Our artist for this month is Samantha Gale. Sam is a local fiber artist, who enjoys working in other media, too. I met Sam at the Lander Art Center, and got to know her a little better at an oil painting class. I love her work, and I know you will, too!
Here is what Sam had to say:
“My grandma taught me to knit when I was eight. Nowadays, I wonder what possessed her to teach an 8-year-old to knit, but it worked. I kept it up intermittently, but never tried anything too challenging. I wanted to learn to crochet, but I could never quite understand it. Eventually, a friend in college taught me, and it finally clicked. Pretty soon I started experimenting with making my own patterns. I really liked the flexibility I had with crochet to make 3D objects. I've been crocheting for about five years and there are still many techniques I have left to explore. My next goal within fiber arts is learning to weave.”
2. Are there other media that you enjoy?
“I enjoy taking classes in other media. It's always fun to learn something new, and sometimes I get ideas of ways I can incorporate other media in my fiber art projects. For example, I make crochet mandalas that I display inside of embroidery hoops. I'm currently experimenting with wood burning designs on the embroidery hoops. I also enjoy watercolor painting as a way to give my hands a rest from crochet while still being creative.”
“I think one of the challenges of fiber arts is how slowly you make progress. My experience with other media is that you can see results more immediately. I've worked on some projects for upwards of 10 hours before there's enough progress to tell that the colors aren't working together. Then you have to rip it out and start over or perhaps just start something new. Fiber artists also have to be sure to take days off. It's not uncommon to get repetitive strain injuries in your hands or wrists.”
“Currently my favorite piece is the "yarn painting" I created this summer. It uses freeform crochet techniques to create a larger picture out of many small motifs. I do take commissioned work, but my ability to do so changes with my schedule. At the moment, I am preparing work to sell at Art In The Afternoon, so I likely won't be able to take commissions until after that. The best way to reach me for inquiries is at firstname.lastname@example.org.”