Transition to Fabric Art


I've experimented with paper collage for many years. Cutting and layering shapes is very much like creating a silkscreen print. When I first retired from calendar making, I spent very little time in my studio. It was a time for artistic input more so than output. I went to museums and art shows, studied the work of artists I loved, and poured over books of antique quilts. I fell in love with bright colors. To browse in a fabric store, without any project in mind, felt nourishing to my soul. It was a time for grazing.

I began to look at fabric in clothing - stripes, madras plaids, and flowered prints - with a more appreciative eye. My first fabric collage was an experiment using an assortment of plaid boxer shorts  from the rag drawer. A bird emerged, a boxer bird. Excited over the possibilities and ease of this medium, I began collecting old shirts from thrift shops, cutting them up to make very primitive plaid cities. Until I had mastered the materials and learned to use glue carefully, it was a very messy pursuit.


Current Work


Fabric collage has become my favorite medium. I've collected cottons, old table linens, and vintage fabrics from thrift shops, yard sales, and close friends. These faded and frayed materials each hold a mysterious and unknowable story, evident in their wear. I've learned to pay close attention to the special characteristics of different textiles and how, when wet, they can be bent and curved. All the variations found in stripes and plaids hold endless fascination. It's been said that to make a piece of art is to make a series of decisions, one at a time. Choosing each fabric by how it works with other fabrics is part of my decision making. And I love that there are already so many creative decisions made by the fabric maker before I ever begin.