I consider myself a teller of stories – past, present and future. As a reflection of a life-long love affair with textiles, I use fabric as a medium to tell the story.
Since its first use the quilt has been the keeper and teller of stories. Scraps from worn clothes used in a quilt symbolize the wearers. A quilt holds the story of the maker’s life during its production. It serves as a reminder of those for whom the quilt was made. Stories were sewn in every seam. Then, and still today, fabric, stitching and all forms of mark making continue this tradition. The stories told in my work emanate from the maker, combined with materiality.
The maker’s story is different than the observer’s story and each observer will find a different meaning from within the art piece and from within themselves. The object stands in silence but yet imparts its intent to each observer linking past and present.
My creative story telling is determined by vision and process. The vision drives the process and the process is dependent upon the vision. The object, the quilt, projects the story I intend to tell the observer, today, as throughout history.
I grew up drawing and sewing, first 4-H, then art and home economics class in high school. That evolved into college – two years in home economics education and later a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Interior Design with a minor in fiber arts. The theme of my thesis was the history and process of stenciled ornamentation of the Victorian Era public buildings in the United States, focusing on the Iowa State Capitol. This research evolved into a book, The Iowa Capitol: A Harvest of Design.
I began teaching Interior Design at Arizona State University in 1985. It was there, near Taliesin West, that I became interested in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and his use of patterning and ornamentation. This led to an exhibit of artifacts from Wright’s projects and a joint publication of a book, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Phoenix Papers.
Directly connected to my interest in two-dimensional painted ornamentation, primarily stenciling, and influenced by Wright’s application of pattern, I opened a custom stenciling and mail order stencil design business in1993. My custom designs are found in many Phoenix area homes and my stencils were sold nationally under the name of LnJ Designs.
When I moved to the state of Washington to teach Interior Design at Washington State University, I saw this as an opportunity to renew my creative journey. I would combine my life-long love of textiles, fiber arts and quilting with stenciling and patterning. In the past few years I have exhibited in several juried quilt exhibitions and my work was chosen for the Quilting Arts Magazine Calendar (2009), featured in $100,000 Quilting Challenge publication, and won viewers choice in Quilt Fest 2008. (See resume for complete list of exhibitions and
In 2011 I began a two and a half year journey in the Art Cloth Master Class, studying with Jane Dunnewold, award winning fiber artist. Through this experience I have expanded my work to include hand dyeing, image transfer, lamination and various other forms of mark making – not to exclude stitching, embroidery, and embellishing. In 2013 I retired from teaching and have focused my creative energy to fiber art.