Michele Tway combines the spirit of assemblage art with techniques used by teddy bear artists, jewelers and fiber artists to create whimsical mixed media bird sculptures.
She is a fourth generation fiber artist and has been crocheting and embroidering since childhood. Her education and work experience in the information technology field have shaped many of her creative design and problem-solving skills.
In an attempt to push herself beyond the linear thinking typically associated with IT professionals, Michele has created something new and different with what she calls intentioned randomness. From the initial sketch to the last stitch, every bird is designed as it’s made and in such a way that it would be virtually impossible to recreate.
Her sculptures are quirky, off center and made with a combination of new and recycled materials. Each is designed to capture the curiosity and charm of our feathered friends.
Michele uses freeform crochet, which by definition is intentionally random, to create their coats of many colors. Each bird is further adorned with embroidered beaks and eyes. A minimum of 20 different fibers are used on each bird, further ensuring its individuality. Fellow artists, once finished with their own work, furnish many of the recycled materials Michele uses.
Why birds? Michele has always been fascinated by their seemingly mismatched variations of textures – shiny eyes, hard beaks, wrinkled legs, sharp talons and soft feathers. It’s only when they’re Earthbound, that we really interact with them and see their charm and personality.
Her birds are inspired by natural species, but Michele does not strive to recreate them. After all, she says, “Where would the fun be in that?”