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Eileen Doughty - Thread Head

I love the concept of "place" and so my preferred subject matter is the landscape, and the creatures that dwell in it. My degree in cartography has been useful in designing my fiber art, since both require understanding how people view and interpret colors, patterns and symbols.

My work explores and celebrates what makes fiber art so unique: texture, freedom of shape of the "canvas", and employing three rather than two dimensions.

Fiber art appeals to me because my hands are always touching my materials. My favorite medium is “thread sculpture”, which I create with free-motion machine stitching (being very careful not to stitch a finger!). Think of it as drawing a picture with the pencil held still and moving the paper; or that the needle is my brush and threads are my paint. I have a vast collection of threads in my “paintbox”. So many colors and fiber types!

Thread sculpture may be fairly simple, such as a gently curved Sulphur Butterfly stitched with yellow and gray cotton threads. Or it may be a very complex decorative teapot shaped like a gnarly elm tree trunk, using over a dozen threads,  and much planning to get everything shaped properly. Or there may be minnows swimming alongside lily pads on a decorative teapot, with a surprise of more fish seemingly swimming around inside. Yes, thread can stand completely on its own.

Bright shiny objects have never lost their appeal for me, I will admit. Combining that with the drive to repurpose things rather than send them to the landfill, I have incorporated used CDs into several wall art and wearable artworks, sometimes cutting them into smaller shapes.

Fiber art draws me!

Eileen Doughty

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