Beth P.

My life has been defined by changes: changes of address, changes of occupation, changes of mind, changes of heart. There has been one constant though. Whether I was living in a tiny town in Indiana or in Dijon, France, whether I was working as an opera stage manager or a chef’s assistant, my love of textiles has always been with me. I learned to embroider at an early age, developed a passionate love for quilts of all types in my late teens, and, after realizing that I liked looking at quilts more than I liked making them, I was heavily into color exploration through fabric painting by the time I was in my early thirties. A serendipitous meeting with the friend of a friend led me to felt-making which opened up an entirely new world of textiles and textile creation to me that captured my imagination and felting is where I focus my creative energy today.

I am motivated by the tactile experience of creating by hand. I work with wool, silk, and other fibers that I transform into hand-made felt (achieved by combining loose fibers into a cohesive textile by using warm water, soap and increasing intensities of agitation by hand to mesh the fibers together). These felt pieces are further manipulated with hand and/or machine stitching, beading and other embellishments, and sometimes paint. I create 3-D pieces through the use of various resists.

I make things people want to touch. For me, textiles evoke feelings of warmth, security, and a sense of protection. By using engaging color combinations, deeply textured surfaces, organic shapes and unexpected materials, I tap into those feelings and hope to stimulate them in the viewer.