Storied Stitching Podcasts & Video
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” Weaving is just my soul, you know.”
– Christine Miller
Miller took a continuing education class at the University of Texas Austin. It was a weaving class. Because of that experience, she changed her major to art to learn about design.
There she overcame her childhood art block and dove headfirst Into weaving.
What attracted Miller to weaving is its mystery. As she says, you never know the end result, no matter how much planning.
Also, it’s repetition, it’s meditative processes that is both peaceful and physical.
Miller left UT Austin only to return at 47 to earn her art education license. She joined her daughter as a full-time student to help support her family.
The cowgirl art teacher..
But her full-time life as a professional artist complimented her classroom experience. Eager to bring fiber to the K – 12 classroom, Miller merged traditional studio practices with her textile processes that she taught her students.
To this end, her website, explorefiber.com, helps bring fiber arts to the masses.
Miller and I met in 2011 during a Surface Design Association conference. She was one of ten K – 12 are teachers who won a full scholarship to attend.
As she put it: “My conference experience was the most fabulous conference ever in my life!”
It inspired her to design the website, explorefiber.com, as a resource for all —-to bring fiber to the streets! Since the pandemic, Miller teaches leaving with wire online continuing her evolution as an artist and art teacher—-
and sharing her soul’s passion with others across the globe
Miller’s relationships in fiber art span for decades. Her connections include guild members, five art association members, and people she met during her years at the University of Texas Austin.
She serves on several boards including the surface design association.
But she turns to a handful of art sisters for a constructive critique concerning her work.
Be honest with your students.
Miller cautions against too much backward instructional design and other curricular planning. Be careful of being stuck with sequencing let’s surprise overtake the art process.
Her motto with her students is “I don’t know let’s figure this out together.
When teaching an unfamiliar media – ceramics – Miller took the high road.
And admitted to her students that she didn’t have all the answers. So they collaborated together to solve problems in their work.
Tight budgets didn’t stop Miller from incorporating weaving into her curricula. She received supplies and money to buy floor looms – from local guild women who were ready to donate money or‘s supplies while downsizing.
Miller has multiple projects in process, often overwhelmed on which ones to focus upon – but she follows her deadlines and completes her work with ease.
Join Christine Miller and me as we discuss:
- Her coral reef collaboration with her husband
- Her cowboy boot collection
- The juice of art teaching
Find Miller at christinekmiller.com
Christine Miller Bio:
Miller has been exploring fiber her entire life through many processes and techniques. She has been weaving for over 45 years, and for the last 30 years she has been weaving with wire to create sculptural expressions. Other techniques and processes dance into her work, but sitting at the loom and weaving is where she feels her heartbeat. In addition to weaving, she has experience in sewing, basketry, embroidery, felting, dyeing, knitting, crochet, and fiber sculpture. She is currently launching a new online course about Weaving with Wire.
Miller has been creating collaborative Coral Reef installations with her husband beginning in 2019. Keith Miller creates the 2D resin watery painted backgrounds and Christine contributes the coral sculptural fiber forms. This collaboration is a dream come true after they both retired from their day jobs, and keeps the creative flow alive in their joint studio.
She is a former visual arts educator with local and national arts education recognition. Miller continues bringing fiber arts into the educational world with Visiting Artist programs and workshops. She serves on several fiber art organization boards, including sitting on the Education Committee for the Surface Design Association.
Catch her at christinekmiller.com
Watch our video above OR listen to the podcast below!
“When I was waitressing or teaching I always wanted to be making art…“ Fenny Suter
As a child in Taiwan, she learned embroidery.
Suter’s dream receded into the background until a student a Penn State. “I decided to put a portfolio together and applied to the School of Visual Arts.
Thankfully, she got accepted!
There, she began her journey making large-scale mixed media sculpture. As the Zoller Gallery manager, I got to get to know Suter and her work.
“Art teaching taught me the discipline of living an artist’s life.”
After earning her BFA at Penn State, Suter earned a master’s of arts in teaching at Rhode Island School of Design.
Still, the frustrated full-time artist in her kept nagging.
“I thought for two years, at an elementary school with 600 students, then as a special ed teacher but I just didn’t like art teaching.”
During that time, Suter discovered needle felting – and fell in love.
Working small allowed her to complete works – and so began her journey on Instagram.
“If you scroll to the first post, my work was wonky.“
Still, Suter remains a restless artist.
Always experimenting, she cautions that if something isn’t working – “I just leave it – I put it in a box to keep it as a record. “ Nothing is considered a waste. For her, all is a learning experience that eventually fuels new work.
“I like it a studio day to be predictable.“
Suter, like a few artists featured on this podcast, first feeds her two cats: “Otherwise, they won’t leave me alone!“
Then she works listening to podcasts, music, or YouTube videos.
Starting at eight and working usually till 10 or 11 at night depending on deadlines is her typical working window.
Although physically tired, Suter remains energized because she loves what she’s doing.
“If you want to be an artist, don’t give up.“
Despite discouragement from family, Suter plods on, taking business and marketing courses.
“Persevere – Connect with trusted online artists – that’s helped me navigate the challenges of being an independent businesswoman.”
- What success means to her
- How to connect with trusted Instagram makers
- The importance of copyright protection of your art
- Her two cats: who make cameo appearances!
Find Suter at suterdesignco.com
Fenny Suter Bio:
Fenny Suter was born in 1991 in Taiwan. She moved to the U.S. as a child and received her BFA in Art at Penn State University in 2014. In 2016, she received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Rhode Island School of Design. She taught elementary school art and worked as a special education tutor for 2 years.
In 2018, she started Suter Design & Co., an artist studio through which she sells artworks to private collectors in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, and many other places. She combines different craft techniques, including embroidery, wool-felting, and punch needle to create tactile nature landscapes.
Her fiber artworks often feature aerial sceneries with a relaxed, floating figure, creating a transportive window to dreamy, tropical destinations. Her artworks were written about on My Modern Met, Byrdie Magazine, The Fiber Studio, and Brown Paper Bag.
Suter’s work was most recently a part of a group exhibition in “Everyday Life, Everyday Art” at Cloud Croft Studios in Owego, NY.
Since starting her art studio, she gained a robust following on social media, including close to 20,000 followers on Instagram.
Suter currently lives and works in Vestal, NY.
Catch her at www.suterdesignco.com
#floataway #lazyriver #calm #peacefulplace #lushgreen #botanicalgarden #tropicaljungle #tropicalescape #tropicaldream #swimminghole #landscapeembroidery #3dembroidery #botanicalembroidery #handstitched #bananaleaf #aeriallandscape #fringe #landform #suterdesignco #fiberartistsofinstagram #texturedpainting #needlecraft
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I read a Maya Angelou essay where she wrote that women raising their children, feeding them, bathing them, and schooling them in the expectation of beauty…in the home, in our lives, this expectation of beauty is not an extra…the local school board can’t cut out art in the budget…art is not an extra, it’s part of what makes a life flourish…- Diane Fine
Fine makes work that touches peoples every day lives. With her artist books, prints, or embroidery – Fine’s art connects with nature and often – humor. In addition to her long-standing collaborative work, she also embroiders sublime art for family and fundraisers.
I met Fine while she lectured as a visiting artist in the School of Visual Arts at Penn State. Luckily for me, part of my then job as manager of the Zoller gallery included hosting such luminaries. Fine graciously took the time to discuss my own work.
We connected on so many levels: textiles, book arts, and a general sense of joy in each other’s presence. As I changed my podcast format from solo to interview, I immediately thought of Fine and contacted her to be on the show.
Thankfully, she agreed.
Now you too get to dig deep into her art, teaching, and sense of humor!
Discover Fine’s sublime embroidered work…
Detours, an artist book created with Kathy Kuehn, features re-purposed women’s clothing embroidered with ambiguous sayings.
Boston’s Target Cancer received a stunning quilt for their fundraiser: Fine hand embroidered each New England flower while friend and collaborator, Karen Case, did the piecing.
Her lucky great-niece Aviva received a magnificent quilt whose blocks contain the letters of the alphabet – with images corresponding to each letter.
Learn about Fine’s numerous, decades-old collaborations with the following artists, in her own words:
On collaborator Joan Lockburner Deuel: Deuel makes art quilts and is an alumna of SUNY Plattsburgh (before I taught here) and came as a visiting artist at some point early in my tenure here. Find Lockburner Deuel here.
On fellow artist Liza Rudolph: Rudolph is an alumna of Syracuse University, where we both went for undergraduate school. She studied painting there but went on to do a lot of work in textiles and to work in the film industry in art direction and wardrobe etc. Find Rudolph here.
On fellow artist Kathy Kuehn: Kathy (Katherine) Kuehn (pronounced “keen”) is the proprietor of the Salient Seedling Press, a book artist printmaker, and textile artist. We were in graduate school together at UW-Madison. I consider her a mentor as well as one of my dearest friends. We collaborated on the artist book Detours together.
On collaborator Mario Laplante: Laplante is an alumnus of UW-Madison where we met in graduate school. He and I have been collaborating without interruption for 35 years! Find Laplante here.
- her evolution from “all thumbs stitcher” to sublime embroiderer.
- how her high school art class instilled her passion for printmaking
- how central collaboration is to her art process
- the importance of mentoring her students, both art and non-art majors
Join Diane Fine and me as we talk about her life, family – and collaborations with fellow stitchers and printmakers…
Find Fine at dianefine.com
Diane Fine Statement:
I work primarily in two related art media: printmaking and the book arts. The seductive surface and sensuality of printmaking, the power and generosity of the multiple, and the physical and cognitive processes of this labor-intensive medium are a source of endless inspiration to me. In the last several years, drawing has become central to my studio practice as well. The drawings often have a printed element as part of the composition, and my approach, one of layering and repetition, is informed by my printmaking.
Diane Fine is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art at Plattsburgh State University of New York where she teaches printmaking and book arts. She received her BFA from Syracuse University and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Diane exhibits regularly and her work is represented in a number of public and private collections including The New York Public Library and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Catch her at dianefine.com
#dianefine #printmaking #womenprintmakers #suny_plattsburgh_art
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…Being able to dream big and continue doing work… I mean I feel like the most important thing it’s like you cannot stop making art…don’t give up don’t give up don’t give up…it’s the easiest thing to do, right, to give up, but I mean I don’t know it’s weird because sometimes you need to learn when to let it go as well. But I feel like when you are in the studio many answers come, many answers that you are looking for are in your studio…
Touch, movement, color, and a deep yearning for connection and commemoration are hallmarks of Johana Moscoso’s art.
The trauma of immigration as well as what it means to be a woman in Latina and US culture, mark her objects and performances.
In the Storied Stitching’s latest podcast, Johana Moscoso and I discuss her growing up as a girl surrounded by her aunt’s sewing machines, a loving family who “loves to party and dance,” and how it all informs her broad body of work – one that integrates textiles, embroidery, dance, and performance.
Learn how she began making (sewing Barbie clothes!)…
and found a home in the art room, a school space where her ADD was an advantage rather than a hindrance.
Recognizing her daughter’s learning challenges, Moscoso’s mother wholeheartedly supported her artistic talent, which was nurtured in Bogotá, Colombia. For Moscoso, family, migration, and a sense of dis/connection guide her work.
Mosco credits her education at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia, as pivotal toward developing her transdisciplinary art-making.
Equally important to her evolution are her mom and her extended family of “storytellers.”
In this episode, find out:
- her cure for artist block
- her daily studio routine (which includes white tablecloths…on her floors)
- caring for seven cats!
- the importance of having friends who understand contemporary art
Join Johana Moscoso and me as we talk about her life, family – and her latest work, the Ingrid Lopez project.
Johana Moscoso Bio:
Johana Moscoso (born 1981, Bogotá) is a Colombian – American artist currently living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. Moscoso’s artwork explores co-narratives of South American and North American cultures from a subjective point of view. Gender roles, identity, and migration are explored through movement and labor. Radical expressions inform materiality that manifests in a variety of mediums in large-scale dynamic installations.
In 2016, she received the Individual Artist Program Grant, from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council to present the project “Round and Round” on two occasions with different art organizations.
In 2017 Moscoso was awarded the Arts/Industry Artist in Residency at Kohler, where she started the “Machera Floors”. In 2019, she was awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant from New York, NY which enabled her to finish and cohesively display the “Machera Floors” at the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. In addition, in 2019, she received a grant from The Puffin Foundation, LTD to continue the development of the ongoing Ingrid López Project.
ArtsMemphis awarded her an ArtsAccelerator Grant in 2020. It was a special honor to receive this support after relocating to Memphis, TN. Receiving the Creative Capital Award enabled her practice to grow in unprecedented ways, including the completion of the Ingrid López Project.
Catch her at johanamoscoso.com
Watch our video above OR listen to the podcast!
I was studying yoga and my teacher Rolf Gates, he was just so passionate about this phrase that “we want our students to feel successful above everything else“…For every one criticism you need nine compliments to balance something out..I practiced this in my high school art classroom and the workshops I currently teach…I want my students to feel they’ve succeeded in the art process…
According to her fifth-grade teacher, “housewife” wasn’t a “profession.”
Art teacher, Parkes’s second choice, was a passion she pursued decades later at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After an enriching nine years of teaching at a Chicagoland High School, Parkes left. She embarked on her successful solo career as an artist and teacher, specializing in hand quilting and yoga.
We discuss her challenges while learning to read…
and her mom’s strategy to help her succeed. We explore Parkes’s special public school art program where she sought refuge in making things, where she could express herself and feel a success that literacy denied her.
In many ways, Parkes is the housewife she always wanted to be – she calls her lifestyle “thrifty housewife,” one that embraces sustainable living.
Her simplicity is far from boring!
Parkes’s life is enriched by her family, her students, and of course, her quilt making.
Her work and life boundaries are constantly blurred as she quilts watching her favorite television shows or spending time with her aunt and nephew.
Parkes credits her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as pivotal toward developing her art and abilities to deal with the art world. Equally important to her evolution are her mom and her yoga teacher, Rolf Gates, models who guide her studio, social media, and teaching practices.
In this episode, find out:
- how Parkes became addicted to quilting,
- what she taught her high school art students (inflatable, anyone?)
- her latest project (her third quilt pattern)
You won’t want to miss Heidi Parkes, the wholehearted housewife who lives in both the art and craft worlds!
Before Heidi Parkes was born in Chicago, IL in 1982, her grandmother organized a collaborative family quilt to commemorate her birth. This set the tone for a life centered on the handmade- raised in a home where sewing, mending, cooking, canning, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, and plasterwork were the norm.
Now based in Milwaukee, her quilting and mending celebrate the hand, and her works tug at memories and shared experience. Often using specific textiles, like an heirloom tablecloth, bed sheet, or cloth teabag, Heidi adds subtle meaning and material memory from the start. Ever curious, she works with a variety of quilting techniques including visible hand piecing and knots, improvisation, patchwork, and applique.
Heidi pursues her passion for teaching by lecturing and leading workshops across the country and shares her creative process with thousands on Instagram.
Heidi has exhibited in art and textile museums across the country and is a current resident artist at Milwaukee’s Lake Park through the ARTservancy with Gallery 224.
Additionally, Heidi lives a handmade lifestyle, sewing her own clothes, fermenting, eating from pottery she made a decade ago, and practicing hand yoga, which she shares with other creatives on her YouTube channel.
Catch her at heidiparkes.com
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