I love working with fibers and fabric because the exploration of how colors, textures, surface design and construction techniques all come together is exciting for me. I generally like to be spontaneous in creating my work, so most of the time a piece evolves as I go. Experimentation is a necessary part of developing my work, as I ask the question, “What if I tried this…?”
Debra Hosler has been working with fiber and textiles since childhood. She grew up in rural mid-Michigan and learned a wide variety of needlework skills and other artistic media through the activities of her mother and grandmother. Her background in sewing led to a love for quilting, which she pursued for many years as she created art quilts and studied surface design and mixed media techniques. She eventually moved from quilting flat surfaces to the exploration of three-dimensional forms, and began to design and construct stitched fabric vessels. Debra uses both commercial fabrics and her own hand dyed cottons and silks to create these pieces; each one is unique.
In 2006 Debra traveled to Finland to assist with the production of a group show by California Fiber Artists, which was held in conjunction with a fiber symposium there. She was invited to attend a class where she learned several wet felting techniques. She found working with wool intriguing, but she did not pursue it further until several years later when she realized the possibility of using wool to create imagery that could be framed for the wall. She began to use dyed wool fibers and yarns to “paint” with wool, most often combining needle and wet felting processes, but sometimes foregoing the wet process to retain a softer, more textural look. She also uses her sewing, felting, and fabric dyeing skills to create wearable art accessories such as scarves, hats, and handbags.
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