Quilts and Collages Flashback

 I wanted to share some older artwork of mine to show the evolution, and also because there is nothing like digging through your own past to help solidify the vision for ones future. Also, just uncovered a folder with a ton of already cut out collage pieces left over from years ago, and I can hear them calling to me from their drawer in the studio... 

These collages were made during the off hours of my full time job around 2012-2014.. While not incredibly tedious (we were able to enjoy regular 8 hour days all year long - sort of unheard of in the fashion industry) the amount of time spent at the computer filling out excel documents felt soul sucking and mind numbing, with the addition of air conditioning and sad grey carpets, I needed an escape to fulfill the urges of my nature inclined self. 

This lead to collaging with recycled fabrics using a technique called applique. Seemed a fitting enough time to share my old Chuck Berry (R.I.P. even though you were kind of a total creeper) quilt, which usually hangs in my bathroom, in line with his creepiness.

After moving to NYC, i found myself REALLY needing to connect with nature, more than ever before, so to the Textile Arts Center I went to learn Natural Dyes. The last two quilts and a dress are the results of the early natural dye experiments. I'm still fairly new to the process, sticking with dyes that are consistent and dependable for production, though I'm looking forward to doing some experimental dyeing with the plants growing native to New York State. Anyone who has had any luck with such native plants as Staghorn Sumac, Apple / Pear / Cherry bark, Burdock Root, or Chicory root  please please please share your tips!!

Create, Makerschristi johnson