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Durham

Katie Berman and her textile adventures.

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A growing collection of my musings including collaborations, thoughts about textiles and more.

Filtering by Tag: fiber artist

ON TRYING AGAIN

Katie Berman

My friends, it’s been one of those weeks. I feel like I’m in a creative slump and everywhere I turn I keep hitting a wall. This happens every time I finish a body of work. I’m on a roll, cooking up designs left and right and feeling good about by choices. And when I complete a collection and I shift gears to begin something new, I can’t seem to get it right. The ideas and visions that look amazing in my dreams don’t seem to measure up when the morning comes.

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I’ve spent most of this week ripping out stitches which has led me to meditate a lot on starting over. On trying again. On not giving up.

One of things that I love most about punch needle is that it can be, at times, quite forgiving. To be honest, I think that’s what drew me to textiles in the first place so many years ago. I originally planned on studying graphic design, but quickly changed my tune within my first semester of university. The forgiveness I experience in textiles is different than that of digital design. Sure, graphic design is extremely forgiving (praise the good Lord for Ctrl+Z….) but almost too forgiving. There’s no sense of permanency with my graphic design work. But with textiles, it’s different. I take things that are existing and somewhat more permanent and I shape them into something else. And the fact that I can take that solid material and morph it and change my mind and morph it again… and again… aaaand maybe just one more time is a fascinating concept to me.

In graphic design, my process can be erased completely— never to be thought of again. In textiles, there can still exist shadows of the journey. Memory of the path that led me to my final work.

My textile practice is a tangible, real-time experience of maturing. And not maturing from gathering a wealth of knowledge and fact. But a maturing grown through grace and forgiveness and hope. This textile practice teaches me forgiveness. It teaches me the inevitability of change. It teaches me patience even in the times when I just want the work. to. be. done. already. It teaches me gentleness with myself and my thoughts. It’s okay to have a not super great first idea. It’s okay to change it. It’s okay to try again.

Today I was struck by the beauty in the ghost of my original idea. The foundation cloth has such a great way of showing you the constellations of what it held. The beauty is that I can still use this piece of material and punch new ideas into it. The materials were not wasted. The original idea was not wasted. It was not a reflection of utter failure. It was just a first step and I needed to change directions.

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I’m not sure how many times I’ll have to go through this ripping out process before my new collection takes shape, but I’m learning to live with it. For those out there in a creative rut— your time in the slump is not wasted. We’re all gonna make it out and have new work to share with the world soon. I promise. And until then, I’m here for ya. If you need a cheerleader to tell you how awesome you are, come chat with your friend Katie.

To new things on the horizon.
- KB

ONE ACRE EXCHANGE HEMP ART SHOW

Katie Berman

The different stages of hemp. Photo by  Anna Carson Dewitt.

The different stages of hemp. Photo by Anna Carson Dewitt.

April 26-May 12

This week is the opening of a project I’ve been helping to curate for many months— a gallery show celebrating community built through a shared hemp fiber supply chain!

In this show, we have gathered together a group of artists (including yours truly), given them Durham-grown hemp fiber and asked them run with it. The show is sure to be diverse in content and show off the amazing possibilities that can come when farmers and artisans are brought together by a shared love.

Participating in conversations and practices around responsibly grown/made textiles is at the heart of my personal studio practice. My connection with the One Acre Exchange crew was kismet and I am beyond thrilled that I get to come alongside this team and navigate the new waters of what it means to grow and use industrial hemp in our county.

Final prepping for my piece  Hemp Texture Study #1  which will be featured in the show.

Final prepping for my piece Hemp Texture Study #1 which will be featured in the show.

The show opens this Friday, April 26 at The Carrack in Durham, NC. We’ll also be hosting a couple of additional events including a Piedmont Fibershed meeutp and a round table meeting for farmers and artists. Head to the Carrack’s website to get all the dets. I hope you can join us!

Curators:

Katie Berman
Tyler Jenkins
Courtney Lockemer

Featured Fiber Artists:

Nicole Asselin
Katie Berman
Alexandra Burchette
Janie Kimmel
Kelly Walsh

Events:

Artist Talk + Opening Reception:
Friday, Apr. 26 | 6:30-9:30p

Piedmont Fibershed Meetup:
Thursday, May 2 | 7-8:30p

Farmers + Artisans Meeting:
Sunday, May 5 | 5:30-7:30p

SPOONFLOWER COLLAB - VISIBLE MENDING

Katie Berman

The knees of my much loved  Raleigh Denims  patched over and over. The colorful patch is made with  Spoonflower’s Dogwood Denim . Design is   Protea flannel flowers and wattle on dark polka dot  by mabouk.

The knees of my much loved Raleigh Denims patched over and over. The colorful patch is made with Spoonflower’s Dogwood Denim. Design is Protea flannel flowers and wattle on dark polka dot by mabouk.

Visible Mending 101: How to Extend the Life of Your Wardrobe

For those that know me well, you know that I am passionate about loving my clothes well, making them last and keeping unnecessary textile waste out of our landfills. I was so stoked when Spoonflower invited me to chat about just that on their blog this month! Check out our conversation and a quick tutorial on visible mending. Give your clothes a second (or third or fourth life in my case) with little mending TLC!