Friday, October 1, 2010

Featured Artist: Karen Henderson

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Karen Henderson from Montpelier, VT.
Fireflies and Dew

About the piece: "This piece, like many of my works, was created over a long period of time. I started weaving “Fireflies and Dew” on my loom when I was living in New Jersey, and wove it off right before we moved to Vermont. I didn’t work on the piece for some time, while I got settled into my new space.

Fireflies and Dew, detail

Techniques used in this piece are: dye, batik, shibori, color removal, and stitching. There is a lot of back and forth when I’m trying to achieve the effects and colors that I’m envisioning for a piece. When I decide to cut one of my weavings, as here in this piece, that’s always a leap of faith; knowing or hoping that another texture will better push it to the resolution I’m seeking.

For me this piece symbolizes transitions; either big like a move to a new place, or small like the daily transition of dusk into night…when the fireflies come out and the dew drops to the earth. Pathways and rivers represent time and journeys, but also a consistency amongst change. Dusk is a subtly changing moment extended. Fireflies are fleeting, like time…Dew evaporates. So all of these things I hope to capture in this piece, and provide the viewer with that sense of calm and wonder that nature gives to us whether we notice it or not."

Artist Statement/Biography: In my work, I am interested in the connections between self, place, emotion and time. Seasons, atmospheres and the time of day intrigue me. I try to recreate these natural occurrences, evoking emotions that I associate with them through the use of color, line and texture.

I use different dye techniques (batik, shibori, rust print, color removal) as well as sewing with my weavings and fabric pieces. I draw lines by stitching with thread. Dimension is added with tucks, layers, or other manipulations of fabric. The lines suggest landscape or other aspects of nature. most of the techniques I choose to use are very contemplative, encouraging introspection; other processes are spontaneous and unpredictable. I try to find a balance between the two approaches, trying to capture those ephemeral, fleeting moments of time.


Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Karen Henderson now resides in the beautiful Green Mountain state of Vermont. She learned weaving and print design in the textile design program at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been shown in high-end craft shows and both national and international exhibits, as well as published in TheGuild Sourcebook of Residential Art #6 , and in Fiberarts, Surface Design Journal, and Selvedge magazines. This year, Karen's work has been featured in the book, "1000 Artisan Textiles" by Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown.

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