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River's Edge Fiber Arts is a studio overlooking the Grand River, an idyllic nature preserve to inspire me throughout the year. While autumn continues to be my favorite time of the year, each season brings something special, whether it be the new wildlife birthed in the spring, to the tennis ball walnuts hanging from the trees and being thrown from the mowers landing everywhere under the sun, waiting for the squirrels to furiously dig holes and bury them for their winter stores.
As a textile designer, my journey began when I was three years old spending my summers along the Wisconsin Lake Michigan shoreline. My parents would drop my sisters and me off, and pick us up at the end of the summer, giving us the opportunity to spend serious time with both sets of grandparents and our cousins. Like most younger siblings, when my sisters were being taught something new, it was natural for me to want to do the same, and my grandmothers obliged. Initially learning knitting, embroidery and weaving, I have never known any different, believing it was a natural process all people took in life.
I came full circle when the opportunity to study weaving and spinning in a quiet rural Amish community became available. Weaving on large looms was something I had always wanted to do since I first learned as a little girl on primitive looms, however the opportunities weren't available and the internet was only a rumor at that time. I remember driving towards my destination and finding myself among dusty roads with no signs and large fields of grain, relying on my odometer and sense of direction to know when a dissecting road was the right one to turn down. It was thrilling to literally step back in time as I drew closer to the weaving school. It was a life changing experience to be totally immersed in the culture and craft, and nothing was ever the same again.
The majority of the woven textiles produced use traditional equipment powered by foot and hand, each step carefully crafted to produce the perfect product envisioned long before the fibers were sheared, washed and dyed. Many consider my work as a dyer's dyer. There is a strong overtone of how the dye chemicals interact with each type of fiber, along with the skills and techniques learned from forty plus years of experimenting. And the final piece is the dedicated micro-manufacturing part of the studio, with a full set of industrial and specialty sewing machines, allowing me the opportunity to create wonderful couture garments and accessories.
For me, creating textiles crosses all disciplines; kinesiology, drafting, spatial relations, mathematics, history, chemistry, physics, environmental and ecological impact, social, psychological and preservation. For all of these reasons and more, my art is a endless offering of possibilities.
Whenever I am exposed to a new area of textiles, it becomes an all inclusive process, learning the rules to successfully break them, pushing the techniques to the limits, and creating stunning one of a kind textiles for the ultimate consumer seeking the finest of art to wear, decorate with, and enjoy.
You are invited to explore my work both online and in person at various events throughout the country.