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Kathleen Olson Grumich

Fiber / New Orleans, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

Since my mother taught me to sew at a young age, I have had a passion for working with beautiful fabrics. New Orleans year-round floral beauty and the whimsey of early 20th century decorative arts inspire my designs. My desire is to produce a beautiful, unique and affordable piece of wearable art which will compliment and enhance my customer’s wardrobe.

My first step is to draw my design on a paper pattern, many of which are from my photographs of natural subjects. White silk is my blank canvas. After transferring the design to the silk and stretching it on a frame, I paint the entire piece of silk, using the serti technique, wherein resist is applied to create an enclosed space in which the dye is allowed to flow. In order to achieve the shading giving depth to a motif, I use the watercolor technique, blending colors within the area while the section is still wet. I use fiber-reactive dyes, which must be mixed fresh each time and used within a set number of hours. As my scarves are washed in the process to remove the resist, chemicals and excess dye, they are all hand-washable.

Biography

I come from a family who has always valued and accepted creativity as part of life. That said, I was encouraged to choose a career that was practical and would allow me to support myself. I obtained a BA in Economics, worked in the securities industry in accounting and regulation for seventeen years and spent an additional eleven years as a paralegal.

In 1995, I decided to give my creative side a chance, so that I would not look back on my life with any regrets. My love of design and beautiful fabrics led me to try hand painting on silk.

I have attained Master Craftsman status with the Louisiana Craft Guild. I am also a juried member of RHINO Contemporary Crafts. I participate in local juried art markets and shows.