Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Judy Carpenter has spent her life working with textiles in a variety of forms. Both grandmothers introduced her to embroidery and garment construction when she was four. Carpenter pursued this path into her early twenties, shifting then to knitting and smocking. A member of the Embroiderers Guild of America, Carpenter exhibited her work in the Atlanta area for many years. Her interest switched to quilting in the 1990s and she quickly realized that she preferred dyeing and manipulating fabric in lieu of purchasing the designs and color blends of others. In order to more seriously pursue her passion, Carpenter enrolled in the Art Cloth Mastery Program in 2010, which she completed in 2012. She works from a private studio in Gainesville, Georgia. More of her work can be seen at www.silksorbet.com.
I have always had a passion for both color and fiber, inheriting this love and appreciation from a long line of Swedish seamstresses and embroiderers. My maternal grandmother sat me on her knee while she constructed garments and quilts on her treadle sewing machine, and then helped me construct similar items from her fabric remnants. During cold New England winters I slept under mounds of her lovingly hand-sewn quilts, waking in the morning to run my fingers over her fine stitching. I looked for fragments of dresses and shirts she and my grandfather had once worn, now incorporated in her elaborate designs. Later I learned Hardanger Embroidery. When visiting my great-grandmother's birthplace in Sweden, I was amazed to discover bed linens decorated using the very same technique. While this needlework is traditionally done in white and cream, I find bold and bright even more exciting and pleasing.
While taking long morning walks with my dogs, my mind is often flooded with many visions, which I later attempt to expand by using silk, dyes, and paints. Colors are layered upon colors and images are repeated in various sizes. More texture is added by introducing my Zentangle doodles and hand-dyed embroidery threads. All of this allows me to share with others just a few of the images that run through my mind as I daydream.