Growing up in a thirteen-room farmhouse in Gray, Maine, walks in the woods and fields were a daily adventure. These walks provided opportunity to contemplate the beauty of nature, existence and marvel at the gifts mother earth had provided us. I am still inspired by the organic, calming shapes in nature, the flowing lines of ocean beaches, bark on trees, and cloud formations.
My love of working with my hands and with needle and thread comes from my grandmother and my mother. They sewed our clothes, knit sweaters, braided rugs, and embroidered clothing.
I found shibori and indigo later in life. In 1999, while in Onoe, Japan, as a chaperone for a Home-stay exchange program, I visited an indigo dye shop. I was enchanted by indigo and the patterns created through different resist processes called shibori. I couldn’t get enough of this beautiful color. I purchased Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s book: “Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing,” and began learning as much as I could.
I was self-taught for the first six years. Eventually, I had the privilege of studying with four renowned shibori artists in the U.S. I have been creating shibori pieces since 2002.
While in Japan I was also introduced to a form of Japanese quilting called sashiko. I was given a book written in Japanese Kanji. Since I could not read it, I taught myself sashiko by careful observation of the photographs, diagrams, and graphs. It is a very meditative art form that brings me a great deal of comfort and inner peace.
The different resist techniques offered with shibori appeal to my love of fluid movement. Each technique has some predictable pattern in the outcome. But the element of surprise is inescapable when a piece is finally unveiled. Each piece that is unwrapped, unclamped or unstitched has intricate, exciting patterns; many unexpected and wonderfully organic. As three-dimensional patterns rise up from a one-dimensional piece of fabric, all senses are engaged. I primarily use indigo dye because of its magical quality and its breath-taking beauty. I strive to create fluid patterns that touch, thrill and comfort the soul, and create a feeling of peace.