Winding down a crazy year with a final studio update.  I thank you for following and look forward to the possibility of seeing you in the new year! K.C.


I’ve been busy with several strands of work since the year began.  Each have, in their own way, been integral to my overall practice.  Some of them will continue to be so.  Here are the highlights:

Natural Dyes. In keeping with my work earlier this year as well as in previous years, I continue my deepening understanding of natural dyes and their applications.  In recent months, I have worked in a more focused way with yellow and brown tannins (Cutch and Pomegrante primarily).  By blending these tannins with Indigo, and shifting them with iron, a surprisingly wide range of surface design possibilities exist.  You can see some of my recent results with Pomegranate rind in my Instagram/FB feed.

Pomegranate Direct Application
Tannin/Indigo/Ferrous Modules
A “Receptive” Vessel In-Progress

Stitching.  The work I have been doing with stitching has proved to be incredibly beneficial as a centering practice, as calming as it is creatively stimulating.  I recently posted on a diptych I created for the 2020 Hambidge Auction.  These stitched works began as modules for a natural dye sampler quilt. As I began to stitch more frequently, I realized that their creation offered space and time for intentional grounding. To that extent, the modules have become elements of a personal time capsule – part of the narrative work that will mark my pandemic experience. As both singularities and parts of a larger composite, they tell me a story of an effort to find some sort of stability in a very unstable, uncertain time. Hand stitching, especially the running stitch, can be deeply spiritual in its repetitive, focused, quiet rhythms.  I have found in “stitch space” a calm refuge – necessary more than ever right now.

Artwork: 3-D.  I have also begun building 3-dimensional “containers” or “vessels” which I am collectively calling “Receptive”.  They are slow-going and emerge when the time is right.  2-D – My work with Black Walnut Hull and other inks continues, as does my work with enhanced monoprints. I will have more to say about these streams of work in the future. 

And finally…Petal-Una Collection.  Petal continues to be a destination for much of the naturally dyed/painted/printed cloth I produce in the studio. While it has been a slow year, I still managed to pull together a diverse collection. The images below include Cutch, iron-modified Cutch, and Indigo-dyed pieces.  I am already brimming with enthusiasm and possibility for the 2021 collection! Visit Petal-Una Collection.

Petal-Una Collection – Part of the Fall 2020 Group

This year, I was invited to submit work to The Hambidge Center auction (www.hambidgeauction.org).  If you don’t know about it, Hambidge is a non-profit arts center in the North Georgia mountains offering short-term residencies, as well as other programs and events.  I have not yet experienced a residency, but my work has – in years past, I have had pieces in the Weave Shed Gallery at the mountain campus; I’ve also had work in past auctions.  I have always felt honored to be included with the amazing and diverse group of artists featured at each auction.

While an historically live event, things are a bit different this year. Much of the process will take place virtually.  As an adjunct to that, I thought I would tell you a bit about the pieces I have in the auction.  Bidding started on 10/9/20 and will continue until 9:00 pm on October 24.   Typically there are two components to the auction – one, a fixed-price gallery with 2-D works and then the auction itself. 

My offering for the fixed-price segment is entitled “Network One” – Monoprint on paper, enriched with ink, pastel and gold leaf. It is a stand-alone artwork part of a larger and continuing series of pieces with the same character and foundation.   I was trained in a discipline (Landscape Architecture) which, at the time, relied on hand-rendering/2-D graphic skills for project design, process mapping, and previsualization. (I went to school during that window when working in CAD was an elective pursuit!)  Fast-forward, as a textile and fiber artist I continue to spend a certain amount of time working on paper.  Much of my 2-D work now is still rendered by hand and is primarily process sketching. Occasionally though, the results become part of a different sort of thought process.  The idea of “networks” is not a new one in art, and especially not in fiber art.  This is my contribution to that conversation. This work is on-going. Check out more from the series here.

“Network One” with detail

My main piece is Sheltering in Place: A Meditation Series – Weld Appliqué Diptych This project was launched at the beginning of “lockdown” (March, 2020) as part of an on-going exploration of natural dyes.  As time passed, the repetitive rhythm of hand stitching became a source of daily calm during the anxious early days of the pandemic.  As a diptych, they are metaphorically “hinged” by process and intention.  As part of a series, they are a witness to the moment and reservoir of hope for the future. 

Sheltering In Place: A Meditation Series – Weld Appliqué Diptych

I continue to work with natural dyes and create these modules.  While I have several other pieces along these lines, the fresh, Spring-like, warmth of the Weld color feels the essence of hope as we continue to slog our way through this current version of normal.   I hope you will visit the auction and support the Center (www.hambidge.org).  Here is a video short I put together about the Sheltering piece and process.

Things have been quite busy in the studio and I realize I have not posted since November of 2018!  (Again, best laid plans – I am beginning to see pattern here (wince)!)  However, after this little update, I have some natural dye reflections I initiated back in March and never got around to publishing, among other things.  As “archaic” as this format sometimes seems, it still has relevance across the spectrum. For me, it serves a real purpose, which I had lost track of for a spell but now reclaim: writing as process-witness.

My practice continues to evolve.  Two full years after a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, I never thought I would find myself in a hopeful place around my studio work…but I do again.  I finally found my way back to the heart of the work, to my true flow, and that feels pretty fabulous.  The work begins to look and feel different to me although clearly on the continuum of a process begun so many years ago.  And while I have never been one to rest too long on one technique – I am sure that is my Aries nature – I am still working with cloth and fiber because there is still so much there to explore!     

So, before I resume essay-esque pursuits, I thought I might just provide an update for the record – a brief flashback to the first several months of 2019 as a way of clearing the way for whatever is to come. 

January: Lots of natural dye experimentation – mostly direct application and immersion variations with indigo, madder, tannins and ferrous after-baths.  Began working on my new wearable collection for the April open studio.   I also began experimenting with alternate hand-stitch processes which have now been incorporated into some of my wearable work.  In the midst of the studio experimentation, I was immersed in preparations for a presentation on Sustainable Making at the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance.

February:  I continued working with natural dyes, mostly direct application with gum thickeners, exploring layering of color and assistants in various floating (unregistered) patterns on a wide range of cloth surfaces.  The process of working with natural dyes is much more labor- and time-intensive than working with their synthetic alternatives and because of this, the work feels almost contemplative.  I want to explore this entire complex topic in future posts.  But for now, suffice it to say that natural dye print processes are now a solid part of my studio practice.  Also ever-present now is my organic indigo vat, and I did get around to making some new pieces for a local craft pop-up and the first installment of the 2019 wearables.

March 2019:   My time in March was largely spent preparing for the April open studio, although I did take some time to facilitate an indigo-dyeing mini-workshop at the studio one fortuitously-gorgeous Spring morning.  I also received my copy of The Art and Science of Natural Dyes (yay!) and reflected on my early exposure to natural dyes with Catharine Ellis which work has so thoroughly enriched my current studio practice.

In April – I hosted an open studio and continued to develop more work, including a new collection of totes, as well as naturally dyed cloth, and stitched appliqué detailing.   All of my wearable work is presented under the label Petal-una Collection.  This line has been an active focus of my creative energy since 2012.   If you want to learn more about it and see more looks follow this link.

All of which brings me to the present moment.  I will save that for next time!  Meanwhile for fairly regular and consistent check-ins, I am on Instagram and FB – the links are scattered throughout this website.   If you would prefer to keep up via this blog, that is awesome too!

Thank you for following along.