I have been occupied by creating with my hands since I was a young child. I found, then and still to this day, as a professional artist and educator, high value in the focus, patience, and dexterous control involved in manipulating physical materials.These qualities nurture self-efficacy in children and adults alike and have provided me with the invaluable skills of intention, experimentation and manifestation.
I am inspired by humanity’s age-old relationship with traditional craft materials and how these materials have been transformed over time and in different cultures. In particular, the renewable resources of plant and animal fiber, the community and time involved fiber processes of antiquity, the utilization of fabrics for sheltering and comforting the body and the historical predominance of women working these materials motivated my decision to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fiber Arts. Pursuing these subjects, I have developed a keen interest in the use of natural dyes from minerals, plants and insects, the versatility of the felting process employed to create non-woven fabrics from animal fibers, the use of free-motion machine embroidery to “draw” on and manipulate the structure of the fabric and international travel in order to explore the diversity of textiles and the human experience. This primary use of natural fibers and dyes represents a fight for the threatened values of community responsibility, patience, physical activity, and an intimate relationship with our natural world.
My work often addresses issues related to human vulnerability and the resulting need for physical security and mental defense through the materials used, the methods employed and the concepts referenced. Protein fibers from silk cocoons and animal fiber as well as other natural materials and human-made products that offer a sense of comfort and security through qualities of insulation, durability, convenience and control are integrated in the work as are techniques that constrict, interlock, conceal and mend. In realizing the lack of defenses the human body and mind is equipped with, even the physical adornment I create becomes a metaphorical armor often patterned with wood grain, rock wall, and fence imagery and a handbag, for example, becomes a tool of defense, the contents of which one uses to navigate through contemporary life.