Sustainable Handcrafted Textile Art

I love textiles. Beautiful, colorful, textured. I can’t resist their tactility. They excite me, inspire me, ignite my creativity. They give me a million and one ideas (often all at the same time), which I am then compelled to explore. I don’t distinguish between fine and functional art. I consider all of my pieces art, whether you can use them or just look at them.

Inspiration

Inspiration for my work comes from everything around me. My garden and nature in general, places I visited, beautiful things I saw, events I experienced and, or course, the textiles themselves.

A historian by training, I value the past of the materials I work with. I respect their birth as other people’s creations, and, by turning them into something new, pay a homage to those who made them. Likewise, I recognize each piece’s individual journey through our world, and appreciate it’s unique story.

I find beauty in unlikely places: peeling paint on a wall, layers of old paper on a billboard, rusting structures, and old, used, or discarded items. Throughout my life I looked for this beauty and tried to shine light on it, be it through art, photography, or academic research. Materials, layers, past, history, stories. These are the foundations of my art.

Design Considerations

I’m an artist working with fabrics. My designs center on the basic elements of art: color, texture, pattern and shape. I love bold textures, and therefore use mostly home-decor textiles. I prefer strong colors in in-between hues. There are rarely pure primary colors in my work. Patterns and shapes are an integral part of my source material, and I use them to my advantage. I enjoy combining, juxtaposing  and otherwise playing with different fabrics, in ways that use the existing to create something new and surprising.

As a textile artist, I’m concerned with how my work feels to the touch. I use only textiles that feel good, and avoid anything scratchy, rough or plasticy. My work is meant to be touched, even if it is hanging on a wall.

Environmental Concerns

Environmental sustainability is very important to me. In my own lifetime plastic, the most amazing material ever invented by humans, became one of our planet’s greatest threats. Our so-called recycling system turned out to be a mirage. Climate is changing, glaciers are melting, the world is filling with our trash, and the greatest mass-extinction is underway. Our Earth is facing an ecological disaster, much of it as a result of human activity. I believe that each and every one of us should do what we can to slow the damage.

In my daily life I routinely conserve, recycle and compost. Preventing useful items from going into the landfill has therefore been a strong motivation in my work as well. I’m committed to using only upycled fabrics for my art. In this I am privileged to be following a long line of artists, starting with Dada Movement artists such as Kurt Schwitters, who have been breathing new life into discarded objects. I not only repurpose, upcycle, and reuse fabrics, but also try to pursue a zero-waste policy in my studio. I regularly attempt to find use even for the smallest scrap. This is my modest contribution to the wellness of our planet. I try to help save our world, one piece of fabric at a time.

To me, making art is not only about the design, but also about the process. I enjoy feeling things with my hands. Touching and manipulating fabrics brings me pleasure. I relish slow, careful craftsmanship, and value the intimate connection between maker and creation. Everything I make is truly handmade, and I do my best to craft it well.

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Each of my pieces, even when functional, is a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art. Each has its own history, its own story and its own character. I am honored to be a part of each piece’s journey, but am excited to know that its story does not end with me. Like a child growing up, each of my works will leave my studio and embark on a new life of its own out in the world. Perhaps you, too, would become a part of that journey 🙂

(Music in the video is provided by Rujay. Instrumental: “Whistle” by Ihaksi. Channel: https://YouTube.com/user/RujayTV)

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