What is fiber art anyway?

” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” 

Ralph Waldo Emmerson

This quote from Emmerson could be applied in many ways. I think it works well in a discussion of what many call fiber art. There are so many items that fall under that general heading of fiber art, think of all the beautiful creations which are made with fiber. The diversity is staggering.

This quote from Emerson applies  when considering the field of Fiber art. This new art form has left the established path and is leading it’s own trail. It’s forging ahead breaking new ground in the world of art.

In the history of art, new paths which differ from the mainstream are often met with resistance by those who are the authorities who set the standards of taste. It often takes time for acceptance. Take the example of  one of our most popular art styles, Impressionism Acceptance within the art world came slowly and with much struggle. Acceptance of fiber art as a ligament art form rather than being viewed as arts and crafts. The perception of fiber art is changing. Great strides have been made.Acceptance is coming in many ways, acceptance into many galleries, shows featuring fiber art and galleries dedicated to that art form. Yet many people are unfamiliar with fiber art in it’s many forms. As an example in reference to the phrase fiber art quilting and the related types of works, some are unfamiliar with what this is and what to do with it. There is room for improvement in acquainting the public with this new at form.

Within the classification of “fiber art” there is much diversity,  it can be difficult to find a universal label to cover the many directions being followed. Fiber has been with us a very long time, weaving, knitting, quilting, and much more. Most of these items initially had a utilitarian purpose essentially. Yet when you look at a beautifully appliqued and hand quilted bed quilt from years past, can that beautiful creation be considered as merely utilitarian?

 All the effort, imagination and technique use to create it was done to be enjoyed by the viewer.There are a large number of differing opinions & viewpoints, clarification will come with time.

This new and emerging field of art  continues to open door’s which lead in new and exciting directions.

For more information about Fiber art I suggest looking on TAFA’s website. It has a wealth of fiber art and the creators displayed. There’s much to enjoy with this wonderful art form.

I have an interview with TAFA’s founder Rachel Biel which you might enjoy.

TAFA Tour 110712


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