- Tell us a bit more about yourself: your location, professional affiliations, personal stuff…
I’m a late bloomer in the art field. After a 30 year career in a left-brain job, I am exploring my right brain and using my life-long avocation of knitting and felting as the medium for my entry into the art world. After initial explorations with yarn as more than garments, I received great affirmation that I wasn’t crazy to use knitting as a sculpture form when I attended workshops with Karen Searle and Adrian Sloan.
I’d been selling scarves through small boutiques even before I left the regular work world. In the last three years I’ve moved into knitting as a means of sculpture, making neckpieces and three-dimensional sculptures, one of which is the picture accompanying this blog entry. I love living in San Francisco with my husband. I have two grown children and I love that they’re a bit intrigued and proud of my new venture. Having known me as a lawyer as they grew up, I’m enjoying that they, and others, can see how one can venture into new territory.
- What is your ideal day in the studio? What is your agenda? What music do you listen to?
I’ve made a studio from the front bedroom in our house. It has glass cube shelves to the ceiling on two walls which I got from a yarn store that was closing. The yarn is sorted by color and fiber. I have an armless chair with wonderful back support for hours of knitting. Many of my pieces use different yarns constantly and I can knit without bumping my elbows; I can sit for forever with a color scheme of yarn around me on the floor and reach whatever I need as I knit. I have no agenda, and always have more than one project going at a time so I can tap into the type of work that day that feels right. I often listen to books as I knit. My studio space is wonderful.
- How does your process of creating an art object begin?
I have two creative processes (that I am conscious of) for which I have totally different modes of operation. One is more of a production mode, when I’ve settled on a design and have developed the basic design. Knitting is a slow process and from this process itself a design idea can emerge; I often grab an idea out of what I’m working on and explore that. (I keep a notebook, of course.) I’ve worked a lot on sculptural pieces of hands and arms and a sculptural piece that deals with arms led to my thinking of the design for the scarf in this show—that a scarf should have arms to hug around like a scarf naturally does. Alternatively I see something either real or in my head, unrelated to yarn at all, that triggers a curiosity of what it would be in yarn. I knit intuitively and make a new piece just by starting to knit without pre-planning.
- Could you do your art without an audience? How important is feedback?
Feedback on my art is a crucial part of my process. My participation is an art group has been vital to me as I evolve into being an artist. We meet once a month to share our work and their feedback has been instrumental in my artistic development. Feedback from the people who want to purchase or show my work is also a wonderful affirmation. I would be knitting in any case, but I could never say I don’t love hearing that people like what I create.
- When do you feel you hit your stride as an artist?
I don’t think I’ll ever hit my stride as an artist. In fact, it’s interesting to that perhaps I hope I don’t ever hit my stride so there will always be a new exploration involved. That is one of the things I’m enjoying the most.