Last week we asked our Facebook fans to share with us one of their blog entries in hopes of becoming the first Quilting Arts Facebook blogger of the week. There were so many great blogs that were posted it was nearly impossible to choose one! in the end, however, Pippa Eccles and I decided to pick Susan Ettls post entitled "Left over Black Dye" because we loved her enthusiasm in trying a new technique! I caught up with Susan for a few moments to hear more about her art. Read on to see what she had to say!
What type of art do you do?
I am a textile artist who currently creates wearable art, art cloth, art quilts, and mix media collages. I have also designed 18 three-dimensional, quilt patterns using a variety of quilting and embroidery techniques. Each pattern features a plant or flower native to the desert.
And how did you get started?
I have always been interested in the textiles since I was a child. In my teens I knitted and embroidered. In my twenties, I learned how to quilt and to do canvas embroidery. After taking many canvas embroidery classes with national teachers, I took a big step forward for me and enrolled in a color class. I loved it.
This was followed by a course in fabric painting. I was hooked. Over the next seven years, I continued to take color, design, dyeing, and surface design workshops with national and international instructors. I also collected a library of books on all of these subjects.
In March 2000, I completed a three year Teacher Certification Program in color from National Academy of Needlearts. I then began a career of teaching a variety of classes for adults and children as well as becoming an textile artist.
Are you a full time artist or is it more of a hobby?
I am currently a full time artist and instructor. I am a member and chair of the Art Cloth Network an organization that provides a forum and support network for artists who are actively creating art cloth. Its members include surface design authors one of whom has written a book and several have written articles for the Quilting Arts Magazine.
My work has been exhibited at the National Academy of Needlearts’ exhibit in VA, at the Fine Art of Fiber in Chicago, and at Tubac Center of the Arts in Tubac, AZ. In February 2010, I was the artist of the month at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, AZ. In 2009, my entry in Tohono Chul Park's Wish You Were Here exhibit was featured on their postcard announcing this event. In September 2008 at Tubac Center of the Arts' Members Open Exhibit, I was presented with the Judge's Purchase Award for my wood collage, Color Dreams. In 2007, The Devil's Highway, an art cloth piece, was juried into a two-year traveling exhibition, with venues in AZ, FL, and IL.
We loved that you were trying something new with the black ink. Is this process something you are going to incorporate more often into your work?
Yes, I plan to use more black dye for printing and silk screening. This exploration began with a piece of art cloth that was figured in my blog post on October 21, 2010 . I have several ideas that I am eager to begin to experiment with during the next couple of weeks. As work progresses on these projects, I plan to document the steps on my blog.
Obviously you blog but do you also have a website or etsy store where more of your work is displayed?
My website is Desert Wind Studio. It was developed several years ago. I am currently in the process of updating my blog with additional pages. One will have descriptions of workshops I will be teaching in my home studio and one will contain information/tutorials on color, design, and creativity.
If you could impart one concept to your students, what would it be?
I would like them to embrace the fact that all human beings are creative; that is, creativity is a fundamental characteristic of being human.
What is your goal as being an instructor of art and creativity?
My goal is to encourage students of any age to learn to develop their creativity in a supportive atmosphere by giving them the knowledge and tools to express their thoughts/feelings or to tell a story.
If you could give any piece of advice about art, what would it be?
Look and learn from Mother Nature!
Thank you so much Susan!
If you are interested in becoming the next Quilting Arts Facebook blogger of the week make sure to check out our Facebook page this Sunday! Remember that you can participate each week, so if you didn’t win this week feel free to share a link to your blog again!