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I enjoy creating the unexpected from familiar scenes and everyday objects. A pasture with cows and a barn or a bygone building that I snap with my digital camera becomes a kaleidoscope of colors and textures printed onto cloth,then stitched and embellished by slow hands and a meditative spirit.
I save aluminum pull off lids from Kozy Shack pudding and sew them onto a painter's drop cloth printed with computer manipulated scans of the tops arranged in geometric designs. Then I construct an elegant purse using pipe cleaners, recycled metal from a bag found at the Salvation Army, novelty trims, antique buttons and spend hours embroidering around the circular shapes with hand dyed pearl cotton.
People who have lost beloved pets send me treasured photos that I transform into a pillow memorial that they can hug and still feel connected to that unconditional love.
I follow my intuition when combining imagery and my heart to guide my hand when piecing, quilting, and embroidering. The result is a uniqueness that supercedes the original photos.
In the 1980's I burned out from 15 years of teaching
elementary school and investigated techniques for
printing, painting, dyeing and manipulating fabric. Since
there were few instructions or supplies for working with
cloth, I went to the library and checked out a book on
Batik, the art of applying wax and dyes to fabric and paper.
I ordered the materials from California and began my
explorations. Batik was too time consuming so I invented
a technique that had similar characteristics. I painted
stripes of color onto a nappy paint roller normally used
for walls, and printed the designs onto recycled sheets.
Then at a craft fair, I saw an artist printing with a real
fish. I came home and experimented with one fish that
I caught and printed with for two years by keeping it in
my freezer. I added hand cut paper stencils, potato and
leaf prints, sponges, sponge brushes, and fabric markers
to my search for cheap and readily available tools. The
combination produced fabrics that were totally unique
and vibrant in color and texture.
I learned to sew at age 14 and made my own clothing.
Later I made outfits for my 2 young sons and my husband.
By mid 1980, I entered the new field called wearable art
and was juried into The Southern Highlands Craft Guild.
For the next 15 years, I continued my explorations while
participating in numerous art and craft fairs throughout
the Southeastern United States.
In 1994, I completed a two month concentration in
photography at Penland School in North Carolina and
added photos and other imagery to my designs.
In 2000 things changed dramatically after I purchased
a computer, printer and scanner, my holy trinity. Now
I could print my own fabric using photographs. I also
took workshops on various quilting techniques. I moved
away from wearables into framed two dimensional quilted
and embellished photo-collage.
This year I have entered the world of social media like
Facebook. This is very exciting because friends,family and
clients can see how I go about manifesting beauty, fun,
and artistic connections to people, places, and things.
My website, www.peggydebell.com , contains links to my
Facebook business page as well as to my blog,
My work can be seen up close and personal at:
Allanstand Craft Shop, The Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC
Guild Crafts on Tunnel Road in Asheville, NC
The Design Gallery in Burnsville, NC
I am a member of Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc and L.I.N.T
(Ladies in New Textile) in addition to my 25 year member-
ship in The Southern Highlands Craft Guild.
Crafts by Peggy DeBell view all
Winter’s Retreat – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$300.00
Reversible Cotton Face Mask$18.50
Reversible Adjustable Cotton Face Mask$18.50
Red Barn at Folk School – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$120.00
Off the Grid – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$550.00
Mountain Mercantile – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$485.00
Blue Mountain Majesty – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$450.00
After the Rain – Embroidered Photograph on Cotton$200.00