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Welcome to Lisa Solomon’s studio. Lisa, who is teaching the Hand Appliqué workshop on August 16, welcomed Britex to her studio in Oakland.

We have been searching and researching local designers and makers to teach at Britex. Many weeks ago, we set out to find visual artists working with fibers and textiles who would be interested in sharing their ‘outside the box’ approach to making. Lisa was an obvious perfect match. She is a mixed media artist with lots of teaching experience. She exhibits her work both nationally and internationally and is the author of Knot Thread Stitch – exploring creativity through embroidery and mixed media [Quarry].

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Arriving at her home, I was greeted by a very happy pup. Through the living room, through the kitchen and out into the back yard—she described how this is the ideal situation for her. It’s important to her that her workspace not be in the home. “There’s always something that needs to be done, like cleaning.” She walks out of the house and is able to shut all that off. But, it’s also nice to be so close to home, she says.

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As makers, we all develop systems that work for us and leave behind those that don’t. Lisa finds it helpful to leave something in a state where she knows what’s next. I’ve heard makers talk about the difficulty of getting started, so this makes good sense. At the end of a work day, she makes note of the next step. When she comes in the next day, it’s straight to work!

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A lot of her current art is on velum, but all of her work, including her fiber/textile installations, is similar through a process of repetition.

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She is inspired by the senninbari (pictured above), a Japanese belt embroidered with 1000 knots each made by a different woman, worn by men going to war to give them luck. She’s interested in the power imbued in the object through the collective process.

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Whether pencil to paper or crochet hook to yarn, she’s interested in parameters. In the case of the hand-drawn origami cranes above, she challenged herself, as she often does, to draw 1000 cranes.

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Lisa is currently installing her 1000 doily show at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University. You can follow her progress here. Some news is also being posted on her blog.

Meet Lisa at Britex on Saturday, August 16, get creative with hand appliqué and basic embroidery. Learn more about Lisa’s workshop at Britex and register here.