I am a Canadian mixed media, fibre artist and designer. My home is in a small village on a lake in the mountainous Kootenay region of British Columbia. In my studio I transform natural fibre textiles using a mixed media of surface design techniques including screen printing, shibori and hand dyeing. I use both natural and fibre reactive dyes. My art cloth is then constructed by me into garments, accessories, jewelry, housewares and art objects.
I was born and raised in Southern Africa where the red dirt, vibrant colours and bold patterns of Africa helped to shape my aesthetics. I have always relished in the pure wonder of my senses. My memories from childhood are strongly tactile: bare feet on sandy beaches and exploring rocky tide pools, walking in the pushing tide of the ocean picking up shells and maybe the lucky find of blue and white Ming dynasty china, washed ashore from old shipwrecks. The feel of my Great Grandmother’s ‘kaross’ animal skin which could produce tiny glass beads from her needlework if I ran my hands through it’s softness. Colours too: The brilliant and meaningful bead work of the Xhosa people who lived in the region, the outrageous colours of my mother’s garden and the insects living in it, the deep blue and green changing colours of the ocean where I lived.
Wherever I find myself in the world, be it living or just passing through, it is nature who offers me the greatest source of solace and inspiration. She is my muse. The rich textures and colours found in nature’s design can be seen in my dye patterns and screen printed images of flowers, seeds and leaves, insects and birds, bears and deer. My designs also reflect ecology, how creatures interact with their environment and seasonal changes.
Diversity is another theme which runs through my life and my work. I use a variety of natural fibre fabric including silk, wool, cotton, linen and hemp. I love to experiment with the more obscure fibers like yak wool, nettle fibre and tussah (wild) silk. My use of colour is broad though I do tend towards a warm earthy palette. When I use natural and regional plant dye materials you will notice the beautiful luminous colours of nature – often subtle, but always rich and vital. In my use of fibre reactive dyes my colour palette is bolder, brilliant and often with more contrast.
Browsing through the items in my shop on Etsy you will notice a little bit of everything. I welcome your inquiries about garments or custom versions of something you see.