Artwalk 2017 Location: Athens Flatts Parking Lot, 2306 2nd Avenue North
In 2008, my travels through the corporate world ended and my travels began in a new world – a world full of color, a world of creativity, a world full of visions. Being pulled and tugged into the world of art, I knew I was receiving a calling in life to share my love of fabric art with the world.
As a young child, I began crocheting at the knee of my aunt. It was a hobby for me at various times in my life. School called, family called, various jobs called, but always in my heart the love of fabric art remained alive and well and waiting its turn to come to the forefront. After ignoring the subtle promptings for many years, the voices and visions demanded their rightful place – that of a full-time artist.
Although having taught in school systems, I have no formal training in fabric art. So off I venture din to a relatively unknown world in 2008, into the world of freeform style crochet. Working from visions inspired by nature, movies, photographs and everyday life, I would quickly sketch what the vision revealed or I would immediately begin working on my pieces. I would pick my colors and yarns, then sit down and start working from the base stitch. Upon completion of the crocheted portion of the piece, I would do the hand tying to complete my piece of art.
As a fabric artist, the ladies are my canvas and the yarn is my paint. My “paints” are homespun yarn, specialty yarns, ribbon yarns, fun yarns, and eyelash yarns. My “paintbrushes” are hooks – Susan Bantes crochet hooks ranging in sizes from 6 to 10. The stitches which are used to pull these very elaborate pieces of art together are chain stitches, single stitches, half double stitches, double stitches and triple stitches. Along the way, I also use a filet crochet technique.
My work is very unique. In fact, it has been described as “offbeat, unusual, and trend-setting.” It’s not exactly Grandma’s knitted scarf; hence the nickname, “The Funky Lady.” My free-form creations include scarves, collars, hats, shawls, vests, kimonos, and shrugs. I look for odd and unusual things, using different yarns, colors and textures. I also incorporate metals into my textiles.
One of the reasons I believe I have been “drawn” into the world of fabric art on a full-time basis is to share my faith, and to share my talents, especially with young women. I spend time volunteering with church youth groups, Girl Scout groups, and school-aged students, sharing this special gift that I have been given. Many of the pieces which I created have been purchased by strong, confident women. That is the type of confidence that I want to instill in the young women with which I share this special form of art.
Although fabric art is not necessarily labeled as “dying” form of art, it is a form of art which is no longer being handed down from generation to generation. I feel one of my callings in the art world is to reintroduce to art enthusiasts and to show the public just how beautiful crocheted pieces can be, and to encourage young artists to “pick their hooks” up once again.
I have truly been blessed by fulfilling my calling as an artist. I have grown personally, professionally, and spiritually. I have been blessed to have doors opened for me. In turn, I am excited about sharing those blessings with all who will look at the extraordinary artwork of “The Funky Lady.”