In college I was a potter. I loved the tactile quality of mud squishing through my fingers. Most of all, I loved creating surfaces on the clay that reminded me of decay. I put color on, then scratched it off. I scraped up the edges. I made things irregular, refined yet somehow gritty. I wanted the walls as thin as I could get them and the surface as rough as an ancient relic. At the same time I was taking all kinds of fibers classes, weaving, printing, dying. I loved the processes but fiber seemed just a little too clean.
Cut to post college life where having a potters wheel in the spare bedroom of an apartment just won't work. But dying in the the kitchen sink will. And, a print table? No problem. Then came the fabric. I fell in love with the silk. The buttery soft texture of sueded charmeuse and the light as clouds softness of chiffon captured me. I couldn't put it down. I wanted to do the same thing to it as I did with clay, create balance between grit and refinement.
Some of my patterns come from photos I've taken of urban decay. Whether it be worn texture on the floor, peeling plaster at a subway stop, a pile of discarded hardware or tread upon leaves, I love it. Other patterns come from the beautiful, but minute details. It is beauty that is so easily overlooked that I feel I must make large. Hidden gems have always intrigued me.
Pattern is everywhere we look, but is often overlooked in our rush to finish each day. I love taking ordinary elements of everyday life and making them extraordinary.
I screen print with fiber reactive dyes, discharge techniques and also do some occasional hand dying. I love every little bit of the process, from developing the patterns to exposing the screens, to the seemingly endless pinning, printing and yes, even the ironing. It's a meditative process. It keeps me calm, happy and fulfilled.
Visit her at: arinarthur.com