My love of art and craftsmanship began at an young age. I was an enthusiastic drawer. My teacher encouraged my mom to take me to kids’ classes at MIA. With art materials from my wonderful Uncle Fred, who graduated from MCAD, and gave me many of his leftover art supplies, I was always making pictures. I didn’t know what gouache or pastels were, but I had them! I vividly remember my kindergarten teacher pushing me out the door for recess, when what I really wanted to do was finish my drawing. I loved coloring contests, and sold my woven pot-holder, door-to-door. With this for a background, what else could I become but a textile artist.
I studied Art Education at the University of Minnesota, but never thought that was where I was going. I went on for a Master’s in Textile Design, then began my studio career. Over the years I’ve taken on almost anything textile related including large banners, hand-dyed silk scarves, trapunto quilts and even soft sculpture sandwich boards. With the glut of fabric scraps I accumulated, soon I was doing applique embellished clothing, too. When I made my first sewn greeting card, and found it framed in my friend’s house, I knew I would be doing more.
My style had been characterized, by a professor, as heavily influenced by my “kicky sense of humor.” Seems like he had me pegged.
At a recent art fair, I struck up a conversation with a boy who wondered how it was possible to ‘draw’ with a sewing machine. I gestured with my hands, to show him how I move the paper and fabric around, while the needle stays in one place. The next day, his parents came to my booth, saying their son had come home, all excited, and told them they had to go see the woman who did ‘Extreme Sewing.’ Extreme Sewer – As good an occupation as any!
I feel lucky that I have been able to make my living selling my art, following my own path, and sharing it with others.