Take rug hooking, handpainted silk scarves, tree bark sculpture, dyed clothes and paper and what do you get? Fiber arts, of course.
The newly formed Fiber Artists of Beaufort will hold its inaugural show this weekend at Tabby Fabric and Studio in Beaufort. The group welcomes artists of all sorts whose one common thread, so to speak, is their work with textiles.
Founding member Terry Waldron explains how she came across fiber arts.
Question. How did group come about?
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Answer. One of our members, Barbara James, came from Ohio. There was a huge guild where she was from. Then she got to Beaufort and no one knew what she was talking about when she mentioned fiber arts. She saw some of my pieces in a gallery and contacted me. We just kind of started this group.
Q. How would you describe fiber arts?
A. I would say it's art other than painting. It's using fibers in all different ways. It's anything from basketry like Kim Keats does to Pat Wilcox who does everything. There's regular felting and silk dyers. I make figurative art. You can call them art dolls. Everyone does something different. No quilters yet, though.
Q. No quilters?
A. Quilting kind of has a bad rap, because of the old-fashioned granny quilt. There a lot of quilters who do amazing work. That would be considered fiber art, as well. Most of us have done a quilt or three in our lives.
Q. How did you get into fiber arts?
A. I've basically been an artist my entire life. I've been through everything. I saw some art dolls in a gallery once. The artist gave a class, and I've been making them ever since.
It's so enjoyable to take a piece of fabric and give it a personality. Sometimes they just come alive for you.
Q. I saw a photo of the seahorse doll you created. How do you plan out your pieces?
A. I'm more intuitive. I draw my own patterns. If you let your hands do the work and don't overthink it, it just happens. It's like writing. If you don't overthink it and let the words flow, they come out better that way. Sounds a little strange, but if I listen to the fabric it tells me what to do.