Threads That Bind - Gallery Show at Liberty Arts

This is the virtual walkthrough of my solo show at the Liberty Arts collective where I share studio space. The show ran from May 6 - June 6 and included new work that I created since joining the studio in 2021, featuring my handwoven hand dyed and hand sewn wedding dress.

A glass panel door opens into a light filled room. On the door is an illustrated decal saying "little Gallery"

Starting on the left wall and moving around the room clockwise...

 

Quilted Series

Nothing says home and comfort quite like a quilt. Quilts have long been a bridge between usable home objects crafted purely for function and intricate art objects that require hundred of hours of labor (see the quilts of Gee's Bend for more on this complicated dynamic.) My mother is a quilt artist, and as a young adult I made her help me make one and only one quilt – as textile crafts go, it wasn't for me. But I have always enjoyed the design of quilts, their gridded structure, their patchwork nature that combines colors and textures. I created these pieces to play with colors and shapes in a way that would echo the elements of a quilt. The largest pieces can function as throw blankets or wall hangings, while the smaller ones are sized more for baby or lap blankets.

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A large textile hangs from a dark stained wooden bar. It featuers an ombre shift of color from pale purple through blues and teals to pale green. Woven texture squares and rectangles of various shades of blue purple and green overlay the backgroun.  Quilted 2: Aurora (October 2021)
72" x 80"
100% cotton, machine washable
$770  mounted
$620 unmounted

 

A similar textile, this time with a cream white background and featuring bold stripes and squares of mustard yellow and navy blue.

Quilted 1: Summer (June 2021)
72" x 80"
100% cotton, machine washable
$770  mounted
$620 unmounted

 

Around the corner to the right hangs a smaller experimental piece, and various colored shawls framing a shelf of blown glass.

 

A white cloth hangs from a copper bar. Woven into the surface of the cloth are numerous overlapping squiggle shapes in shades of green. They zigzag across the whole surface of the cloth.

Squiggle #2: Love of Green (SOLD)
18" x 28"
cotton
$180

 

 

Mélange Shawls (2019 - )

This series of shawls is devoted to illustrating the magic that happens when combining the best fibers our planet has to offer. These shawls contain yarn derived from 7 different natural fibers, highlighting the best features of each to create a unique experience of softness, drape, sheen and warmth. Each scarf is woven from a unique blend of  linen, cotton, silk, alpaca, mohair, merino wool, and tencel  – yarns individually selected for their unique color and texture.

Fiber: linen, cotton, silk, alpaca, mohair, merino wool, and tencel
Dimensions: 29" x 85"
$290

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Three shawls hang on a single bar. Left to right: Dogwood Pink (soft rosey pale pinks), Muscadine (deep wine reds and purples), Patina (silvery teal greens)..

 Again, three shawls on a bar. Left to Right: Merlot (Deep dark reds), Smoke (Charcoal grey and silver), Spruce (dark green with silver hints.)



 

The central feature of the gallery is a unique wedding dress on a dressform. On the wall behind it is a large banner describing the design and creation of the dress with a large wedding photo. Various cloth samples have been embroidered on the cloth of the banner, in addition to decorative flowers.

Handwoven Wedding

When my partner and I decided to celebrate our relationship with friends and family, I knew I couldn't not include my art in various ways. For us, the purpose in having a wedding was to bring our community together in a mutual celebration, and I wanted to create a piece of art that represented that. I solicited words and objects from those we invited to our wedding and combined them in woven mixed media piece. I received marriage advice, thoughts about love, small tokens and objects that had meaning (a button from a wedding dress, a childhood promise ring, wrapping paper saved from a wedding gift.) This piece now hangs in our home to remind us that who we are is as much about our community as our individuality.

One of the easiest ways to express our identity is through what we wear. On a deeply personal day like my wedding day, what could feel more like an expression of my identity than a dress I designed and created myself, from the yarn to the colors to the construction.

When anyone would ask me "how long did that take?" "how did you even make this?" I found myself freezing. How do I calculate the hours of design and testing? How do I explain the steps taken to achieve the effect I wanted? Documenting my process for creating this dress became as interesting as making the dress itself. I want viewers to be able to see each decision and process step because I think that deepens appreciation for the work itself.

A dress sits on a stand in front of a large banner. The dress has a v-neck bodice in ivory white. The skirt is many layers of transparent silk organza dyed in subtle shades of coral, eggplant and steel blue.

Another view of the dress, this time in front of a handwoven wall piece embellished with handwritten notes, dried flowers, beeds, etc.

 

 

The next hallway displaces unique pieces focusing on the unique features that can be created using solely sustainably harvested fibers and dyes. 

Carolina Landscape in Cotton & Hemp (May 2019)

Our local landscape used to be shaped by the growing and processing of cotton goods. In the modern era, nearly all of that production has moved over seas, taking the knowledge, history, and economic power with it. It is my hope that we can thoughtfully and ethically bring fiber industry back to the Carolina's by growing hemp and through community efforts like One Acre Exchange. This piece uses a unique weaving technique called "ondulé" to distort and curve the warp threads, creating an effect like rolling hills. Pieces of raw cotton and hemp stalks, both harvested from NC fields, are inset to create an abstract landscape, representing both our past and (hopefully) our future.

An abstract landscape made of grassy textured fibers (raw hemp). Embroidered on the surface are natural cotton balls and hemp twigs.

Created in partnership with One Acre Exchange and the Piedmont Fibershed
Fiber: 100% Cotton yarn, raw hemp fiber,
Dimensions: 29″ x 35″
$395

 

Natural Color (January 2022)

In it's current state, the textile industry is incredibly harmful to our planet. One aspect of that environmental damage is from the dyes we use to color fiber. Mass production of synthetic dyes generates lots of waste water and uses complex chemicals that aren't sustainable to create or dispose of. But this isn't the only way to achieve colorful clothing! Before industrialization, dye was primarily derived from natural and sustainable resources like plants, insects, and minerals. 

These two shawls are woven from organic cotton and derive all of their color from natural resources. Rainbow Lace uses cotton that I dyed with indigo, onion skins and avocado pits to achieve the colors. Waves # 3 uses cotton that was naturally grown in shades of pink and brown, in addition to the avocado dyed cotton.

A light-weight and lacy shawl hangs on a rod. It's dominant color is a pink-ish beige, with rippling stripes of creamy white.   

Waves #3: Heat Wave
20" x 75"
color grown & naturally dyed organic cotton
$230

 

A large shawl hangs on the same rod, it features a plaid like design of natural cotton with stripes in blue, pink and yellow. On the wall next to the shawl are taped yarn samples explaining how the yarns were dyed with plant materials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Lace
28" x 78"
naturally dyed organic cotton
$200

 

 

 

On the final wall of the studio is a display of kitchen towels.

Four kitchen towels hang from a decorative wooden bar. They feature the same stripe design, but have different dominant colors. Left to right: medium blue, pale gray, natural cream, mustard yellow.

Kitchen Towels 

People have asked me many times why I spend so much effort and time to hand weave an item like a kitchen towel, something destined to be used hard in dirty ways. But why shouldn't something you use every day still bring you art and joy? Kitchen towels are some of my favorite things to weave precisely because of their use in every day life. They are a playground where I can experiment with structure, texture and color. This piece shows a new towel design I am developing. With these towels I am testing with how the different colors interact within the textured shapes. Do you see water droplets? Or tree rings? Or embossed paper? How does the color change your perception of the shape?

Kitchen Towels (May 2022)
16" x 20"
100% cotton, machine washable 
$28 each Pre-order, delivery in June

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