My dear creative friend. You won’t believe what I’ve got today. I have been interviewing textile artists for a couple of years now and every time I ask this question: “why do you use textiles to create art”, I get answers as varied as the artists themselves.
I’ve found each of the answers revealing- digging a little bit deeper beyond the surface. They don’t only go into their motivations for why they use textiles to create art but also into their own personal narratives as artists.
Today, in their own words, find the interesting reasons why the experts use textiles to create art. Here you go…
Why these Experts Use Textiles to Create Art
Using fabric offered me a way to work without the toxicity of paints, oil, turpentine etc. And it also lets me work in smaller chunks of time, not worrying if my paints would dry up before I could finish a composition.
At one point, I sold most of my sewing equipment and I then had a really productive year putting together a great body of work. And a successful run with my paper collages getting into galleries etc. But there was only one problem. I found that I missed fabric! I missed it simply running through my hands. And I missed sewing!
“I think it’s layering together memories. There’s a narrative to the raw material in a fabric, that’s not available in a tube of paint. The fabric as you hold it, says, “this is where I come from” in addition, the artist imposes a narrative on top of the fabric’s own narrative.”
Making quilts was a way to trick myself into becoming an artist. I could think that I was only making a quilt like my grandmother had done. That way, I did not have to declare I was trying to be an artist at first. By the time I realized I was an artist anyway, I had become completely self-identified as a quiltmaker. Fabric is all I know. I have never worked in other media. When I am sewing I feel like I am free.
I’ve tried a lot of different media over the years – drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery – but what I enjoy most about working with fiber is the tactile nature of the medium.
I can create an interesting composition with color, line, and shape, and then I can add another layer or dimension with dense free motion quilting. My stitching is more than just a way to hold three layers together; it’s an integral part of the design itself.
I’ve had a love affair with fabric and thread for over 30 years.
I was the kid who embroidered all of her friend’s jean jackets in high school and my quilting mother taught me the art of crazy quilting when I was in college and gave me my first sewing machine.
So here you have it- in their own words, why the experts use textiles to create art. This is going to be an ongoing series. So stay tuned for more.
Why do you use textiles to create art? Can’t wait to read your comments.