I am a teacher and artist specializing in weaving and resist dyeing, incorporating ikat and plangi into my hand woven wall pieces.
The technique of ikat is a process of resist tying warp and/or weft threads to achieve a pattern as the cloth is woven. Resist material might be anything that, when wound tightly around the yarn and then submerged into dye, does not allow the color to penetrate bound areas. Ikat, also known as kasuri or jaspe, is unique because the planning, design and binding is carried out on the threads before the cloth is woven, rather than on a pre-existing piece of cloth. Consequently, the design is an integral component of the fabric's structure and, like hand weaving, it is a construction method.
The process of plangi, also known as shibori, amarras, or tie dye, relies on the way the dyer folds and/ or manipulates a piece of cloth, secures it in a compressed state, and then dyes the fabric in order to create a pattern. The dye only penetrates the areas of cloth that are left exposed. After the dyeing and removal of protective coverings, the resisted parts emerge as negative patterns and retain the original color of the fabric. Plangi is considered a surface design technique.
My work has been influenced by travels throughout Cote d'Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Mexico. Since 2006, along with colleague Virginia Davis, I have been studying with and documenting the work of Mexican master rebozo weaver Don Evaristo Borboa Casas, producing hand woven rebozos on a backstrap loom and making a short film about his work.
I present my textiles in a wide variety of venues, both national and international. They have been displayed at the North American Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica; the American Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico; and at the United States Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. My textiles also have been the subject of solo shows at the Glenview Mansion Art Gallery, the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, and the Rosewood Centre Arts Gallery, and are included in the book Art on the Edge, Seventeen Contemporary American Artists published by the U.S. Department of State. My work is held in private and public collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
As an educator I have taught in public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and, currently, at the Potomac School in Virginia. I have also led numerous “artist in residence” workshops in Pennsylvania and the Washington DC metropolitan area, creating site-specific collaborative textiles with students. Recently I taught a textile course for adults at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and a jaspe design workshop at the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City during the Art of the Jaspe Rebozo Conference.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo; studied textiles, studio art and art history via post-baccalaureate course work at Buffalo State College and the University of Pittsburgh; and received a Masters in Teaching degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
I have been a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland since 1994, and maintain a studio in Takoma Park, Washington D.C.