What about me?

COLOR saved my life….literally! I have been self-medicating with color ever since my soul crash landed on this planet.

I started out in a Suburb of Los Angeles (The Inland Empire) then abruptly moved to HOLLYWOOD. And what an EDUCATION it was!!!! From there to Southern Ontario, Canada till 1989, then to my current home in Eugene Oregon. I have a grown son, JOSH. He and his wife Sabrina have 2 adorable girls. Claire and Kate.
I have a VERY supportive partner (Vance) who is a digital graphic artist for ZYNGA.
He draws monsters and unicorns for a living. How cool is that?

It began with crayons to be sure, then creepy crawlers in every color with GLITTER, moved to watercolors and even a little oil painting. Sewing was my first REAL love of a craft. My maternal Grandmother (Dorothy) was a BIG inspiration to me, if she needed something, she just made it…..soap, candy, rugs, clothes, canned goods. I worshiped her. We spent time at their place in Paradise, California each Summer….playing in the RED dirt, running loose, watching our mother can tomatoes, picking berries and sneaking up on Grandpa Mike who was making SUN Pickles in the garden. He stuffed cukes, grape leaves, hot peppers, dill and all kinds of other “things” into the crocks. Those were the best pickles ever!

On the home front, I watched my mom (Annabelle) fearlessly tackle the first knitting machines on the market, she also restored old furniture, re-upholstered our living room furniture and gold leafed anything that would hold still. I saw how much she loved to oil paint and anything else she felt like doing, which I am sure made me more determined as well.

I got the boot from Public High School into an “ALTERNATIVE” school and that was the beginning of my REAL emotional connection with COLOR. Here I was introduced to a fine teacher Ms. Battersby, she drove a SUBARU and was known to be a rebel, she wore big flowing skirts, BIG earrings, colorful make-up and had a wild/curly head of hair. She invented BOHO-CHIC. I ADORED HER. She believed in me more than I believed in myself. She gently guided me thru ceramics, batik, mixed media, collage and showed me what it meant to be fearless with color. THANK YOU BATTS!

I have to say that I loved to dress in bright colors (yes, I wore hot pink jeans!) WHAT? I was at the sewing machine every chance I got when LIFE would let me.

I needed the BRIGHTEST possible SIZZLING colors to lift me up.  When I lived in Hollywood, my bedroom was all RAINBOWS.

To this day I love to look at BRIGHT, mind numbing colors, but have stopped wearing them as I am now a woman of a certain age.

As a dyer I mostly use Acid dyes, I have been exploring the science of natural dyes and eco-print as well. Very rewarding.
My studio in Eugene is often filled with buckets of roving and yarns soaking in an initial light stain to be further enhanced with either liquid or powdered colors. I prefer a more RANDOM effect as it is the most unpredictable in the knitting, weaving or mixed media finished item. I do not name my colorways as they are always changing to satisfy my eyeballs.

I do find that certain color combinations tend to appear at will. This must be what my eyes enjoy looking at.

People at Fiber Festival ask me this question often: How do you know what colors/combinations people will like or buy.

This is my usual answer and it is pretty selfish…but honest.

I channel color…I don’t know where it comes from. On any given day, I throw pigment at fiber and it always has a unique look and feel depending on my mood. I do what I like to see. If someone is attracted to what I do and is inspired by it, they naturally gravitate to me and it. If not, they move on. That is how I shop as well. I don’t take it at all personally, it just is what it is. I have a confidence about it that is almost irreverent.

I like to be a Trade Show – Fiber Festival Vendor, it offers a relaxed, party atmosphere. I am also involved in the making of some of these events behind the scenes an it is lots of fun. I teach a variety of subjects at some of the retreats and festivals and at Guilds as well. I LOVE THE TEACHING. In my GET to KNOW YOUR WHEEL class, I am so happy to see that AHA! moment in a students eyes when they realize what those other WHORLS are for.

I am a Creative Consultant and Instructor AT-Large for Eugene Textile Center. Check out their website.  www.eugenetextilecenter.com

Eugene, Oregon has a very active Fiber Arts Community that gathers often to spin, knit, drink, eat and giggle.

Good times!

3 Responses

  1. You will remain, forever and always, one of the coolest women on Earth. I was so lucky to get to know you so many years ago. You have my love forever — James Touchi-Peters

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