Former Members

This page has been created to celebrate those who have been part of the SAQA artistic community, but are no longer.  We appreciate their time with us in Western Canada and wish them all the best -- wherever their life journey takes them!

Last updated: May 2, 2016.

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Susanne Loutas, Saskatoon, SK

During the time that I painted portraiture as my evocation, and delved into the limitless possibilities within pastel and paint, I often said that if I had another parallel lifetime I would pursue fiber arts. I had previously studied the piano, flute and guitar; knit, crocheted and embroidered; made Fimo jewellery, pottery, and weaving; sewn clothes, taken woodworking classes, and built stained glass. But I would always come back to painting, and putting myself out into the world to paint portraiture on commission.

Then came Peru. After a ten-year participation in Saint Albert’s Studio Gallery (now VASA), creating and selling paintings, curating shows in cafes and festivals, and culminating in a semi-solo show at Profiles Public Art Gallery, I accompanied my husband to Peru for a year and a half. Growing up, I had often moved with my parents among European and Canadian army destinations, and had visited my husband’s Greek homeland. Visiting Peru offered an opportunity to see the world from a far different perspective. I was confident my art would only grow in response to such a change.

When I came back to Canada I realized that I was ready for a change. Joining the Saskatoon Quilters Guild on a whim, I was stunned by the scope of this art form. I began to borrow as many different books as I could from their wonderful library, spanning traditional geometric piecing to the most transcendent Art Quilting.


My quilting efforts, though not numerous, grew. The traditional log-cabin bed quilt made from family clothing scraps ten years before had taken me a decade, as I had to correct for the irregular squares cobbled together without the benefit of measurement. Now I challenged myself with two block-of-the-month squares to teach myself proper measurement, cutting and piecing. A misunderstanding on the part of my sewing machine led to pieces not fitting, and the nine-inch squares grew to 22-inch table-toppers, incorporating replacement triangles and borders. A fascination with Victorian crazy quilting led me to try every stitch in a needlework resource book, resulting in two heavily beaded and embroidered free-form wall pieces. My Sofia’s computer-embroidery capability led to experiments where I subverted built-in motifs to create multi-layer embroideries.

Then I decided to accept the Fabric Challenge in preparation for the bi-annual SQG Quilt Show. Out of my depth but eager for the creative opportunity, I had to rein in my grandiose vision for a full kimono to a more manageable jacket. I misunderstood the deadline and rushed into trying to finish it in two weeks. I misunderstood the quilt show registration requirements and wound up unable to exhibit it, so I wore it instead. As a garment it wasn’t even entirely finished. But the pieced, beaded, painted and thread-embellished back was a success.

In the months following the Quilt Show, my efforts have revolved around manipulating the fabric surface with paint, dye, decolourant, stencils, and printing techniques. A feeling of urgency has me attempting small samples of techniques. I’ve indulged in an obsession with my “Colouring Book”, an art journal, as a joyful release as well as a potential source of future designs. I have found friendship in like-minded artists with passion and generosity. I try to contribute regularly to show-and-tell whether a piece is finished or not. To me the process is often more important than the product, and I enjoy sharing my excitement over a technique or inspiration.

My education began at home where my artist mother and photographer father coached me from the earliest days. At University I studied a year towards a bachelor of fine arts before achieving a bachelor of science at the University of Manitoba. In 2004 I achieved my Diploma of Fine Arts with Distinction at the U of Alberta Extension Department. I also had the opportunity to take workshops with Robert Sinclair in Alberta, and wonderful contemporary artists in Ontario and Alberta.

I’m looking forward to the time when I feel I have enough depth of knowledge in this field to teach classes and retreats. I am bursting with experience in art theory which can benefit any creative endeavour. I enjoy sewing technology as well as the age-old hand arts. I view fine art and craft as a continuum with overlapping values. I embrace the current boom in mixed-medium art forms. I am in awe of the artistic power innate in fine quilters.


Not least of all, I am enthusiastic, though occasionally bewildered, by the scope offered by the internet. It is brilliant in bringing together people with creative ideas. At the moment I am attempting to consolidate my previous efforts at establishing a web presence. I am grateful to the people who bring SAQA to artists who happen to work in fabric everywhere.

ZEN Space

Bog coat: cut patterned after stone-age apparel recovered from peat bogs. (embellished area 14" x 16")
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Jean Gerster, Vancouver, BC


I feel lucky to have recently relocated to Vancouver from Ottawa (August 2011) and am thoroughly enjoying life on the lush West Coast. I was introduced to art quilts in 2005 and I have explored a number of different approaches to piecing and quilting since then. Having experimented with various surface design techniques such as fabric painting, different types of  resists, discharge, and screen printing as well as low-water immersion dyeing, I look forward to more exploration and evolution in my work. I use and enjoy both machine and hand quilting. This year, I've enrolled in the Fine Arts Certificate Program at Emily Carr University to pursue a long-time interest in more formal art studies. 

WEST COAST No 1, 18" x 18"

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Cher Cartwright, Surrey, BC
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Cher Cartwright is a fulltime studio artist creating contemporary art quilts.  Her work is composed exclusively of cotton fabrics that she has dyed herself, relying on a variety of immersion and surface design techniques to create her fibre palette.
Cher was born and raised in the United States.  She moved to British Columbia when she was 21 and has lived there ever since.  She was a teacher and then a lawyer before becoming an art quilt maker.  Originally drawn to quilt making by her appreciation of traditional quilts, especially those of the early 20th century Amish, Cher uses the quilt form as a springboard for creative expression, giving free rein to her enjoyment of color and her sensitivity to line. Cher creates purely imaginative images that are abstract, bold and dramatic.  She has studied extensively with Nancy Crow, from whom she learned to cut and piece fabric improvisationally, that is freehand and without a pattern.  She has also studied the history of modern painting from which she derives her greatest inspiration. 


Cher’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Quilt National in 2003 and 2007.  Among other publications, her work was showcased in a 10 page section of the Lark Books publication, Masters: Art Quilts

DISASTER RECOVERY, 67" h x 72" w
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Martha Cole, Disley, SK

NOTE: May 2016 Update: Martha continues to teach and is a favourite instructor of SDA, FAN and SAQA WC members.  Her latest major project, All Beings Confluence, continues to enthrall its viewers wherever it is viewed.

Martha Cole is a full-time textile artist whose machine-stitched and quilted works have been exhibited widely throughout Canada and the US for the last thirty years.  As well as being represented in a number of public collections, her work has represented Canada at the Yokohama Quilt Week in Japan, the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, and this year, at the Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork in France.    She has been published in several books and has had numerous journal articles and video/media interviews.  She exhibits nationally and internationally and is represented by 2 galleries – the Scott Gallery in Edmonton (www.scottgallery.com) and Mysteria Gallery in Regina (www.mysteria.ca).  As well, she regularly exhibits in public galleries and in a wide range of juried and invitational exhibitions.

She often defines herself as a landscape-based artist whose roots are deeply buried in Saskatchewan soil.  Sometimes the focus has been the vast expansiveness of the prairie panorama, the patterning of the agricultural fields; other times on the complexity and subtlety of the grasses and flora. 
Since 2006 she has been using a digital camera to explore aspects of complexity in the natural world that cannot be seen with the naked eye.  After the images have been altered in Photoshop and then printed large-scale onto fabric using commercial printers, they are further altered using transparent acrylic based fabric paints and extensive machine stitching/quilting with various collage or appliqué additions as needed.

As an “art maker”, she believes that art and visual images carry in them the power to generate change if they are created with honouring and respectful intention.  Therefore, her images are beautiful, reflective of her values, and accessible both visually and intellectually. 

As a “culture maker”, she is committed to effecting change in our society.  She creates images that resonate, affirm and deepen personal connection and accountability to the land. 


More examples of her work and a fuller explanation of her relationship to her subject matter are available on her website:  www.marthacole.ca


ELEMENTAL GREEN: WILLOWS
42" h x 26.5"w
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Daphne Greig, Victoria, BC --> -->

I began sewing as a young girl, making outfits for my dolls. I continued sewing garments until I made my first quilt in 1980. Quilting and fibre art started as a hobby but has turned into my passion and my business.

I am a pattern designer, teacher and author. I have been designing quilt patterns under the Patchworks Studio name since 1996. I have co-authored 5 quilting books and filmed an instructional DVD showcasing my Give & Take Appliqué technique.

The natural world around me is a great influence on my work. I live on Canada’s West Coast, surrounded by wonderful gardens and the Pacific Rainforest. My contemporary art celebrates elements and growth in nature, most particularly the growth of trees and plants and my personal growth as an artist. I focus on visual texture of fabrics and surface texture created with stitching and embellishments. I often work spontaneously in response to an idea or feeling. All types of textiles have a place in my work, as do many surface design techniques.

The pieces I design and create for patterns and books are more structured, however texture is still important to me within the confines of traditional quilting patterns. I concentrate on repeatable, teachable processes and have developed superior technical writing, presentation and leadership skills over the last 25 years.

Teaching is one of the activities that feeds my soul. The interaction with students is one of the joys in my life. I love meeting other people who share my passion for fabric and creativity. I present lectures and workshops for quilt shops and guilds, at major quilting events and festivals and teach online at Quilt University (www.quiltuniversity.com).

My creative life is enriched as I explore new designs and ways to express myself with my art and share discoveries with my students.


LOOKING WEST, 32" h x 18 1/2" w
This piece was adapted from a photograph looking west from Vancouver Island. It is a memory of a weekend celebration for my 30th wedding anniversary. 

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Ginette Guevremont, Edmonton, AB

Ginette is from a family of sewers, knitters and crocheters.  Her love of fabrics led her to formal studies in design and couture in Montréal in the 70s.  During the last decade, a search for a creative outlet led her to obtain a Quilting Degree from a well-established Edmonton shop followed by membership in the Edmonton Quilters Association, Surface Design Association (SDA) and Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA).  A keen interest in multi-media textile techniques is fed through regular attendance at conferences and workshops in Canada and the US and through on-line training.  Constant reading and research on art and fiber/textile techniques from different cultures feeds her curiosity and thirst for innovation.



Combining fabric painting and dyeing, felting, beading, printing and image transfers on fabric with traditional quilting practices is currently her focus.  Ginette is developing a series of teaching projects for an Edmonton venue which she hopes to start in 2012.  The classes will focus on non-traditional textile/fiber techniques.

Grey Study, 18" h x 20" w
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Jane Kenyon, Vancouver, BC

Textiles are the unsung heroines of cultural exploration. A fiber artist today probes the history and significance of historical textiles, but also explores the relationships and possibilities in a contemporary world. Building on the foundation of traditional fibre and art practices, a new art medium is created with new possibilities of design, expression, and ideology. Today’s fiber artist utilizes a large variety of techniques; painting, dyeing, printing, collage, gilding, sculpture, hand embroidery, machine stitching and more.


Currently, Kenyon is exploring the creation of cloth with stitch only, Thread Painting. This requires a foundation (stabilizer) on which to stitch that can be dissolved at the end of the project. Working in this way, the artist is essentially drawing & painting with thread, instead of using other traditional painting mediums. Thread Painting creates exceptional detail and texture that are not possible with any other technique, and Kenyon is exploring both the natural and the urban world in her present imagery.



Kenyon’s artwork can be found in corporate collections in Vancouver and private collections in Canada and the U.S., as well as the Korean Craft Museum, Canadian Embassy in Seoul, Canada Council Art Bank, Saskatchewan Art Bank collections and the World Textile Association in Miami, FL. 


TROPICAL SOJOURN, 40" X4'"

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Alison Kobylnyk, Victoria, BC

Alison's love for textile art started as a child. At age six she was given a sewing machine, and learned her first embroidery stitches. She became a full-time artist after retirement and developed a passion and obsession with fabrics and fibres. 

Alison's art reflects her travels, personal experiences and memories of growing up in England and moving to B. C.

Alison uses fibres and fabrics and papers of all kinds to create one of a kind pieces full of texture and colour.  Her inspirations come from her love of BC and travels to many continents.  Landscapes of the surrounding beaches and forests contrast her abstracts rich in colour and mixed techniques.  


Her art can be found in private collections in the US, Australia, the UK and Switzerland.


CASCADES, 19" h x 27" w
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Lorraine LindenbachCalgary, AB --

HELP!   I’m trapped in the world of art quilting and can’t get out!

My living and dining rooms are now an art quilting studio.  Where should we go for dinner tonight dear? 

The office has been replaced by a mixed media haven.  Bank statements?  What bank statements? 

I’m taking drawing and oil painting classes. Finger painting 101, what fun. 

I keep an art journal; no you can’t see it. 

I’ve gone crazy and I love it!  I call it my senior crisis; I’m too old for the mid life kind.


Fortunately I have a group of crazy friends in Calgary, AB known as FOG (Fiber Optics Group).  We meet once a month to support each other while exploring the wonders, and possibilities, in the world of art quilts.  We also go on field trips and have special events at each other’s studios. Currently, I am obsessed with layering quilts on quilts.  The top piece is quilted by hand or machine then attached to a whole cloth quilt which becomes the frame. For me, once a quilt is finished, I have no interest in it.  So I rarely enter shows preferring to make more quilts instead!  Can’t find the ones I’ve already made anyway.


FALL FLOWERS, 16" h  x 18" w
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Judy SeeleyVictoria, BC 
I was born in Vancouver, grew up in Colorado and returned to Canada to attend university at Simon Fraser in 1967.  After completing my Masters (UBC) in Librarianship, I worked in the mining and energy industry.  In 1995, leaving behind my career as a Corporate Librarian, I realized a dream by studying Textile Art at Capilano College in North Vancouver, B.C.  After completing my diploma, our family moved to Victoria in 1997 where I was happy to be able to set up a studio and begin exploring textile art while raising our two sons.
In my studio work, I focused on designing one-of-a-kind wearable art, using the “faux chenille” technique.  I primarily use rayon, so the pieces are sensually textured, and drape any figure beautifully.   The clothing I create, using my own design, range from a variety of accessories, vests, and jackets to full-length coats.  After introducing my work at the “Out of Hand” craft show in Victoria in 1998, I have been selling my wearable art in one-of-a-kind clothing stores in California and Arizona and locally in Victoria.
I have always had a special attachment to textiles beginning with making clothes for my dolls, sewing my own wardrobe, traditional baby quilts and finally, creating my own line of wearable art.  However, after 13 years in the world of wearable art, I find myself drawn in a new direction; to art quilts.  My first small art quilts are based on using my husband's photography printed onto fabric.  I then embellish the photo with free motion quilting or use the photo as a source material.  As a recurring theme, I find myself inspired by the natural world from a spiritual perspective.  I am excited about the endless possibilities in the world of art quilts. I belong to two other textile groups, Fibres and Beyond and Surface Design Association, Vancouver Island, where I am exposed to other processes and materials.  I look forward to becoming more involved in SAQA and having a venue to showcase my new work.


HORNBY ROCKS, 19" h x 13" w

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Louise Perrin, Swift Current, SK 
Louise Perrin is an internationally-juried, mixed media fibre artist living in SW Saskatchewan, who is strongly influenced by the prairie vistas and  the unending  skies surrounding her.  Growing up in a military family, Louise always tried to adapt to her current surroundings and to bloom where she is “planted”.  
After spending close to 30 years in the Maritimes, Louise returned to her beloved Prairies in late 2004. As a mostly self-taught, life-long learner, Louise has continued to develop her interests and skills in photography, sewing, quilting and other handwork.  She took her basic beginner traditional quilting course in 1982 with Marilyn Crawford in Paradise, N.S. and has never looked back.  
While in Nova Scotia, Louise won awards for her photography and quilts. Her latest passion is surface design and dyeing and painting fabrics. She incorporates many of the techniques she uses into her fibre art which continues to evolve over time. Her original fibre art has been exhibited in juried shows, art shows and galleries locally, nationally and internationally.  One of her pieces was in the collection of the Rt. Hon Jean Chretien,  Prime Minister of Canada.  Other venues have included: Celebrate! Millenium; The Grand National – Constructions of Canada, Tactile Architecture, Sacred Threads, The Dallas Quilt Celebration (one of the first International participants), the Journal Quilt Project (several years), O Canada 2001;  GeoPhysical at Quilt Canada.2010 and Connected Across the West. Louise is a Professional Juried Marketing Member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. 
Her work can be found at Traditions Handcraft Gallery, Apperly Place Gift Shop in the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Cumberland  Gallery (Provincial Legislature building) in Regina; Grasslands Gallery in Val Marie, SK; The Hive Side Shop in Medicine Hat, AB; at SCC organized Markets; and in a number of fine craft and clothing stores in Southwest  Saskatchewan, her studio as well as her online shop. 
Louise divides her time between her spacious studio in a former elementary school and the apartment she shares with her 17 yr old cat, Stanza.  They frequently take trips out along the grid roads of rural Saskatchewan  to take photos and be inspired. She teaches a variety of process-based classes in her studio, at the Art Gallery of Swift Current and in local schools. 
UNDULATING ELEMENTS, 25" h x 35" w

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Sharron SchoenfeldSaskatoon, SK

I have always loved to create art, and have experimented in various mediums over the years. Fabric has been a constant throughout my life.  As a young girl I wanted to sew my own clothes, so my parents bought me a used sewing machine. I taught myself most of what I know about sewing and eventually wanted to branch out into more creative endeavors. After a “Learn to Quilt” class at a local quilt shop I was hooked! 
My sewing room is set up, with all my favorite pictures, antique furniture, sewing supplies and tubs of my favorite fabrics.  My “day” job is in an office dealing with people and I really enjoy it, but the real me loves to escape into my sewing room and create. 

Color is probably the most important element of my pieces. I do not have a favorite color, although I find some are easier to work with than others. Of the wide variety of fabrics available to quilters, my favorites are always batiks.  The color, light, contrast, and shading found in batiks are all very exciting to me.

I work intuitively, rarely knowing what the finished product will look like.  I begin most pieces with a design that appeals visually to me; and do not necessarily follow any particular themes.  Other pieces are more meaningful, and express my interpretation of events and their importance to me.  

The techniques used in my pieces include handwork, thread painting, appliqué, textile paint, various embellishments, traditional and non-traditional quilt piecing methods. 

My work has been accepted into the Canadian Quilters Association, CQA Quilt Calgary 2010 National Juried Show & CQA Quilt Ontario National Juried Show, 2011The Grand National Invitational Quilt Exhibition in Kingston Waterloo; Saskatchewan Craft Council, Dimensions 2007 & 2009 Touring Exhibition of Fine Craft2007 Her-icane GoDiva, Annual Festival of Women's Art produced by 25thStreet Theatre Center Inc. Saskatoon, Sk.; and received various awards from the Prairieland Exhibition Showcase of the Arts, Saskatoon, SK. 


TELL THE WORLD... 41" h x 33" w
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Carol Seeley,  Campbell River, BC

I enjoy fibre as a medium because it is soft, flexible, forgiving yet versatile. I use extensive quilting & embellishment in my work to create depth and texture to entice the viewer into the surface. I particularly enjoy combining textiles with other mediums such as thread painting, beading, felting, cheesecloth, fibres and found objects.

My work covers a wide range from the traditional to the more contemporary style with my abstract designs and realistic west coast landscapes.

My traditional pieces use colour and value to create a subtle illusion of depth along with incorporating extensive free motion quilting.

My contemporary pieces depict the places in my life, real and imagined. From the coastal scenes of my home on the east coast of Northern Vancouver Island to the imaginings that take me to far away places.

My coastal landscapes use extensive thread work to create realistic images of the vistas I visit each summer while exploring the passages and coves between Vancouver Island and the main land of Canada.

My abstract pieces play with line and shape to explore balance and moment.
I have been privileged to have my work appear in galleries and private homes in North America and Europe. 

I have been juried into national and international quilt and art shows receiving awards regionally, nationally and internationally.

Every June finds me heading out on our 32’ trawler with my husband, Larry for 3 months of boating the West Coast of BC. As we settle down into one anchorage after another, I sit on the bow of the boat hand stitching on my quilt tops. I am currently planning and preparing this summers work and will be machine finishing these pieces this fall when we return to dry land and my sewing machines.

In my non boating month, I enjoy teaching, entering shows and retreating with my friends.


SILENT VIGILANCE, 8" x 8"
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Susan Wittrup, Regina, SK


Textiles have been a lifelong passion as I started sewing even before I could read. I love taking the common and mixing it with the exotic, so many of my pieces will intermingle humble muslin, silks, velvets and beads.

While primarily self taught, I have taken numerous workshops and classes in quilting, embellishing, felting and design. My work has appeared in exhibitions across Canada, in the U.S. and is in collections in Canada, Mexico, Japan and England.

In my work, I draw on images that suggest themselves as I view the world around me. Perhaps the greatest influence on my imagery is the built environment. I am fascinated by architecture and by human influence on the world, as in the restructuring of land through agriculture. To represent these, I usually turn to abstraction and non-representational approaches. 

My first love, dimension through embellishment, is present in virtually everything I do. Starting from a quilting base, machine piecing, machine quilting, machine embellishing and fusing may take place as the piece develops. When felting, I use both wet felting and needle felting, sometimes both in one piece.

From there, whether quilting or felting, I incorporate thread painting, beading, buttons, ribbons and on and on, until the piece tells me that it’s finished. While I may have an idea of where I’m heading when I start a piece, I usually surrender to what the materials suggest as I work. In my beading, colour is the defining element in what I do. I prefer a tight palette with very close values. When building any piece, I draw on what I have around me. This may include beads, buttons, ribbons, Angelina fibres, yarn, novelty threads, shells, to name a few. All kinds of fabrics and fibres from bamboo to velvet to silks and unknown fibres are fair game to me. When using cottons and some silk, I tend to dye and/or paint my own, although I also utilize commercial fabrics when I feel they belong. Layering sometimes takes place so that I can trap confetti or other items under organza or to build texture or drama into a piece. I use beads in a painterly fashion to create texture and to add visual interest.


THE DOOR IS OPENING, 2011; 30" h  x 20" w
  UN Quilt for Change Contribution
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Anna Hergert, Moose Jaw, SK

Born and educated in Germany, I was exposed to fiber art at an early age. Handwork was a regular part of the weekly school curriculum and my passion for art and textiles became a lifelong pursuit. Originally an Early Childhood Education graduate my path rarely took me too far away from creating and sharing new skills in the fiber arts field. 

Teaching handwork at the Calgary Waldorf School, operating The Fiber Hut for 10 years in Calgary’s NW, teaching spinning and knitting constitute only a few stepping stones that eventually led me to obtaining diplomas in Art, Design, Contemporary Embroidery as well as Patchwork and Quilting from London City & Guilds.

This lifelong focus on the arts makes me a passionate and committed artist, teacher, lecturer and writer. In 2001 I committed to establishing myself as a full time professional artist. Since 2003 my work has traveled further and visited more exotic countries that I have.

Korea in 2007 & 2009 and Quilt National ’09 are just a couple of the interesting places where my work has been show-cased. Commissions can be found in Canadian, US and European homes and public spaces. In 2007 my husband and I packed up our household and moved from the big city to rural Saskatchewan where we make our home just north of Moose Jaw at Buffalo Pound Lake.

When I am not traveling to lecture or teach I create art in my dream studio overlooking the breath taking scenery that serves as constant source of inspiration. My work is primarily about the visual and formal - line, shape, color, texture, negative and positive space, and how these design elements communicate with each other and the onlooker. I translate these elements into fabric because I recognize its possibilities.    

Fabric is sensual and can be manipulated. It can be made to have weight, mass, and texture. It creates atmosphere by reflecting and changing its appearance in light. For me, the result is a material with the potential for an infinite expansion of expression and form.


POTASH = Potassium Carbonate, 2013; 31" x 30"





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