The medium of tapestry weaving allows me to create images and cloth at the same time. The tactile experience of working with fiber, along with the depth of color and richness of the woven surface excites and drives me. I find the process of creating cloth and image satisfying as it ties me to my past and my Grandmother who taught me to sew at an early age. She instilled in me, a love of creating with my hands and an appreciation for good cloth.
My work has evolved from mostly faces to figures and parts of figures. Lately, I have been working using photographs I have taken. Once I have created a composition that works for me I begin choosing colors, an important element to my work and my favorite part of the design process. Next, I choose the size by projecting the finalized image on a wall, moving the projector back and forth.
Right now, I am enjoying working larger than life. I appreciate the impact the more imposing size has. Sometimes I will weave a design twice, once larger, once smaller to explore the possibilities of scale. There is something to be said about smaller more intimate pieces that draw an individual in to see the detail, as opposed to the impact of the large, two very different experiences. In the end my goal is to leave the viewer with a question.
I began weaving in 1994. In 2003 I took my first tapestry workshops including study with Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie. In 2005 I studied tapestry with Pat Taylor at West Dean College in England for an intensive six week program. I have had the good fortune to have studied under the tutelage of Archie Brennan and Susan Martin-Maffei (www.brennan-maffei.com) for 11 years beginning in 2003. This was a rare opportunity to study with two people who understand tapestry from both a historical and contemporary context, with the skill to impart their knowledge. I am a member of The Wednesday Group, a group of tapestry artists which includes Archie and Susan. We have had the unique opportunity to work and exhibit together as a group, and have collaborated on several group pieces www.wedsgroup.com, one of which is published in Carol Russell’s revised Tapestry Handbook.
Awards I have received include best traditional tapestry awarded by The Institution for Tapestry Making, Atelier 61, Novi Sad Serbia, finalist for a NICHE reward in 2009, first place at the Blue Ridge Hand Weaving Show, (decorative, non-functional), the HGA award for excellence in Weaving and Best in Show at Creative Strands in 2003.
Over the last several years I have exhibited extensively the US as well as in England, Serbia, Chech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Australia to name a few. I have studied costume and textile conservation in The Fashion Institute of Technology Graduate Program and previously I attended the New York School for Interior Design. I was the head of the Costume and Textile Department at the Pascack Historical Museum in New Jersey for 6 years where I was able to indulge in my other passions, historical costume and textiles.