Monday, October 26, 2009

Collages and textile art

When people ask me what kind of artist I am I usually answer "textile artist". While its true that my pieces can be technically be defined as quilts I have come to find that labeling them as quilts and me as a quilter is limiting and somewhat misleading. People always think blankets when you say "quilt" and then to : "my grandma makes quilts...". Then I have to explain that my pieces are not functional--they are meant to hang on the wall...yadda, yadda, yadda. So its really much simpler to say textile artist and be done with it. Sometimes I elaborate and say that I make fabric collages. Collage pretty much describes most of what I do these days (but I do slip in some traditional quilt making assembly techniques when appropriate.)

Whenever I trim a top or nearly finished piece and the trimmings feature pretty fabrics and embroidery I keep the bits and later use them as the raw materials for an abstract collage. When I do this, I love to let the batting and raw edges show--its kind of a quilt deconstruction and reconstruction to more of a fine arts format.

Here's one of my favorite little abstract collages.

This guy is only about 5"x 6". I love the bright colors and loose placement of the strips. It feels very spontaneous and alive! I took this picture right after I completed it--now I actually have it framed in a shadow box format with a lime green brushed aluminum frame.

Here's a close up so you can see the stitches and batting and all the cool stuff. I love small works--how they draw you in and encourage you to peer closely at their details. I have this one mounted in my home at my eye level in a hallway that I pass through multiple times a day.

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