1. How would you describe the work that you make? Do you have an elevator speech? Have you found your "artistic voice"?
My work has multiple facets and I have utilized many media. Over time, it has taken many different paths.
2. What brought you to making fiber art? What is your art, sewing, or fiber background? When did you make your first quilt that you considered "art"?
My love of fiber and fiber art had its roots in my childhood. I learned to thread a needle and use a thimble long before I started school. I begged to learn, and if not taught, then taught myself to sew, crochet and knit. My first “quilt” was hand pieced in little cut squares using pieces of fabric from what was then known as the “rag bag” that hung on a hook in the hallway. To give me something to so when my Mother was “expecting” my younger brother, she showed me how to sew the squares together with needle and thread to piece a tiny quilt for his crib. It never got batting or backing, but I was allowed to lay it on his little bed. My first “art quilt” was created in a class at the Quilt Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee in the 90’s. It took a second place ribbon in a competition there.
3. Describe the steps involved in your art-making process.
Though I work in more than one media, my process is generally the same. Inspiration comes first and this may take hours, days, or even years to develop within my mind. If art requires fabrics or yarns, I will imagine what colors I suppose using and then proceed to dye the needed materials. I rarely use sketches since I mentally design and create as I work.
4. What is your one favorite or most common source of inspiration?
Nature, i.e. beautiful leaves, flowers, trees; strikingly unusual landscapes; my own photographs.
5. Do you enter your work in shows? What would you say have been your top three exhibits?
I have entered my work in gallery and quilt shows. My most memorable exhibits were my first solo show held at the Multnomah Art Center in 1991 and my recent retrospective show at the Portland Expo Center as featured artist for Northwest Quilters 2015. Among others, I have shown work in several SAQA special shows in Houston and in shows at Coos Bay Art Center.
6. Describe your studio space.
My studio is a large, 3-room former apartment on the lower level of my home. It has a kitchen which is useful for dyeing, laundry and contains refrigeration and cooking facilities. My former darkroom is my main sewing room with storage for everything and one sewing machine setup. The large room hold work tables, a second sewing machine, storage for my collection of 7 Featherweight machines, one of each color and style Singer produced. Also, one of my work tables is, in reality, a hot tub for relaxing a tired back and shoulders after quilting. Lamps turn on and off with Echo.
7. How much time do you spend on your art? How do you balance your life between art, family, friends, day job, etc.?
I am retired from the corporate world, therefore, I have all the time when I am not cooking, cleaning, shopping and performing all the other necessary tasks of keeping a household and husband running smoothly.
8. Do you work in other mediums or use unusual materials in your work?
I have and still do work in many media. My first serious artwork was done in photography while I worked as a customer Service manager for one of the country’s largest insurance companies. I chose photography because of lack of excess time to devote to leisure and I considered it “instant art”. I then moved into colored pencil art and became a charter member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. Quilting was the next step and retirement allowed me time to become a full time quilter. I developed a series of floral applique patterns that sell around the world. My series of Landscape quilts provides me with teaching subjects. Designing beaded jewelry, fashion garments, and knit wear are all work I enjoy. My newest medium is another fiber passion: spinning wool for knitting.