Tuesday…In the Studio–“An Artist’s Response to Materials”

An artist’s response to organic materials influences their creative process and the resulting piece of art–a sculptor carves a fish from wood…a potter throws a vase from clay…a painter paints a landscape with paint and canvas…or a textile artist creates a wall hanging from fabric and thread.

Batik Cotton

Growing up in North Carolina, there were many fabric shops and factory outlets with a large array of different types, colors, and patterns of textiles. I first found my love of fabrics and thread, and the possibilities of what they could become, wandering @ and dreaming in these stores. My first sewing project was in sixth grade Girl Scouts. We got to use a pattern, cut-out fabric, and use a sewing machine to make an apron. I was hooked…During high school, it amazed me that I could find fabric that I loved, find a pattern similar to styles in the stores, and create clothes!  Magic…plus–they fit me!

During this past holiday weekend, we took a trip to Floyd,Virginia, a center for music and visual arts. This is one stop on the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and along the Blue Ridge Parkway with its natural, beautiful scenery.

Blue Ridge

It was chance to get out & about…get inspirations from the sights and sounds of a new place…have time to incubate ideas… and gain encouragement to be creative.  A time to be relaxed with other people…listen to music at the Floyd Country Store‘s noon concert…view other artists’ work in galleries, shops, and visit the sights and sounds of the outdoor community market. But, the main highlight for me was spending time at Schoolhouse Fabrics.

This store is reminiscent of the shops of my youth—an old three-storied school building filled with fabric of all types— including wools, cottons, and satins, colors—reds, greens, and purples– and textures—nubby, silky, and coarse.

Silver & Gold

I found the hard to find gold and silver fabric that is needed to finish my Lifeweavings  wall-hanging,

brights for the fabric “paint”stash,

Bright Fabric "Paint"

Vibrant Silks

wonderfully vibrant colored silks,

and fun fabric for my grandbaby, I just could not pass up.

Child's Fabric, print ©Hampton Printworks.
Printed Fabric, © Hampton Printworks.

These are examples of the materials that are collected and used by textile artists. The artist responds to the color of the fabrics, the feel, or hand, of the cloth, and the texture of the piece visually and by touch. Wandering through the many aisles and rooms of colorful fabric, not only did I imagine what I might create…                                                                                                                 I remembered the girl dreaming of all the possibilities…

♦What are the materials you respond to in your artistic endeavors?