February 5, 2012


 An occasional series, featuring an interview with one of our members.

"I no longer fight the feeling of entering my studio to “reinvent the wheel”.  Reinvention happens all the time with new ideas both physical and mental."

Drawn to the Center

What theme or ideas are reoccurring in your work?
My work is a partnership and opportunity for me between my materials and the woven organic forms created.
 The interpretation of material has always been a challenge and my focus. 

Finding materials that I could shape and control to get the forms I wanted is an ongoing pursuit.

Tower Swirl
When did you first become interested in fiber?

When I was first introduced to the fiber world, it came from two different perspectives. 
At San Diego State University, in 1971, Joan Austin was beginning to show the importance of sculptural fiber.  We used basic basketry and off loom techniques, to develop three dimensional ideas that were not to be functional.  I was also very interested in textile design and silk screening of fabrics.
The other view was from Misti Washington, a wonderful basket weaver that shared her home and ideas on natural fibers and traditional basketry.  It was the beginning for me to explore the natural materials that were so abundant in my own environment.
It was a good time to be experimenting in fiber, as the field was being developed and appreciated.  
After doing many, many functional baskets that were sold in stores, I was able to develop ideas towards a sculptural vision.  

Crimson Strata

What about the medium of fiber appeals to you?
Date palm seed stalk became my material of choice.  Available to harvest in the area, it allowed me to weave on a larger scale.   Over time I have searched to find a way to introduce color with the earth tone hues I have from nature.  Painting canvas and twining it along with the natural materials has been a great evolution for my work.  I could still use the date palm in its natural state and use acrylics to voice another layer in my weaving.

Who would you like to critique your work?

An important part of my development in how to critique and view my work came from collaborative meetings with both Dave Davis and Don Weeke.  It is such an amazing experience when you come together with artists that are at a similar level to your work and have equivalent appreciation to nature and it possibilities.  We’d choose an inspirational word and weave our own interpretation using our own techniques.  We would then come together to meet and critique.  It is very important for me to be comfortable with those that critique my work and that I have a mutual respect for.  This was an invigorating environment helping me to develop my own voice with my weaving.  It lasted more than 10 years and sadly ended when Dave passed away.  I still count on Don to help me from time to time with his invaluable point of view.

What are your creative challenges?

I am often not sure how to verbalize the feelings and pleasures I receive from the actual doing of my art.  It is both satisfying and challenging and I feel lucky to continue to weave.
I no longer fight the feeling of entering my studio to “reinvent the wheel”.  Reinvention happens all the time with new ideas both physical and mental.