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Summer 2004

Welcome from Marilyn Murphy

Intention + Passion = Fiberarts

Little did we know what the future held!
A snapshot from Convergence 2002.
Left to right: Rob Pulleyn, Linda Ligon, Marilyn Murphy,
and Sunita Patterson.

"Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it." I know this phrase; I've said it. And most recently those words were said to me by Linda Ligon, Interweave's founder, right after we (Interweave) made the decision to acquire Fiberarts. I've been thinking about that phrase and its double-edged meaning as it applies to my passion about fiber arts. As an art student in the mid-seventies, did I have any idea where this passion would lead? Just as Rob Pulleyn said in his goodbye letter in the last issue, "I never intended to make a career of publishing a magazine celebrating fiber art." Intention seems to coincide with one's passion. And I've been blessed with many strongly passionate fiber art mentors along the way.

I was fortunate to live in Chicago during my fiber-formative years. I saw firsthand the work of some of the top European artists, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ritzi and Peter Jacobi, and Zofia Butrymowicz, among others, at the Jacques Baruch Gallery. Claire Zeisler's studio and workshop was based there. I couldn't get enough of visiting the local weaving shop, the Weaving Workshop, and begged the owner, Barbara Mueller (then Pleason), for a job as soon as I graduated from college. With her mentoring, I learned a lot about weaving and life—in fact, she still is one of my mentors. I eventually bought the shop and then started the nonprofit Textile Arts Centre. I met the new faculty and visiting artists from the Art Institute's fiber department: Anne Wilson, Joan Livingstone, Nick Cave, Jan Lackey, Lou Cabeen, Cynthia Schira, and many others. And of course, I met the students, many of whom are prominent artists and teachers today. Add to that mix the broad base of my customers and influential board members, contributors, artists, and teachers of the Textile Arts Centre—it was rich. Anyone who was into fiber would eventually show up at the shop or the Centre and we'd talk art, craftmanship, collecting, selling technique, textile history, global influences—you name it. As the Textile Arts Centre gained prominence, it became known as the place where emerging artists exhibited. It sponsored artist workshops and lectures, and through the efforts of other people also passionate about fiber, organized an international symposium in 1993, Tradition + Transition.

During all these years, Rob Pulleyn and Linda Ligon were always there mentoring me, whether they knew it or not. I was informed through the pages of their magazines and books, as well as through the conferences they sponsored. Fiberarts stimulated my artistic bent, made me question the world around me, connected me with who was out there in the greater community. Interweave's magazines and books taught me solid how-to information that I could share with customers and students. So this is a circuitous way of explaining how over the past twenty-odd years both my worlds have merged—first with my move to Colorado to join Interweave in 1994 and now with our acquisition of Fiberarts.

Since the acquisition, because Interweave is based in Colorado, a new magazine staff has formed, with editor Sunita Patterson being the constant. She has successfully managed and editorially directed this first issue working remotely with our staff here. We've spent days talking about the magazine, its mission and scope, and what potential exists for it and its role in the community. The integration of the magazine has gone incredibly smoothly, and I am once again fortunate to be working with a fiber-passionate staff, whom you will meet in the next issue. And if intention rides along with passion, then I too am mentoring people who will carry this torch forward.

The question that has been asked the most since the acquisition is, how will the magazine change? Will it lose its focus as a fiber art magazine? Our unequivical answer to that is NO—why would we change the editorial focus of a magazine that serves a very passionate community? We are exploring the value the magazine contributes and how we can become an even stronger voice in the field. And we want to hear your voice, too. Join our Reader Advisory Panel and help direct our future. You can also contact me directly by e-mail ( or write to me at Interweave. I'm interested in knowing how we can connect with you via Fiberarts.

Marilyn Murphy
Publisher, Fiberarts
President, Interweave

This editorial first appeared in:

Summer 2004


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