My interest in fiber art began when I saw beautiful Native American Basketry at the Heard Museum in Arizona. Years later, I learned fiber processing techniques from Northwest Coast Native basket makers who taught a foundation of traditional and technical skills. “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and when restrictions were imposed on the harvesting of some of the commonly used natural resources, I began searching for new materials.
After years of experimentation, I have successfully developed ways to process unusual materials such as citrus, cantaloupe and pomegranate peels, sturgeon skin and even more mundane materials including petals, leaves, and seed pods to use as viable materials. I began making figurative sculptural basketry. A “Women Icon Series”, includes feminine forms with written narratives literally sewn onto the vessel emphasizing the embodiment of the soul in each piece.
My travels to Borneo and New Zealand solidified my yearning to become culturally aware; but also to educate myself about my own cultural identity. A link to my identity was missing when much of our family history and artifacts were lost due to the Internment. With the encouragement of my husband, we began a project with our son to tell the story of the WWII Japanese American Internment Camps. Piece by piece, we are puzzling together a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. This project has been very cathartic and revealing. It has again changed the essence of my work.
In the future, I plan to create new styles of fiber art beyond what I have created in the past. In 2018, I will begin to share my processing techniques after the completion of the internment project.