Posted in Photography, Pottery, Quilts

Are We Being Taken Seriously?

I got to chatting with an art student yesterday. We were talking about designing a quilt and she told me she couldn’t sew in a straight line. No problem…. work with art quilts. She asked what happens when you sew the pieces together. I explained quilts don’t have to be geometric. I explained that an art quilt was sort of a cross between a painting and a quilt.  I sketched out the Tree of Life Quilt and explained that I used water color pencils and oil paint sticks along with fabric. That’s when she became intrigued.

This reminded me of a conversation Jim and I had with one of his art teachers. This particular teacher taught painting, and I don’t think he put quilts into the category of art. While he liked and accepted Jim’s art, he didn’t seem to think my art was Art.

Why is it that when it comes to Art, fiber and fabric are considered merely utilitarian? Ceramic teachers don’t discourage functional pottery. Design teachers don’t discourage combining functional and beauty. Painting teachers don’t discourage painting merely because it’s not functional.  What is it with fiber and fabric?

Is it because fiber and fabric have traditionally been limited to women? Think back about 15 years when male quilters were an anomaly. In some quilting circles, they are still an anomaly. A friend’s husband was ridiculed for taking a quilting class. The ridicule came from some of the women in the class. Now think back about 40 years when female and artist were words rarely used together. Women artists weren’t taken seriously. I suspect vestiges of that remain. The art classes I’ve been in have all had more female students than male students. Will Art become art if Art is practiced by women? Sexism is far from dead.

Maybe what we need is another Art Deco movement where we concentrate on combining beauty with function.

I’ve been playing with photography again. Here’s the original shot.


The sun was getting low and the light was getting weird. Perfect time to take photos.

Here’s how I played with the shot.

And my favorite result:


I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by her blog and see what a number of artists have been doing.


I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 16 health destroying years. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at:

3 thoughts on “Are We Being Taken Seriously?

  1. >Is it because fiber and fabric have traditionally been limited to women?<
    Deb I think this is exactly the problem, looking back through the Arts it is something that comes up frequently, women are so often not taken seriously, there is still a lot of 'the little woman' attichude,

    I like your photo play and the last is my favourite too, Frances


  2. Yes, the conversation about what is art and what is “not art” it’s weird when it comes to fiber art. I think that your comment about it being associated to women is the real answer. I hope this will change in the future! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and linking up your post!


  3. Deb,
    Our own Bobby’s husband is a quilter. The guy who puts out the Pomegranate Paper.
    Did you choin that? Kathy Perlmutter is the new President.
    I live in Naples and of course don’t go to meetings but I send my $36. dues yrly.
    People just don’t know fabric and beads. My own first cousins, 3 Men, had wholesale
    inexpensive fabric firms on W. 35th St. NYC. I was into beads when I taught in St. L
    in the 1980’s. I have old beads, similar to the ones you used in my earrings but mine
    are from the olden days.


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