As an avid reader of historical fact and fiction, I get my current inspiration from Middle Eastern, African, Celtic cultures and their stories. My formal training (a degree in clothing design from Bassist College/PDX Art Institute) causes me to silkscreen motifs, design and color from these cultures into functional form fibre art for contemporary use….and of course, a little fantasy never hurts!
My “process”? I recycle…..using discarded garments, home deco samples, collected fabric scraps and other supplies in an unexpected way. (A set of quirky buttons may wait 3 years before finding its perfect fit on a cozy tribal jacket.) I form islands of color and motifs ‘til something says, “I’m complete.”
Folks observe my work with puzzlement, then delight, enjoying the cross cultural effect of my fibre collage.
Perhaps I’m just trying to create a little global harmony in fabric? Oh yeah!
Reclaiming and upcycling has always been part of my work, but even more so, now. Those giant decorator books full of fabric samples go straight to the landfill! Trying to do my part to reduce the waste by creating garments and accessories using reclaimed garments and fabrics.
When I’m not selling my work at art fairs and shows, I do custom clothing– often a great idea a client brings me, her/his need for something unusual. I’ve created unique graduation stoles for several colleges, designed and made chasubles and stoles for the ecumenical community, regalia for Native American Sundance, and cobbled out creative garments for alter abled clients.
During the summer I ran the fibre art studio at Grace Art Institute for 18 years under a tent in a lovely courtyard with a flock of busy, budding artists… where we would “swim” in cultural fibre and color. Winter and Spring found me with my young artist friends exploring Peace thru Art and nature’s stories. I miss the kiddos, but on to new adventures, now!
Most of the custom work I do is through referral. Clients approach me having been told, “Ask Jude. She’ll figure it out.” This has given me amazing creative opportunities.
In the 90’s when my son was a mini, I opened my shop on NE Alberta street. Guardino Gallery was just getting opened and offered me a small space next door to rent if I wanted to do the fixin’ of peeling and leaky walls in a neglected storefront…Between a few of us, standing on the sidewalk in front of my shop, “Last Thursday on Alberta” was born. Although I left the street to buy a commercial building, I have always lived near, enjoy watching the Alberta Arts District thrive.
I was a 3 year board member of the West Linn Arts Festival where I organized music, food and entertainment. I’m a 8 year member of the Portland Handweavers Guild and 40 year member of Local 14, the art organization to which I owe my deepest loyalty, and now act as an emeritus member.