Betsy Gray / Tanners CreekI have been drawn to all kinds of handmade pots ever since I can remember. When I pick up...
I make textileart wall hangings. My work is about my love of painting and layering organic images on fibers. It is also about being in love with color, lots of juicy color, in big pots, for dyeing and painting white fibers. Then I love the way fibers feel when touched and their wonderful textures. Patching and piecing one textile with another and painting and printing it, makes it even more exciting. Woven cloth reminds me of the web that holds us all together. I feel so fortunate to be able to work in textileart!
For the past twelve years I have been drawing and making screen prints from my drawings of textures and images of nature. I love layering these organic shapes and combining them to make unique textile art wall hangings. I also love including mountains in my fabric paintings. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains is inspirational! My work usually has a highly textured and layered surface on a woven format.Starting with white natural fibers of silk and cotton, I begin transforming each piece by dyeing, discharging,painting,printing and overprinting. When I feel that the fabric is ready to be incorporated into a wall hanging, I cut the pieces needed and add other textiles over and under each piece as well. This is an intuitive process and the piece I am working on is usually kind about letting me know what needs to happen next. Then the stitching and embellishments begin. Each piece is unique, although I do work in a series. Several series are on going. The Scroll Series, Spirit Women and Transformations are all being developed using the processes described above. Spirit Women are also developed on non woven fibers and backed with my hand dyed textiles as well. My parents and grandparents on both sides of my family were textile designers. I donâ€™t know why it took me so long to realize I needed to be in textiles as well! Formerly I was a potter and painter but became hooked on textileart while attending graduate school at the University of North Carolina College of Design. It was exciting to think about being able to take those tiny dabs of color used in painting and expand them into huge pots of color to submerse the fabric in. It was there that I learned how to transfer my drawings to textile surfaces and use layering to create depth with my images. So I am hooked for life on textile art! I also love textile artists! They are so welcoming and joyful! I feel grateful to be a member of Southern Highland and all the opportunities it offers . I look forward to hearing from you. I do take commission work and can do large pieces for special spaces. Wishing you all the best, Val