to produce work, document it, market it and then sell it. I enjoyed the process of making more than selling what I create, so I have other skills to support my lifestyle: launching TAFA, providing technical assistance, and re-selling the vintage textiles. Last year I focused on learning how to use WordPress and have since been helping other artists update or launch their websites. So, for a beginner, my suggestion would be to develop a second set of skills that can help earn some money and be ready to have a long wait to succeed as an artist. There are two reasons that I see this: it takes time to build a body of work, to experiment, to find the muse, and it takes time to develop the skills that will define the work. Other advice : don’t copy what’s already out there. Find your own voice. There are millions making the same things or similar things and it is only by being “original ” that you will stand out. We are all “stealing” from the past, nothing is new under the sun, and yet we live in a fascinating time when the old is reinterpreted into something unique.
# 5- In pursuing a career as a fiber artist, you have needed to develop into a strong business woman. Do you have any advice for women who find themselves in similar circumstances and goals?
Learn some basic business skills. Take a workshop, research online…There are tons of resources out there. Make a 5-year business plan, You don’t have to stick to it, but it will help you to get an idea of where you are headed and what you need to do to get there. Learn to use some social media platforms. My favorite is Facebook. Not the personal pages, but the business ones where you can really build a network of people who are interested in what you are doing.
#6- -What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Visionary, persistent, calm, flexible, overwhelmed
# 7- What do you feel is your greatest strength and greatest flaw?
Greatest strength: ability to take risks. Greatest flaw: too stuck in my comfort zone.
# 8- You may be most recognized as the founder and dynamic force behind TAFA. What was the inspiration that led you to found TAFA?
Tafa is the result of years of trying to figure out how to access markets for my stuff, working with small importers who had the same needs and seeing artists struggle to get their work seen. When social media started to take off, I kept bumping into the same people, all trying to do this as well. One example is Susan Sorrell from Creative Chick Studios [ http://www.tafalist.com/members/creative-chick-studios ]. Everywhere I went, there she was, ahead of me. She seemed so savvy and knowledgeable. I figured if we all banded together and drove people to the same place, it would be easier to be found. My mantra has been “Together we can do great things.”
# 9-What did you hope to accomplish in creating TAFA? Do you feel that is has been successful in accomplishing it?
The # 1 goal is “Markets for Members” and that hasn’t really happened yet. I have to say that I am a bit disappointed that more members don’t blow TAFA’s horn, but it takes a while to build an organization and as they start seeing the results, I am confident that they will jump in and be more vocal about what we have. There is a core group that is active and vocal about what we have successfully accomplished, is sharing tips, insights and supporting each other.The collective knowledge is amazing and it’s a consistent source of learning and inspiration for me.
#10-TAFA is culturally diverse representing over 30 different countries . Was it your intention to provide an avenue for economically challenged artisans to sell their work, improving their economic situation? If so, can you tell us anything how TAFA became involved?
We’re actually up to 44 countries now and I have made it a priority from the beginning to have an international focus. One of my goals has been to build a bridge between the ethnic textiles and the contemporary ones. We all face technological challenges and it’s even more difficult for those who don’t have an infrastructure in place to sell their products effectively. For example , PayPal is not active in most African countries and many postal systems are unreliable and a mess. So, many places need intermediaries who can speak up for them or help them access those tools. The world economy has changed dramatically in the last ten years and the United States is no longer a stable economy that can support the arts like it used to. As other emerging economies begin to have more disposable income, they also begin to show an interest in the handmade lifestyle. So, for me. it’s not only about giving the Guatemalan weaver a shared platform with the weaver in Santa Fe, but it’s also about giving the New York quilter a possible audience in Russia or Japan. We’re not there yet, but it’s something to think about and watch.
#11-You have seen this organization grow in a relatively short time to include many members, including nationally recognized fiber artists. Does this growth level meet your expectations?
I feel very proud of what has been done so far, but I long for the day when it will truly become an organization. Several members help out with routine tasks which helps a lot, but we really need to reach the point where we have an actual staff with salaries and jobs.
# 12-What do you foresee in the future for TAFA ? Any long term goals?
My long term goal for TAFA is to get it to onto a stable financial footing, shape it’s organizational structure, and then spin it off to the members. It will be an S-corporation and members will be able to buy shares and own it. I intend to see it reach a point where we can truly provide services, technical, financial assistance, and fulfill our mission of helping our members to sell their products. I believe that this will take another five years to get there, but you never know! It could happen a lot faster! In my mind, I see a huge website with thousands of members, and then a core group that helps define the programming and needs of the larger membership. We don’t know where the world will be in 10 years. When you think about it, ten years ago we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or so many things we take for granted. So, we need to be flexible, be alert and and respond appropriately. I envision local hubs becoming active where members can support each other on a local level, having international conferences with business workshops, having traveling exhibits or a couple of brick and mortar retail store,or having our own online shopping venueand so on. It will be exciting to see how it grows, morphs, and becomes it’s own reality!
The Textile and Fiber Art List is nearly 500 members! Three years as an organization this past January, thanks to our founder Rachel Biel, who is just an amazing motivator! Check out a few more profiles of very talented folks.
“I create one-of-a-kind wearable art by re-imagining gently used clothing and re-purposing them into new creations. Driven by my passion for textiles, I choose garments based on their color, texture, and quality. After cleaning and processing my finds, an organic design process occurs while exploring color and textural relationships. Gradually a new garment emerges as I cut and fit pieces together. It’s almost like playing with paints or crayons while anxiously waiting to see the finished result. My former life as a custom dressmaker and my life long love affair with arts and crafts has brought me to this new creative place of free-style sewing. I look forward to making more accessories and perhaps children’s garments.” Brenda Abdullah Designs.
“Caryl Bryer Fallert is internationally recognized for her award winning art quilts. She is best known for her organic, curved seam designs, her scintillating use of color, and her multilevel illusions of light and motion. Her attention to detail has earned her a reputation for fine craftsmanship as well as stunning designs. In 2000 Caryl was selected as one of the 30 most influential quilt makers in the world, and her quilt Corona #2: Solar Eclipse was voted one of the 100 Most Important Quilts of the Twentieth Century. She was chosen for the Bernina Leadership Award in 2003 and in 2004 the readers of American Quilter Magazine voted her “All American Quilter.” She is the 2006 recipient of the International Quilt Festival Silver Star (lifetime achievement) Award. Since 1983, Caryl’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and the Pacific Rim. She has had ninteen solo exhibitions, including a 1992 exhibition in Tokyo, Japan, and a 2000 exhibition in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Caryl is the only three-time winner of the coveted American Quilters Society Best of Show, Purchase Award. She was the 2009 International Quilt Festival Best of Show winner, and her quilts have also been awarded Best of Show in more a dozen other national and international exhibitions. In 1986, Caryl received the Masterpiece Quilt Award from the National Quilting Association. She has received the Master Awards for both Contemporary Artistry (2002 & 2006) and Machine Artistry (1997) from the International Quilt Association and Best Machine Workmanship from the American Quilters Society (2004 & 2009) and the Quilting the Quilt national exhibition (2003). Caryl has authored two books, and numerous workshops on CD-ROM. Her quilts have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications, including the covers of the 1987 and 1991 Quilt National Catalogs. Caryl’s work can be found in public, museum, corporate, and private collections in twenty-two states and seven foreign countries. Collections include: The Museum of Art & Design (NY,NY), Illinois State Museum, National Quilt Museum, International Quilt Study Center, Wilmette (IL) Public Library, Bradley University Library, Glendale (CA) Civic Center, Fidelity Investments Inc., Sprint, and Fritz Gegauf A.G. (Switzerland). In addition to her commission work, Caryl reserves time to create a body of very personal, experimental quilts.” Bryerpatch Studio.
“I started weaving free form sculptural basketry back in the 80’s and 90’s. Along the way I learned paper making, wet felting and explored one of a kind teddy bears, dolls and rabbits.
I learned how to embroider and quilt from my Grandmother and have had the pleasure of taking quilting classes with Jane Sassaman, Carol Doak and Lyric Kinard.
I am currently dyeing fabric with fiber reactive dyes as well as using India Flint’s Eco Dyeing techniques with silk and wool.
I learned to spin art yarn 4 years ago and have studied under Jacey Boggs and Lexi Boeger and have washed, dyed, batted and spun so much yarn that I finally had to learn to knit!
Add all of this up and you have a very eclectic, diverse and multi faceted fiber artist! I hope you will check out my links and share in my current adventures as I use my hand dyed and recycled fabrics to create gorgeous playclothes that make you look and feel creative yourself!” Calamity Kim.
“I am an artist and a tailor. I make eclectic quilted clothing and wall hangings for office/home decor. I have been sewing and quilting for many years and hope to keep the tradition of quilting long into the future. I hope to keep heirloom quilted clothing alive into the future of wearables and hope to maintain quilting techniques for generations to come.” Calico and Old Lace
“Cameron Taylor-Brown has immersed herself in the worlds of fiber, education and commerce since the 1970s. She studied fiber art at the University of California, Berkeley with artist Ed Rossbach and textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. She worked in New York City as a stylist of upholstery and home furnishing fabrics, taught textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and worked as an exhibition curator. Since 1985, Taylor-Brown has lived in Los Angeles where she maintains a studio and is active in several arts organizations. She was a founding board member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles and a past President of California Fibers and Designing Weavers. She recently founded ARTSgarage, a new textile resource center in Los Angeles.” Cameron Taylor-Brown
Membership is open and is a DEAL for what you receive and for the future potential of this organization. Here is the link for membership.
Spending some time getting caught up with blogs….and wondering why Google burps up – on a regular basis – blogs I’ve deleted. There is enough OCD in me to want to keep my list clean. I think I may have discovered a permanent way to fix this….we shall see. But a lot of interesting stuff this week!
From NBC News, the diver who saved the dolphin.
Fractals – built from business cards – what a great student math activity this would be!
A lot of interesting stuff from the 365 Project. First up – tips for winter landscaping photography
Here’s some more amazing photography:
A Muppet spoof on Downton Abbey – LOVE Lady Violet!
Quilling – an amazing technique, and check these out. Gorgeous!! Quilled Paper Anatomy by Lisa Nilsson
Alison Schwabe’s blog has a story about the tent makers of Cairo – absolutely fascinating. I would love to see the finished documentary.
The Textile and Fiber Art List is three years old! Here’s a celebratory video of over 400 artists and a sample of their work. Amazing eye candy!
Art Quilts Around the World just finished their new challenge – Portraits. (and yes, I’m one of them….) Loved looking through all the entries and overflowing with ideas!
And finally, a 360 degree look – from occipital.com. 360Verse. Very interesting.
Have a great week!!
“I believe a work of art bears the stamp of individuality and the national bearing of its creator when it springs from inner self and is devoid of any pretensions. Being from India, a country with an extremely rich heritage of Art and Culture, I have always had a deep-rooted attachment to traditional art forms of India and owe some of my stylization to the captivating traditional patterns and the rich array of colors. Adapting to Western Styles and techniques, combining them with my lifelong fascination for ethnic arts around the world, have all been a melting pot for me to create a multicultural ‘canvas’. I got my BFA from the International University, Visva-Bharati at Shantiniketan in India founded by the poet, writer, painter, musician, educationist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate (Literature) Rabindranath Tagore. The education at this unique university, during my formative years as an artist, have had a profound influence on my life, mind and my creative abilities. In my everyday life, my escape, my retreat, is my creative power of Art. My work is indigenous to my inner self, and is a place of solitude, passion and contemplation for me. The final offering is the culmination of a series of wordless conversations between me and my artwork. The subject matter of my work is drawn from my own life experiences, trips, thoughts and surroundings. My art is like a journey for me through the passage of time honored techniques, traditions and influences in an endeavor to produce art for everyone to appreciate. I feel like my journey has just begun and I have a long way to go…” Boisali Biswas
“Botanical Colors is the online site for selling high quality, vibrant natural dyes and supplies. Natural dyes are the ancient textile colorants that were used by cultures all over the world before synthetic and petrochemical dyestuffs were developed in the mid-1800s. The colors are beautiful, rich and glowing and each color can be linked to a fascinating tale of discovery, ritual and use by different peoples throughout history. Every color in the natural dye palette has a story. Botanical Colors strives to offer the finest environmentally sound natural dyes for textiles, paper, wood and other natural materials. We have personally dyed thousands of pounds of fibers with natural dyes and continue to be excited and thrilled by the amazing beauty of these colorants. Every purchase of our natural dyes benefits a small producer or community and helps maintain a traditional way of life. Botanical Colors
“I am french, living in Marrakech since 2004 and I became an important wholesaler of carpets and rugs from Morocco ; I am specialized in the vintage berber rugs called boucherouite ( www.boucherouite.net) and the white carpets and wedding blankets ( BENI OUARAIN, AZILAL, HANDIRA ) ; I export all over the world to the trade and art galleries but also to private people.” Boucherouite Rag Rugs
“I’m an art quilter. My quilts are small to medium in size, perfect for interior decoration. I’m always interested in selling and exhibiting my works. I also have a few collections of bags, ornaments and textile jewelery. Yes, I’m open for commissions too.” Bozena Wojtaszek
Braid and Stitch
“Back in the 70′s, sewing was not really a lucrative venture then, and dress makers in Ghana really never made that much money which led me to focus more on schooling to become a Journalist. After moving to America I discovered that Art and creativity paid a lot here if you had the right market audience, but it actually took me a lot more years to follow my childhood dream. The current works on this website depict a lot of Africa. I love the vibrant colors of African fabrics and how they pop to the eye, most of my quilts tell a story, and a lot of my story’s represent my African heritage which I carry with me every where I go, I feel when a quilt does not tell a story no matter how simple it might be it really does not have value, since quilts of old were sentimental pieces. My quilts sing and dance a lot to the viewer, and have lots of character and dimension as well as a very unique look which are the differences my choices of fabric make. Beading and painting really accentuate my work. At Braid and Stitch we are open to make commissioned art quilts, specifically to fit a buyers description, dimensions and taste, no works are ever made the same in order to promote uniqueness in our work. In the near future there will be a wearable art line which will be in Ethnic vein.” Braid and Stitch
The Textile and Fiber Art List has been down for a while, with massive server problems. But now, it’s time for more eye candy to warm the rest of January!. Enjoy – be sure to visit these great artists!
“I am a professional artist passionate about making painted quilts. My painted quilts are a hybrid of the fine art techniques of painting and collage with the stitching techniques of quilting and embroidery. My painted quilts have been commissioned for hospitals, universities, corporate spaces and private homes throughout the United States. As a child I learned one true thing: making art made me happy. That is still true today. The solitary aspect of studio work is my daily meditation, and the problem solving that art making requires has kept me interested over the years. My aim is twofold; to create a beautiful work of art that will reconnect the viewer with the beauty of the natural world while referencing the tactile/textile memories to home, family, community and women’s work; the very essence of ‘quilt.'” Bernie Rowell
“I spent many years studying embroidery, textile art and calligraphy in the UK but it wasn’t until I came to the USA that I was enabled to really present my work to the public. Thankfully it was well received and this lead to me doing a lot of teaching throughout the USA and abroad. My inspiration comes from architecture, travel, colors, fabric literally anything that is out there can inspire me. My long term goal is to produce more work for exhibition. I am a mixed-media artist and have been widely published in many national and international magazines. I am the author of “Mixed Media Explorations”. I have made several appearances on PBS Television and have released several tutorial DVD’s.” Beryl Taylor
“I’ve made my living as an artist my entire life. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in ceramics, I founded a custom tile manufacturing business in Los Angeles. I ran it for 18 years, and sold it to move to New Mexico in 1994. Since my move to the high desert, I have gotten more involved in fiber art, and exhibit in shows nationally and internationally. I work with children in general art lessons on a regular basis, and also conduct workshops with adults. Spending nearly 20 years in the manufacturing business taught me to be inventive with the use of materials and processes. This is something that I continue to explore in my fiber work, combining many different woven and non woven materials to produce my visions. I have many sources of inspiration as well, from the colorful, rocky landscape in which I now live, to the fantastic and amazing world of scientific imagery. I am represented by Gallery 101 in Collinsville, Connecticut, USA.” Betty Busby
“My career has been centered around creativity. I have been a freelance copywriter in Houston for 35 years, but I have always drawn, sewn, and kept up a healthy craft addiction. With the recent downturn in all business comuunications, I have had time to concentrate on the visual part of my passion.I am drawn to natural subjects — plants, flowers, animals, insects — and my style has been described as modern and clean. Most recently I have been working with pen and ink drawings, due to an almost overwhelming addiction to screen printing. I absolutely love everything about the process — the smells, the textures, the mystique of it all. I do limited edition prints periodically, but the bulk of my time is spent creating what I call “domestic art.” Why can’t everything be beautiful? That is the question that originally led to the Beyond Her collection. As a lifelong artist and crafter, I found myself looking for high quality, everyday objects that were actually a pleasure to see and to use. I start with original art – watercolors in the early days, and now or pen-and-ink drawings – which I imprint onto various surfaces, primarily beautiful papers and heritage fabrics. Products include stationery and office products . . . napkins and dishtowels . . . pillows and mugs . . . tee shirts and scarves. The raw products are carefully chosen – I am always on the hunt for natural fabrics, good sizes, practical designs, great styling, sturdy construction, unique textures. We use small local shops for any outsourcing; most products are either imprinted or assembled by hand. The name? It comes from the passion that drives this small business. It truly is . . Beyond Her.”
“I am Dutch, but have been living in Brisbane, Australia with my family since March 2007. I started quilting in 2006, when I was expecting our third son. After a year of making quilts for my children I slowly moved into the ‘art quilt scene’. An online screen printing class in 2009 has heavily influenced my work, as has the fact that my oldest son joined a gymnastics club around the same time. My series of screen printed sports quilts is still not finished! My online shops are Blue Jacaranda, on Etsy and on MadeIt (Australian), where I sell my original designs hand printed on canvas, art cards and ACEOs. I also design and sell fabric on Spoonflower.” Blue Jacaranda
Enjoy these wonderful artists!
Our first update is of a brand new calendar from The Textile and Fiber Art List, Muse Moments. This is available in the tafashop on Zazzle. It’s a wonderful collection of some of the many (over 430) artists around the world and the work they do. We happen to be the month of July.
Rachel, our wonderful creator and inspiration, has also designed a second TAFA calendar, this one showing different artists in their studios. Money made from the sale of the calendars helps to fund the development of what is becoming the go-to place for fiber and textiles on the web.
Also, Martingale Publishers are having a sale, and included are ebooks of the patterns of Lois Fletcher. I met Lois in Houston in 2002, and we created a series of fat quarters for her for use in her Spring book. It was quite enjoyable to see how she utilized the marbling throughout the book in her various patterns. I still absolutely love the marbled butterfly she created.
Handmadeology is announcing a new market opportunity today, January 3. From the website: “Today, we launched our own market by leveraging Meylah’s marketplace technology. This partnership will super charge marketing for creative businesses and support all the creative community, giving sellers new ways to market their products through online and social channels. We are inviting sellers across the creative community to become part of Handmadelogy market.” It’s worth checking out, which I will be doing in the next few days.
We will be participating in StashFest again this year. StashFest is a fund raising event for the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum. Dates are April 6 and 7. Look for marbled silk offerings this time from Marble-T Design.
It’s the third day of January, and I have just started organizing my ideas and goals for this year. So far we are seriously off to a great start!!
Oh, for an endless amount of money to spend on art! TAFA is like my own private store, and I WANT WANT WANT everything I see. Enjoy these new artists this week.
From Hana: “Weaving technology is the use of woolen thread on mesh canvas with the aid of a hook. The weaving in itself is accomplished in free flow on a direct path from the “picture in one’s mind” to the canvas, without a previously drawn sketch on paper or canvas. This type of work enables maximum spontaneity and allows for a free flow of mood and color within the framework of the subject on the one hand (desert landscape for example) but on the other hand, enables the carpet to evolve and “breathe” in the process of its creation. In addition to weaving wall carpets I also paint, mostly oil on canvas but I use other techniques as well. My paintings are strictly figurative and very different from my carpets. While the carpets essentially try to convey the mood of a landscape through the free and more abstract use of form and color the paintings are either portraits or still life scenes that emphasize the composition of the scene or the mood of the person in the portrait. The colors I use in the paintings are not as bright as those I use in the carpets and they have a more introvert and subdued nature.” Woolscapes
From Wil Opio Oguta :”Inspiration for the quilts I make comes from a variety of sources. It can be nature, an expression, a color or a material. For most of my quilts I use my own hand dyed fabric. My quilts can be very colorful or simply black and white. I work in a contemporary style, but have no objection at all to incorporating traditional blocks. Often I use raw edge appliqué, but don’t be surprised if I switch techniques for another quilt. I love working with fiber, but if the quilt wants/needs it, I add other materials to it. This can be bark, buttons, lutrador and paint. It all depends on what I feel is needed. For me, making art quilts is a way of expressing what I see, translating the world into fabric and fibers, emphasizing/focusing on what is important to me and to show you how I feel about it.” WilOpioOguta
From Kim Buchheit: “Kim is a designer and artist living and working in Grand Canyon National Park. Her love of felt is rooted in an affection for its understated beauty, a fondness for the old-world craft of felt-making, and the simple earth-and animal-friendly nature of the materials used in the process.” Wildly Woolly
From Wen Redmond: “I am quite passionate about my work. I continue to explore my chosen medium, fabric, to see what it can do, to stretch its perception as art medium. When I work, I encourage a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle of the universe. This process can also be called ‘flow’. When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of it’s parts. I work out insights, inspirations, feelings and reactions to the outer world. Allowing time for these inspirations to percolate up from my unconscious is a vital part of my process. Each piece is wrought individually and is one of a kind. These include original photographs, artistically manipulated, printed on prepared fabrics and various textile substrates. The works can include painting, dying, stamping screen-printing, mono printing and other means of surface design. Among a variety of presentations, I created an innovative technique, Holographic Images, employing photographs on silk organza to create a unique 3-D effect. Layers peeled back reveal the source, the inspiration, and my mad desire to capture thoughts, dreams and the beauty of nature. ” Wen Redmond
From Salley Mavor: ” have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. Toward the end of art school, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Leaving traditional illustration mediums behind, but still interested in narrative work, I taught myself stitching and fiber art techniques. For me, manipulating materials with my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly this way and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. My early pieces were soft sculpture, and then turned flatter, with raised figures and objects on a fabric background. I came up with the term “fabric relief” in 1982 to better describe my evolving technique. My 3-dimentional pictures resemble miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature, all stitched by hand. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working in the field of illustration, making artwork which is then photographed and printed in children’s books. The original fabric relief pictures have a second life when they are mounted and framed under glass in shadow boxes, ready to display as individual pieces. ” Wee Folk Studio
I am so enjoying getting to know my fellow artists on the Textile and Fiber Art List. There is such a wealth of talent on this list – over 450 artists from 35 countries. And the list keeps growing! If you are at all involved in fiber and textiles, you owe it to yourself to belong to this growing, important organization. We’ll just be getting better and better! Here goes some new members:
From Beryl Moody: “I’m a weaver, spinner, dyer and knitter and use the natural beauty of my surroundings on Banner Mountain (my home) as inspiration for my work. My handwoven and knitted works are all one of a kind and I often use yarns spun and dyed by me in my creations. I design my own weaving designs with computer software and then translate that design to the loom in colors and textures that are unique to each piece I weave. Each year I take on new challenges to explore new aspects of fiber art. I find that this keeps me thinking in new directions and keeps my work from becoming static.” Banner Mountain Textiles
From Barbara Harms: “Coming from an art background, I was attracted to the colors and textures of fabric.This drew me into the world of quilting. I loved every step in the process. In time my inner artist began to emerge.I missed the complete freedom of expression and creativity that art affords.Quilting is an art form. Still it does have it’s limitations. I found inspiration from the many quilt and fiber artists who pushed the boundries which separates art and quilting, creating a new art form. I began to experiment as well. Silk painting could be called the backbone of my work.That’s the starting point.After I have dyed or painted my silk, the result generally determines the direction I will go with this piece.With the backdrop in place, I begin to build layers of color and texture,using applique, thread-painting and quilting. I love using the traditional techniques of quilting in a non-tradtional way to create a contemporary art quilt.I have the best of both worlds and I’m able to satisfy my need for creative expression. It’s my goal to keep expanding my expertise in new areas, be fearless and try new things keep my work fresh.” Barbara Harms Fiber Art
From Barbara McKie: “My work tends to be grouped in several themes: nature, particularly floral and birds with landscapes, but also other animals including people, often with a whimsical element, and abstraction with surface design elements are often included. I combine all types of fabric manipulation: painting with dyes on fabric, and disperse dye computer transfers, shibori, immersion died fabric, and more recently thread painting. I often include trapunto in my work. Almost all of my work is for sale, and I have many more pieces on my website www.mckieart.com I also do commissions. All of my work consists of white fabric that I have manipulated in some way to create the design, and most works contain computer imagery from my garden or from my travels based on my own photography printed on polyester fabric. I like to combine realism with abstraction in many of my pieces.” Barbara McKie
From Barbara Olson: “Milestones in my career are having my piece “In The Beginning” chosen as one of the best 100 American quilts of the century. Another is the book I authored “Journey of An Art Quilter” being published. I present art quilt workshop and creative development lectures. “ Barbara Olson
From Abit and Catherine: “Textile smitten (treasure hunter + global nomad designer/writer) = a creative force for bridging cultures. Together we combine our talents into Bazaar Bayar, a workshop in Istanbul’s Old City, to support local unsung artisans: women who still weave, knit, and crochet in the traditions of timeless Turkish handcrafts. Our mission:
- Saving ‘endangered’ handmade textiles,
- Reviving + reinterpreting disappearing handcrafts,
- Employing local women artisans,
- Promoting cultural exchange between Turkey + our global visitors. Bazaar Bayar
Enjoy, and be sure to visit the list any time you want – there are a lot of artists to admire!
What a find on the Textile and Fiber Art List! Meg Black, from Massachusetts, creates paintings from paper. One page on her blog describes this painstaking process, and it is absolutely fascinating. You would think these pieces had been painted from scratch! Her bio indicates she is “one of a handful of painters working in this exciting medium, something of a pioneer, internationally recognized by galleries and collectors. Her focus on nature and the environment yields stunning landscapes, seascapes, New England scenes and garden views.” Just take a look at a couple of her pieces:
This one is so realistic and reminds me of the Atlantic near the New Hampshire shoreline. Now I love lily pads, and I love collections, so this next is absolutely perfect for me:
Meg also does abstracts, and the colors are intriguing.
You also can view a tour of Meg’s studio:
Now the rest of her profile is available for you to peruse. Some amazing eye candy from Meg Black!
I have so enjoyed doing these posts each week. I get so inspired by color and design from the over 450 artists on the TAFA list…..and I’ve only been through 20 artists! And now, Rachel, our list mom and guiding light, has taken photos from us and set up a TAFA gift store on Zazzle. Gorgeous stuff!! More items going up all the time.
And now some more artists…..
“The mission of Zeni Design Studios is to create simple designs using luxurious and sometimes unexpected combinations of textiles that my customer will enjoy for many years to come. As a result, all of my designs have the customer in mind throughout the design and fabrication process. Environmental Commitment – In an ongoing desire to respect the environment, when available, organic, up-cycled, environmentally friendly and socially responsible materials are used. ” Zeni Design Studios
“The Yeiser Art Center, founded 1957, is a non-profit visual arts gallery located in the historic Market House in downtown Paducah, Kentucky. Exhibitions and events organized by the Yeiser are designed to serve citizens of and visitors to our region and feature quality works by established and emerging artists. Our permanent collection, exhibited periodically, is at the core of our educational mission to provide a variety of visual arts experiences to students of all ages.” Yeiser Art Center This is a must-visit for our trip east next summer!
“I’ve been tatting over 30 years, and designing and selling tatted jewelry since 2004. Magazine articles featuring my tatted jewelry have appeared in Bead&Button (April 2012) and Belle Armoire Jewelry (Winter 2009). I am the author of the book Tatted Jewelry published 2011 by Annie’s Attic, as well as 2 self-published books: Up and Tat ‘Em (2010) and Boutique Tatting (2008). I teach an online Shuttle Tatting course at http://www.craftsy.com/shuttletatting and hope to help many people learn to tat. ” Yarn Player
“Inese Liepina graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1980. Inese relished her years at SAIC and attempted to learn techniques in as many disciplines as possible. Majors were in fiber/fabrics and ceramic sculpture. Inese has explored glass blowing since 1991 while working as a fashion, textile, and interior designer. In the late 70’s SAIC emphasized originality along with an mentality of “breaking the rules” in art. This influence follows Inese in all her work, and she studied glassblowing technique only to learn how the rules can be broken to fit her ideas. ” Wrapture by Inese
“Like so many others, I was brave and comfortable with my creativity when I was younger, but misplaced that understanding as I became an adult. A diagnosis of cancer re-ignited my passion through a wonderful program called Art as Medicine, offered by the Cross Cancer Institute to patients, health care professionals, and their supporting friends and family. I once was a professional musician, and have re-discovered my love of singing through the vocal music program, but also my love of creating things with my hands. I am very involved now in building a cancer wellness and support facility called Wellspring Edmonton that will supplement our overburdened cancer care system, and where I hope to help others touched by cancer to express their feelings through arts-based programs. ” Wooly Boulevard
Enjoy! More next week……
I am having so much fun looking through the profiles on The Textile and Fiber Art List. It is pretty amazing the collection of world-wide artists and the work everyone is doing. The wealth of talent is so worth spending time admiring the art.
“Independent textile artiste Ariane Mariane creates “fiber art to wear” in her French atelier near Paris. She makes outstanding and eco-friendly garments and accessories of high quality.
Each item is handmade mostly by nuno felting. Only the smoothest merino wool, finest fabrics (silk, linen, and cotton) and best fibers are employed.
Her joyful line of unique and one of a kind pieces are meant to dress unique, special and individual women – women for whom fashion is an art and a statement.” ArianeMariane
“I am a Canadian artist in Calgary, Alberta, working primarily with textiles. I’m curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated. Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, eclectic, explorative and absurd, I use hand and machine techniques to illustrate idiosyncratic stories and integrate hand dyed and “found” fabrics in my work.I am learning to respectfully collect a history with stitch, incorporating meaningful text and a Slow Cloth philosophy, believing that personal expression is instinctual when you listen to yourself truthfully. I am fascinated by the workings of the human body, and the microscopic world, interpreting them in unconventional ways.” Arlee Barr
“I began to work with fibre in the 80’s (painted fabrics), and, when I was taught to crochet, toward the end of that decade. After a basic lesson in making chain looped crystal pouches, I taught myself,
thru learning other stitches, and made my first hat by accident. Friends and customers, at my weekly market stall of Hand Painted clothes, were soon requesting me to make them a similar hat. And so I became a Beaniologist be default……… I have since become a regular contributor at The Alice Springs Beanie Festival, in Central Australia every June, which is quite cold in our winter. Once a travelling nomad around this country, I am now making other fibre creations, more suitable to this sub-tropical region on the east coast of Australia, just south of Brisbane, Queensland. I would love to connect with folk in the Northern Hemisphere, where my thermal hats would be ideal. I am spending time needle felting landscapes onto evening stoles and other wearable or useable items. I am passionate about nature and live in a spectacular extinct volcanic caldera, where the views and weather inspire me to create.” ArtNomadix
“When I was 17 years old I discovered someone weaving on an inkle loom. Fascinated, I set out to learn this craft. The local library had a book which included plans for building a loom. My father helped me make one and off I went. Decades later, I am still weaving on inkle looms. Blogging gives me the opportunity to share my weaving adventures. Etsy is a great community of handcrafters and artists of all varieties and has been a wonderful outlet for selling my work and meeting other creative folks.” A Spinner Weaver
“In my past life I was an art quilter. Now I am a web and graphic designer that likes to be around other artists. I create unique, functional websites, custom designed and hand-built with clean XHTML, CSS and Flash. All my websites are fast-loading and search-engine friendly that impress visitors. Aside for web design I also specialize in graphic design for print creating company logo and identity packages, advertisements, book covers and layouts and brochures. I have had working experience in this field for four years. Visit my website to see my work.” Aynex Designs
Enjoy your perusing of all these talented folk!
As we approach the holiday season, you owe it to yourself to check out the Textile and Fiber Art List – amazing, wonderful handmade items, perfect for gift giving. Most TAFA members have Etsy stores, and you can shop till you drop. You will be astonished at the collection of creativity here.
“I’m drawn to a few subjects in nature that I find perpetually intriguing by themselves and my voice is whispering a tribute to the incredible beauty in both the subtle and violent forces of nature, only touched by the hand of humans on rare occasions. I’m obsessively drawn to trees, rocks, all forms of water, and animals; I portray these subjects as if they were asking to me to reveal their messages to the world. My fiber pieces are dramatic portraits of Earth and I hope to draw the viewers into these scenes to share the exhilaration I feel and to cherish the wonders of the place we call home.” Angel Fire Designs
“I make contemporary art quilts that use color, fabric and the traditions of quiltmaking to create abstract landscapes of the prairies of the Midwest where I grew up, the hills of western Massachusetts where I now live and vistas of my imagination. Each quilt represents a different moment in time and space. Frequently I am exploring the concept of horizons–that place of the potential where the sky and the earth seem to meet. I am constantly pushing the designs of my quilts while maintaining a distinctive style and a simple technique.” Ann Brauer
“After many years of teaching and advising students on campuses including Stanford and the Universities of Wisconsin and California, budget cuts left me without a classroom. Finally, I could focus full time on my inherent artistic interests – dyeing and weaving yarn.
Today I design and weave one-of-a-kind textiles using traditional looms, respecting and preserving an ancient form of art. I have four looms in my home studio and use only natural fibers: cotton, silk, tencel (fiber made from wood), bamboo and soy.
I have been teaching weaving at Women’s Wisdom Art, a program to help women heal through art, since early 2009. But, alas! the program is closing and going the way of many art programs these days. I had to find a home for the looms and did so at Craftology (http://craftologystore.com/class/weaving-beginner-intermediate/) where I will be able to continue teaching. My goal is to teach as many people as possible the joys of weaving!” Ann Robinson Textiles
“I have been working on several series for the past couple of years and have seen my work progress through the use of more than one medium in a piece. In many ways this has broadened my outlook and led me to new paths and different views. In the ‘Fossil Series’ I have combined textiles and encaustics which has offered me a whole new variety of textures and subtle form. To get the maximum benefit from this medium I use both the wax and the acrylic resin forms of encaustics. On the other hand, in the ‘Moon Shadow Series’ I have chosen a totally different approach. Here, I have combined needle felting and acrylics. The results are very different, but no less pleasing. It is exciting to be able to express myself in these two very different, mixed media approaches to art.” Anni Hunt
“My mother’s Slovenian culture was always an inspiration for me: embroidery, folk costume, woven carpets. After living with indigenous dot paintings I began to create narratives from buttons, which I call assemblies. Button work and woven tapestry are my two modes of self expression. In both, autonomy is important; colour, texture and luminosity are emphasised. During my 30 years of textile work I have been able to express my personal development, images of my family migration to Australia post World War Two, and most recently my consciousness of living on a planet with dwindling, threatened resources.” Anton Veentra Textiles
More next week! Take your time and explore. There is so much to see and learn about!