I can’t remember a time when I didn’t use my hands and observational skills for work . As physical therapist for twenty years, my hands were in constant use. They were used to determine the location of physical dysfunction in a patient and to help facilitate healing with massage or stretching. My sense of sight was used continually to monitor for problems or again to monitor healing and progress. It was a very satisfying career.
I now have the overwhelming privilege of using those same hands and observational skills as a textile artist who makes contemporary art quilts. The quilts are made, not for functional use, but to please and intrigue the viewer.
I start by dyeing my own fabrics so I then have a beautiful palette of colors to draw from. Without patterns or templates, I intuitively cut freehand into the fabric using a rotary cutter. Choosing bold geometric shapes and decisive lines, I use a design wall to compose intuitively. I may or may not start with a rough sketch. But, most of all, I respond to the interaction of shapes and lines on the design wall, improve upon that composition many times and then finalize the design before stitching together on a machine. The final step is adding machine stitching to three layers which adds another level of texture and design to the piece.
With my art, nothing delights my heart more than the tactile nature of the fabric, the color I can achieve with dyeing and design and the final ability to put both together with a needle and thread.
I reside in Grand Rapids, MI with my supportive husband and three kids. Vermont is the second place we call home.