Tufting

So, that whole write once a month thing didn’t have staying power, obviously… but what did have it was my tufting gun. Soooo here’s my artist statement:::

In the spectrum of styles and mediums, I land in abstract fiber arts. I work with a variety of forms of wool, silk and cotton, everything from tufting to felted sculptures, weaving to sewing. I am currently concentrating on machine-tufting: using a yarn-fed power tool to create wall pillows and soft sculptures with hand-dyed wool.

The dye pot is where I fell deeply in love with the world of textiles. Dyeing the yarn is as important to me as mixing colors is for a painter. The colors I look for have variations within each hank of yarn, which increases the textural aspect of the work, as well as the visual interest. I can create subtleties that are impossible to recreate using commercially dyed yarns.

The tufts are soft, combining subtle color shifts to the undulating texture of yarn. When hung on the wall, the pieces soften the space, and invite the viewers to come closer. Their textures are intriguing. It’s my favorite part of working with textiles: creating work that draws people in, enticing them to interact directly with the fibers. I have found that people want to get as close to a tuft as possible, even if it is small.

In response to how close viewers seem to want to be, the scale of my work is beginning to shift towards large-scale pieces in response to these reactions. The bigger the work, the greater its ability to impact the environment it is viewed in. I have begun planning installation collections that drape from wall to floor, surrounded by sculptures rising up like small mountains. When viewers walk into the space, they will be surrounded by color and texture.


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I will be adding available pieces here. As always, if you see something I’ve posted on instagram, feel free to reach out!

June

Well, I missed writing to you in June… but in a nutshell, it was a month of adjustments, new rhythms, trials and tribulations. I’ve been gainfully unemployed for about a month and a half now, and I’m still struggling to find the path forward. Well, that’s not quite true. I’ve been casting stones forward, trying to build the path in front of me, but have yet to see what holds and what slips away.

I am endlessly grateful for the people I’ve met and connected with through my art. The time I’ve been able to spend with my new tufting machine has been incredibly rewarding and the learning curve of working on the same thing everyday has been blowing my mind wide open.

The future is still foggy as heck, but I’m looking forward to it. So I guess the theme for June turned out to be….

conviction

Having faith in my skills, knowledge and the community and network of beautiful people I’ve created has buoyed my spirits every time they start to sink low. I know things will work out, one way or the other… it’s the waiting around in a holding patter that’s driving me crazy, and that’s just normal for me.

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May

Today is a Tuesday... and it’s different from the rest, in that I’m not at ‘work’... nor am I on vacation. My position at the office was eliminated a few weeks ago, and this is my second day of a work week with out a job. 

I have plenty to do, all the same.

Knowing that my skills and experience will guide me towards my next opportunities, with help from my friends and networks has kept me anchored away from panic.

So I suppose this month’s intention or theme is... well, I was going to say faith... but ended up with this instead:

Resilience

As we all have; I’ve done, been though, and seen a lot. I know how to do a lot of things, and am sure that this is a brilliant, tricky, and exciting new chapter. I am looking forward to being able to have more time to create, while I take time to find the right job.

Tomorrow I move into a new studio space at C3lab, to embark on a new adventure of connections, tufting, and expanding my dyeing capabilities.  

See you soon, have a beautiful month, day and hour.

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April

It snowed yesterday. In April. In Charlotte, NC… It didn’t last, but it was wild to witness.

When was the last time you stopped to observe? Stopped by wonder and awe, at the clouds, a flower, the light slipping under storm clouds, hitting the tops of trees ?

Wonder

The unexpected can be external and internal… Taking a pause, doing one thing at a time (really, just ONE- try it every once and a while, no distractions catered to). Taking a chance to step out of your comfort zone and wonder at your own bravery… Even if you’re shoring up your worried mind with promises that you just have to go look, but not say yes… Do the thing that scares you just enough to make you want it. You can do it, and then what ELSE can you do?!

I’ve committed to an art fair at the end of this month. It’s given me reason and drive to really stick in the studio, to not walk away from my bench, to keep going. The amount of work I’ve produced so far… well, I’m chuffed that I’ve done so much! I have a few more goals I’d like to meet, but right now I’m looking forward to a full day of dyeing clothing and bandannas this weekend. If I meet those personal goals, it means another day later in the month will be full of new color and brightness.

If you’re local to Charlotte, I hope you can come! Here’s the FB link for easy scheduling.

March

Man, I really thought that writing once a month would be easier. Yet here I am, surprised that we’ve reached March 1st already. The past month has been colored with a lot of change, unanswered questions and my best attempts to stay positive. I’m sure once things even out I’ll share more, but for now... what will March bring?  

Connection

In all of the tumult that I’ve been whirling in lately, I have found myself taking the easy way out- by curling up into a little introvert ball and letting things slide on the friend front. It’s not... great... it works, but not in a way that helps

I realize that I can’t do everything myself, and I‘m endlessly lucky that my circle of loved ones are ready to help support me how ever they can. But when you have a problem that you’re tired of discussing, can’t control the outcome, what is there to do about it? It’s not like coming over to help sort beads out into orderly piles. There’s no concrete answer or end to the issues. When I feel the call to be alone, I’m trying to check in with myself, weighing if the time alone I crave is rejuvenating or avoidance... and do my best to make good choices... 

I let my husband gently talk me into hanging out with friends, ones who are easy, who are happy to distract with other conversations and give my brain and heart a break from the hamster-driven anxiety wheel. Take time to really rest, to do one thing at a time and not berate myself for not doing more. I text and leave recorded messages to my people in different time zones. I keep working towards my goals as an artist, even if it’s just one tiny submission here and there.

One step at a time.

 

The answers are in the future, let’s get there together.

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February

I have a five-year journal, full of quick entries, and it’s starting to get full. It’s been helpful in keeping track of when things actually happened, not when I think they happened. And reflecting back can be good, too- even when that reminds you of death days and the deep sadness that followed. 

Memory 

If memory is the theme of February;

what is there to remember? 

 

The mind-numbing, world shattering of loosing Kelly (how can it be two years this Friday?)

All the wisdom and love she brought to my world

that cake... damn that cake

all of the food, really

reconnecting over and over with the people who matter most

the amazed and excited looks when people were allowed to touch the cocoons (who else gets to touch art these days, besides the makers?)

that weekend before, learning so much from a generous teacher; exploring, pushing and absorbing

the night I met him, and then everyone else, each in turn

how my hands remembered how to knit, but not how to purl

the way that island felt like home

all of my homes, and people

how our hands-our bodies- hold on to memories and shape them into our stories.  

to check in with our stories, to see if they still hold true, or is it time for a new chapter, a new book?  is it time to evolve again?

 

all of this is memory. Remembering can be thick and grief-heavy, but it can also lead you out of the dark, back under starlit skies until the sun rises again.  

 

And lest we take ourselves too seriously... did I remember to buy more oregano? 

 

be well, celebrate your memories

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