a child, I spent a lot of time at my father's research lab, peering
through microscopes and looking into cell culture dishes which were
sometimes color tinted. Although it was only play, it made a strong
impression that crept into my thoughts and work later on.
When I graduated from The Boston Museum School, having concentrated
in photography and sculpture, I had no plans or experience with fibers.
This came by chance when I first started designing sweaters for my two
small sons. We had moved to the north coast of Maine near the Canadian
border. The winters were long and cold, and I wanted to make my boys
warm clothes. I became influenced by the changing colors of the seasons
and the art and clothing of Eskimos and Laplanders. Patterns and designs
of the cell cultures began to creep into my sweaters, along with silhouettes
of running deer, swimming fish, and prayer puffins.
I found the shorter and darker the days in winter, the more I used bright
colored homespuns. And I discovered that design and color created strong
forces within the fibers that allowed me to have a dialogue within the
shape of each sweater.
Two important elements which always help finish the sweaters, buttons
and velvet ribbon, have taught me that they are as important as the
body of the garment. Abalone, nautilus shell, caribou bone, and walrus
ivory buttons capture the north coast where I live. The finishing velvet
trim, sewed onto the neck, cuffs, and waistbands, plays a strong color
and texture role and helps frame the sweater.
My work in fibers has performed a complementary part with the use of
colors and design in my paintings. Usually I am working on a painting
and sweater at the same time, and the color hues and shapes often reflect
back and forth between the two mediums."