Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Beauty Of Fiber Art Quilts

By Arline Bradley

Attention, art lovers! There's a relatively little-known art form being enthusiastically created by talented people that can bring color and excitement to your home or simply provide much pleasure to all who view it. Fiber art quilts are a niche that many aren't even aware of, but one that won't remain a secret for much longer.

The internet is bringing attention to these creations made of fabric and thread. Many are traditionally sized to be used as wall hangings or bed coverings. Some artists make both large and small quilts, as well as pillows, table runners, place mats, or other accessories for a beautiful home.

As in any other art form, this medium is limited only by an artist's imagination. Some creators are inspired by traditional quilt designs which they may reintroduce in wildly modern colors. Many people take inspiration from nature. Check out the online galleries to see silhouettes of birds on a wire or tall ships, trees, flowers, and landscapes. Other works, however, suggest nature in shape and color in impressionistic ways.

Many of the designs are bursts of abstract color, shape, and energy. Some artists use geometric shapes and lines, either done with color or with stitching. Others use fabrics and thread as freely as the masters used paint to make their work explode off the wall. The variety you'll see in this art form is as wide as in any other.

It's fun to visit the websites of various artists and see how different and individual quilts can be. There are also galleries that sell the works of many artists. Exhibits where you can see actual works on display are held all around the US and in many other parts of the world. Awards are given at these exhibits, and many works will be for sale.

Fabrics can be almost anything, but cottons are popular, in batiks and chintzes. Foil-stamping and metallic thread are sometimes used to highlight designs. Different effects are achieved by using patterned, dyed, and painted cloth, and texture is supplied by mixing fabrics. You may see beads, shells, feathers, wire, cording, and other accents as well.

These are, of course, one of a kind creations. Artists have their unique vision and technique which fans learn to recognize, just like the brush strokes of renowned painters. The use of color, shape, and texture is widely different, making viewers wonder at the surprises this medium can offer. Each individual brings his or her own vision to life. One artists suggests exploring her works further by changing the angle at which they are hung.

Art lovers will appreciate the energy and creativity of these creations of fabric, thread, and imaginative flair. The whole world is explored, from the serenity of nature to the explosive energy inherent in color and shape. Perhaps you will find a piece you want for your collection, or you may just learn to appreciate a new art form.

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