Meet the Artists of Found Again

Here we’re publishing interviews with some of the fiber artists from our winter 2020 exhibition, Found Again.  These quilters, sewists and surface design artists shared what they are working on, what inspires them and how they keep their creativity flowing.  We’ll update this page as our artists respond.

Laurel Izard

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? 

LI: I am working on several projects at this time, and also had the opportunity to make friends with my new sewing machine and quilt older projects that were sitting around.  My new series of quilts feature birds threatened with extinction.  Some of the pieces are completely hand-stitched such as 15 Endangered Birds of North America, which was made from a couple of vintage quilt tops.  This project was inspired by vintage quilts of American state birds, which had me thinking about how many birds of our country have been lost or are now critically endangered.  I see the reuse of these unfinished works as a symbolic reclaiming of what we had and are threatened to lose.  The fact that many of these birds were not endangered in the 30’s or 40’s when these quilts were made is not lost on me.  The unfinished fused fabric quilt depicts the Kagu, which is a sweet little endangered bird from New Caledonia.

My studio shot shows the cluttered space I work out of, although most of the house I share with my artist husband is a studio.

OCM: How are you keeping your creativity flowing?

LI: I feel very inspired artistically.  Making art is keeping me sane during the pandemic.  It distracts me, gives me solace and is a form of meditation.  I have to admit, there have been some very difficult days, but I always find the energy to stitch, and that is very healing for me.

You can find more about Laurel on her website, on Facebook, and on Instagram @izardlaurel

Becky Dickson

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

BD: During the COVID19 quarantine I’ve been finishing a tessellation quilt started before the virus hit.  The quilting took up a lot of the first week or so of the quarantine.  Black thread on black fabric – yikes.  I finally turned the quilt over and the back was much easier to see to do all those bubbles & matchstick quilting.  The back is a tie dyed piece of cotton sateen from my grandkids dying projects from Christmas 2019.

Then I decided to make some fabric masks which I gave to my family, a neighbor and to my primary care physician’s office.

OCM: What inspires you, or influences your work?

BD: The tessellation was inspired by my art quilt muse Betty Busby, who posted on Facebook that she was experimenting with tessellations.  I watched some YouTube videos and gave it a shot.  One of my shapes looked like a stingray.  Here’s a picture of the finished quilt, completed on April 9, 2020, in the heart of the virus contagion in Ohio (pictured below).

OCM: How are you keeping your creativity flowing during the pandemic?

BD: I’ve watched several video art quilt shows on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  Then I ordered a design book by Jean Wells and am inspired to try some abstract line art.  I’m not very good at abstract and want to try it and see if I can get better.  I also want to try Katie Pasquini Masopust artful log cabins.  Both of these artists start with photographs so I’ve been searching my travel photographs for inspiration to try both techniques.  I’ll see what happens!  I love to experiment with fiber art and I’ve sure got time to do it.

Then again, I might decide to do the whole cloth quilting with the other tie dye project from Christmas.  It’s on PDF cotton and the tie technique from YouTube was called Star Flower.  I’m thinking a bunch of feathers!

 

 

 

 

Mary Lou Alexander

Mary Lou Alexander’s quilt, Big Bang #3, was featured in Found Again. She will have another quilt, Threnodyin the Best of 2020 exhibition this summer.

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

MLA: I am happy to be working in my studio every day and I’m so grateful that I have this obsession.  It’s the only upside to this awful time.

In many ways my practice is the same as always, but I have more time to give to it.   Since we have no social time, travel, shopping for groceries, etc., the studio is a refuge and a time consuming pleasure.

OCM: What do you do for fun?

MLA: I am cooking!  And eating!  We might be gaining a little weight but I’m confident that we can deal with that when the crisis is over.  Meanwhile, cooking dinner every night is a routine that is creative, fun and nutritious.

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the crisis?

MLA:  I haven’t responded to this crisis, but I am working on a large quilt that is inspired by global warming.  I’m trying to concentrate on one disaster at a time.

I’m attaching a studio photo of a work in progress and a few completed pieces on the wall (pictured below).

You can find more about Mary Lou on her websiteFacebook page and Instagram.

Growth #4

New Growth

 

 

 

 

Caryl Fallert-Gentry

Caryl Fallert-Gentry had two pieces in Found Again, Dancing Through the Blues #2 and Divergence.

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

CFG: I’m using the time while we’re hunkered down to make as many quilts as possible for upcoming exhibitions. I’m working on a series of pieces in which I combine photography, digital painting (on my Microsoft Surface Design Studio computer), digital printing by Spoonflower and lots of quilting. We’re in the Seattle area, so our time of isolation started the last week of February. Fortunately I already had several quilt tops on hand at that time. I also got busy designing several more, hoping to get them printed before Spoonflower was forced to stop production. I am also working on a series of 12” miniature versions of previous work. The profits from the sale of the miniature pieces will go to various quilt museums and non-profits that have had to close during the pandemic.

Here I am painting on my Microsoft surface design computer (photo, above). I can paint and draw directly on the screen with either my finger or a stylus. I wear a glove so I don’t make a mess by touching the screen accidentally while I’m drawing fine details with the stylus. This painting became part of a quilt I made for the Deeds Not Words exhibition, celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage  (pictured, below).

Here are the pieces I have finished quilting since the last week of February. Every picture is a link to larger images and the whole story of the quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCM: How do you stay inspired, upbeat and entertained while we’re in isolation?

CFG: I’m very fortunate to be married to a wonderful man so I don’t feel completely isolated at home. We play five game sets of ping pong twice a day to get some exercise and have some fun. Two or three times a week I meet a neighbor to walk (on opposite sides of the road of course and wearing our masks).

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the coronavirus?

CFG: The image that sticks in my mind is the man at Costco on February 30, in a cordoned off area, behind yellow hazard tape, handing out toilet paper, one bundle at a time. I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of that. It’s a quilt I want to make but, being seniors, we no longer feel safe going to Costco (sigh).

You can find more about Caryl and purchase her work at her website and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Adams

Christine Adams’ quilt, Daddy’s Tieswas featured on the Found Again postcard.

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

CA: During this down time I am going through my stash in its variety of boxes, baskets, drawers and more discovering bits and pieces of inspiration that are tucked away.  What was I thinking when saving a variety of cigarette lighters from the early twenties?  Or how many bread tabs would it take to create a quilt?  And will my small stash of designer tie labels ever grow enough to become a significant art quilt?

I’ve revisited my wonderful and lovely mother-of-pearl buttons large and small and have sifted through boxes of silk ties.  I found now that the weather permits open windows again, my interest in eco dyeing is awakened.

In December 2019 I completed an immigration quilt (pictured, below).  I’ve contemplated backing it with a quote.  Also on my design wall are two T-shirt quilts that my twin granddaughters are working on.

I’ve discovered some beautiful self-striping yarn in my art closet and have begun a sweater.  A piece of upholstery fabric caught my eye and I’m creating a tote bag that I plan to embellish with some of those pearl buttons.  It’s possible that even those cigarette lighters may become a mixed media art installation-My Heart Burns for You?  Or some such project.. 😉

Until recently, most days were filled with reading and drawing via the Caribu app with my grandchildren so that their parents could work at home.  However, discovering Zoom has opened my world to the various groups of friends that I thought I would not see for some time.  My quilt group is beginning to meet regularly through Zoom as well as other groups I belong to.

It is important to me to keep a bit of a schedule – a salute to past times.  Those of us in our home eat together, work on puzzles, take walks, write to friends, discuss the books we are reading, keep up with the grandchildren, do some gardening, and still find quiet creative time for ourselves.

You can find more about Christine at her website.

Conflagration

Frauke Palmer

Frauke Palmer’s quilt in Found Again,  The Watchersfeatured photographs taken in the desert, then printed on to fabric and pieced into a quilt. Here, she shares with us what inspires her work and how she turns nature photography into fiber art.

“My studio is the out-of-doors. That’s where I take my pictures,  that’s where I find my inspiration [and] that’s where my ideas spring forth. Back home I sit in front of my computer and relive all those moments out in the desert hiking through the wide open landscape learning about nature’s ways.

Rocks are a particular focus of mine, the large expanse of rock exposed in the deserts of Arizona and Utah.  Multicolored, etched with nature’s designs, they provide me with a palette of color and line that I incorporate into my quilts. Trees, their bark [and] their growth patterns [also] add to the possibilities.

These elements come together through the use of the computer which allows me to slice and dice my images, layer them, adjust them, blend them and manipulate them in myriad ways. What fun I have! And all the time I am reliving those precious moments out in nature while sitting at back home.

That all seems so distant now that we are all confined to our houses waiting for the virus to arrive at our door. What will the world be like when we emerge once again? It will be a changed world for us, but the rocks and trees will still be out there waiting, waiting for visitors.

Right now I am not working on any art. Hard to concentrate when there is so much danger and change out there. But I am sewing masks! Not as much fun as making art, but necessary in these difficult times.”