At Home in the Home Market
These five folks make art to live with- to
walk on, sit on, lean on, and lie under.
by Noelle Backer
It's hard not to love home furnishings.
People love to love their home environment-their
favorite chair ... window dressings that pull the room together
... new, ornate pillows ... or a bold rug that turns a room
from drab into dramatic. Especially in today's society, in
which people are seeking to create their own little safe havens
in the world, home furnishings aren't being seen so much as
luxury items anymore as they are necessities for comfortable
For artists who have steered their creativity
down the road to the home furnishings market, it can be a
challenging ride. But for five of these artists, who create
everything from pillows to rugs to quilts, window dressings,
table runners, and upholstery, it has also been too thrilling
to forgo. For these artists-Dale Gottlieb, Nicole Chazaud
Telaar, Laura Trisiano, Barbara Webster, and Gay Ellis-the
road has led them to many different places and processes and
through many similar challenges in finding a market while
retaining a creative edge. Finding out what drives these artists
to create and sell work for the home is a journey in itself.
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|Nicole Chauzaud Telaar's 2002 fabric line, shown
in the Russet color family. Chazaud Telaar criss-crosses
three to four layers of hand-dyed wool, creating a pattern
with the top layer of fibers. The 3- by 4-foot "pile"
is wetted with hot soapy water, pressed in a felting
press for half an hour, rolled up in a straw mat and
rolled by hand for half an hour, rinsed and fulled,
stretched, dried, and pressed with an iron.
|Decorative pillows by Laura Trisiano. Photo: Joe
|Tread Softly, 10 by 8 feet. Rug designed by Dale
Gottlieb and hand knotted in Nepal from hand-spun, hand-dyed
wool. The quote is from William Butler Yeats' poem
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.
|Barbara Webster uses digital photos to design quilts
on the computer. Components of the design are loaded
into TIFF files, which are printed on fabric by an outside
company. Webster then cuts apart the printed components
and machine pieces them to match her original design.
Machine quilting is done by Rachel Reese. Blue Ridge
Parkway--Spring, 2001; 50.75 by 51.75 inches. This
quilt uses Evening Star, Delectable Mountains, and Log
Cabin blocks in its design. Photos by the artist.
|Samii Home (Gay Ellis, designer), Lotus Series, 2000.
Blanket, hand-cut felt appliqué on wool; 40 by 60 inches.
Pillows, felt appliqué on felt or velveteen. Photos: Jenks
Noelle Backer is a freelance writer
on art, craft, and small business. She is the former editor
of The Crafts Report magazine.
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