We are what we wear
People who experience my one of a kind pieces of sustainable wearable art feel themselves draped in natural beauty. The organic cotton is soft, the natural dye colors are rich and earthy; the garment is a comforting capacious shape, that flatters everybody.
I am inspired by the natural world, hypnotized by the vastness of the sea, lulled into calm by the woods. My work derives from this world and ultimately returns, as nature and time have their way with things.
Sustainability is my guiding practice. My materials–cotton, silk, plant leaves, and dyes–are all natural, with many of local origin. The unique pieces of art-to-wear and wall art I create contemplate the aspect of our nature to see an image in a random pattern…to impose order on a natural process.
Bundle dying organic cotton or vintage silk with local leaves and plant dyes are my primary means of creating surface design on textiles. Before bundling, I arrange natural dyes, leaves, and found items on lengths of cloth in carefully composed patterns and colors. The overall composition is not revealed until after bundles are heated, thus stimulating the magical process of botanical alchemy. Opening each bundle is a gift to me from nature, which I then respectfully transform into a work of art.
I create one-size-fits-all fashions from organic cotton Jersey, cut and machine sewn using zero-waste principles. The wall art I create is mounted on linen using wheat or rice paste, then wrapped on frames.
- Beth Hester – Random Weave Basketry, 2016
- Jiyoung Chung – Joomchi, 2017
- Jo Campbell Amsler – Random Willow Weave Basketry, 2018
- Akemi Nakano Cohen – Natural Dyes and Stencil Resists, 2018
- Bryant Holsenback – Wire wrapping and recycled materials, 2019
Materials used in my work:
- Organic Cotton, silk and linen (Dharma Trading Co, Organic Cottons Plus)
- Blue – Indigo (River Cottage Farm, KY; Stony Creek Colors, TN) , Woad (my garden)
- Red – Madder (Stony Creek Colors, TN)
- Yellow – Weld, Marigold, Tumeric (my garden)
- Orange – Osage Orange (Stony Creek Colors, TN)
- Brown – Walnut, Hickory (my garden)
- Rust – Old nails, Steel wool
- Black – Rust water and tannin
- Leaves – Smokebush, Walnut, Oak, False Indigo, Sage, Rose, Strawberry (my garden)
Natural Dye and Slow Fashion Resources:
- The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing by J. N. Lyles
- The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar
- Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles, by India Flint
- Alabama Studio: Sewing + Design, by Natalie Chanin
- Stony Creek Colors, Robertson County, TN
GALLERIES and SHOPS
- Dandilion Wishes – Hopewell, NJ
- ZigZag Gallery – Dayton, OH
- Heart of the Home – New Hope, PA
- Kentucky Artisans Center, Berea, KY
- Copper Fox Gallery, Leipers Fork, TN
- Craft(s) Gallery, Louisville, KY
- High Country Art and Antiques, Blue Ridge, GA