Today’s artist in the 7-UP series: Rene Shoemaker.
1. What was the inspiration for your piece in A Common Thread?
I received a request from the Oconee Street Methodist Church to submit ideas for a commission. As there were 4 colors needed for the liturgical season, I made unique designs in each of the 4 colors. 3 were abstract (a purple grid design, a red stripe and squares design, and a “white” using yellows and greys on a white cloth). This green portrait of their church was made for “ordinary time”. I fell in love with the facade, the steps, and the bell tower of this historic church.
2. Please give a brief narrative of the timeline and process of creating your piece.
After receiving the request, I researched modern liturgical designs and the history of the Methodist Church. I then moved forward with Prismacolor colored pencil sketches, and after showing the colored pencil sketches to my contact, I created fiber art samples using Procion dye and gutta on different types of silk so that the committee overseeing the commission would have options to choose from.
3. What is your history with this fiber form?
I learned this particular surface design method when I returned to the classroom after having graduated from the University of Georgia fiber design department, and immediately fell in love with it. I have been practicing this fiber form since 1980.
4. Is this your first time exhibiting in A Common Thread?
No, this is my third exhibition participation with the Textile Center.
5. Which fiber/textile artist do you have the most respect/ admiration for and why?
Judy Bales, because she has consistently followed her vision, and she is a rising star.
6. Can you describe a work of fiber art that’s displayed in your house?
I spent the summer in Cortona, Italy in 1998, and returned home with a sketchbook full of inspiration. I created one design that has had many iterations and sizes and color choices. This image is of a deep pink round table cropped in the lower left corner of the square silk. There is one yellow chair pushed up to the table, and there are 3 glasses of wine on the table. The background is intense blue.
7. Who is your favorite superhero?
Henri Matisse, hands down.
The interview by WE Design Studios that I mentioned in my last post was published this week. It is titled “A Closer Look: Rene Shoemaker,” by David Elden, and can be found at:
In this interview, I explain some more about how my work takes shape, what my techniques and inspirations are, and how the view from my studio window has changed in the last six months!
Coffee Cup Press - Studio exterior