My creative projects originate from a theoretical framework actualized in “real life” activities. My creative projects are organic and grow from a rich research base that is influenced by international experiences. As an apparel designer and fiber artist, I pursue creative projects that integrate information from my research activities, resulting in tangible and visual objects to address design problems.
Inspired by my great-grand mother who passed the techniques and appreciation for handwork to me through my mother, I have a “tool box” of structural and surface textile techniques in which I am proficient – knitting, crochet, bead embroidery, various methods of shibori (arashi and nui), dye processes, hand and computer-aided embroidery, free form embroidery, tassel making, binding and coiling, computer-aided textile design, digital textile printing, needle felting, wet felting, shibori felting, smocking, and cartridge pleating. In my work I attempt to integrate at least two of these techniques into a piece of work. My goal is to elevate these techniques from craft level to the perceived higher level of “art” and to help sustain these processes, since many are hand techniques that at various time periods have been on the verge of extinction. My work reflects a heritage from my great-grandmother who was one generation from slavery and never had the opportunities and freedoms I have had to explore, share, and communicate the beauty and importance of textiles as I do today.
In many cases, I first create the fabrics for the objects using, yarns or threads to knit, crochet, embroider or felt fabrics or structures. Viewers notice in my work, that there is rarely repetition of forms or silhouettes. I take pride in exploring new shapes, silhouettes and garments through the creation of garment patterns by utilizing draping, flat pattern and computer-aided pattern making techniques. I rarely re-use the same pattern for a garment or object. I also anticipate that audiences will view my pieces on both macro (whole totality of the silhouette) and micro (close detail of the depth of texture) levels.