October 31, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH MEMBER MICHAEL ROHDE

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

"Overall, the greatest pleasure I get in doing my work, is seeing the progress from an idea, through the gathering of materials needed to the final realization of the completed object."


Pattern” -  2011, tapestry: wool,  natural dyes,   38½” x 36½”   

 When did you first become interested in fiber?
 In the early 1970s, I’d noticed someone wearing a handwoven blouse, and became curious about how cloth was made. This started the long path that has taken me many unusual places.

What about the medium of fiber appeals to you?

           Working in fiber is a vey tactile process, especially in an age of virtual experiences. Also, I’m drawn to things that are not commonplace, and stand a bit off from the mainstream.









“From My House to Your Homeland” - 2003
, tapestry installation, hand-dyed wool and silk, 
54” x 98”

        What is the origin of your ideas, the locus?

      For many years, I wove rugs, based on pattern and color combinations. Slowly, they began to reference textiles, other than rugs, and no longer were viewed as having a function as a rug. Then, a confluence of events brought me to a new way to look at my work: suggested to consider tapestry, an invitation to be part of a major European exhibition, and a concern about issues in current politics at the time, 2003. A new way of working evolved with “From My House to Your Homeland”: the idea preceded the design part of the work. 
      This piece is a concern about loss of homes in times of war, and the line comes form a poem by June Jordan.


“Canace” - 2011, silk, natural dyes;
four selvedge wedge weave, 5¼” x 5” 
What is the greatest pleasure you get in your work?
    

           Overall, the greatest pleasure is seeing the progress from an idea, through the gathering of materials needed, to the final realization of the completed object. Along this way, I sometimes think the selection of colors and the dye procedures to achieve those colors give the most immediate satisfaction; the meditative, step-by-step of building a weaving has a tactile, albeit slowly realized gratification, but the ultimate goal is the completed, woven work.

















“Sutra” - 2008, tapestry: Navajo and Tibetan wool, silk, natural dyes, 
  44½" x 38½",







Which dead artist do you most identify with?
Mark Rothko, for his subtle use of complex colors. Agnes Martin for her simplicity of image, which conveyed much more on further study; also for her “Writings”.

       Which living artist do you most admire?

            There are many, but two who come to mind are Jim Bassler and Martha Stanley.



















“Nocturne” - 2002,  rug:
 hand dyed wool on linen warp, 83" x 54"
               
      What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
          Writing effectively about my work.
           What is your biggest fear as an artist?
                    That I will die with all my weavings, and they won’t get
          out into the world.
                    What tool could you not live without?
                   The dyepot; if I could not make my own colors, 
           the work would not be my own.
    Why did you decide to become a member of CF?
 I have always enjoyed the company and learning experience of traditional weaving or fiber art guilds, but a dozen or so years ago when I applied to join California Fibers, I was drawn to be part of a small but dedicated group of artists, who worked together to jointly promote their work, through exhibitions, and other tools to educate the public, such as the website, newsletter and this Blog.
       

  


“Unity” - 2009, tapestry: wool, silk, natural dyes,   68” x 48”
   

               What is your motto?

               If it is worth doing, do it, and do it again.







3 comments:

  1. I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from Wahooart.com, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/Opra/BRUE-8LHS4U, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.

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  2. For several years, We wove area rugs, depending on design as well as colour combos. Gradually, these people started to research fabrics, besides area rugs, with no lengthier had been considered using a work as the area rug. After that, the confluence associated with occasions introduced me personally to some brand new method to check out my personal function: advised to think about tapestry, Live Tv Online a good invite in order to participate a significant Western exhibit, along with a issue regarding problems within present national politics at that time, 2003. A brand new method of operating developed along with “From The house for your Homeland”: the concept preceded the look the main function.

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  3. Thank you for showing Michael's beautiful work. He is an inspiration!

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