Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ellen Anne Eddy's Thread Magic

When I discovered Ellen Anne Eddy's fabric art, I felt transported. Ethereal, fantasy, delight, exquisite -- just a few words used to describe her creations. On her website, she describes herself as:

"Ellen Anne Eddy is an internationally known fiber artist whose wall art goes beyond the traditional concept of quilting. Fish, bugs, birds, and frogs are found throughout her art, blending her dreams and vision with the natural world. She uses hand-dyed fabrics, lames, machine embroidery, cut-away applique, and layered sheers to create the illusion of flames, water, and mist in her work."

But I think she has magic in her fingertips and lives with fairies.

In an interview published in CQ magazine, she describes her work:

I’ve called it thread magic for a long time. It’s a fusion of a lot of fiber techniques: hand-dyed cotton, direct and cut away applique, machine embroidery, thread painting, and fiber collage. I tend to define it differently for different groups. If I’m speaking to a group of quilters I tell them it’s an embroidered applique. For fiber artists I’d tell them it’s reconstructed fiber. For folk who really don’t have any preconceived notions about fiber work, I tell them they’re embroidered tapestries. Basically, I’m using a number of skills that all fall between the cracks to be something fairly unique. Words tend to fail me. But that’s a fair description.”
To read the entire interview, click here.

She generously teaches her style and skills and techniques and on her website offers a free PowerPoint type tutorial about design. Not a bad refresher course or inspiration for us newbies who are setting out on our design journey. One class topic I found particularly fascinating is titled "The Beautiful Beast" and is more about quilting stories than techniques, she cautions, but the descrip tion drew me right to it:
A slide show exploring the images of animals in the quilt world. Whether they are pets or alter egos, metaphors, or mentors, or a mirror of our reality, we live in a world full of animal imagery. We’ll look at that rich vein of symbolism through the eyes of quilters who are fascinated by beautiful beasts.
She also lectures on color as well as thread painting and the elements of design. And then she offers classes to recreate a few of her patterns. Such as the one shown here titled: Crescent Moon or A Quick and Easy Magic Midnight Sky.
This artist has such an eye for seeing the magic in anything. I would like to live in her world.

Perhaps she'll inspire a little more magic in our own creations. For some reason I want to go read a book by Charles de Lint -- his fantasy and Ellen's go hand in hand.


TexasRed said...

These are fantastic. I can totally see them as the cover of a Charles de Lint book. Thank you for sharing her work.

Dawn said...

Another de Lint reader? How cool.

Did you visit her website, she has so many lovely fabric art there. I wish I could just watch her create! And she has products there including her hand dyed fabric complete with a light source.