Margaret Hluch

Artist Statement:

Growing up, my mother sewed constantly. So it is not surprising that I learned to love textiles, fabrics, cloth, and sewing. In my education as a textile artist weaving became, and still is, a powerful passion, along with dyeing thread, encaustics, eco-printing cloth, hand stitching, and, recently, knitting.

My primary interest is in the myriad aspects of texture, color, and pattern related to fiber media. In addition, I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively overseas and experienced many diverse cultures. These travels have deeply influenced my creative work and have been an essential element in my development as an artist. I hope to continue my own personal and aesthetic journey for many years to come.

For my scarves I utilize natural fabrics to imprint the image of leaves gathered from my surroundings. I use leaves from roses, peonies, water lilies, sumac, and varieties of oak, and bark from crepe myrtle and eucalyptus, to name a few. I find these materials in my meanderings in the yard and nearby park.

These leaves and other organic materials are laid on a variety of natural fabric such as wool, silk, cotton, linen, or Tencel. These natural materials are sandwiched between the layers of the fabric and rolled tightly on a metal rod made of copper, rebar, or steel. They are then submerged and simmered in hot water for five hours. After their warm “bath,” they are left overnight to cool, then removed to air dry for the next seven days.

As a result of this process, the resultant spontaneous and vibrant patterns, which appear to magically and mysteriously arise from the steaming pot, are always a surprise. These initial fabrics are used to create a stockpile of possibilities from which I can build the scarf with other beautiful fabrics I've already collected. These combinations of varied fabrics will then be used to create one-of-a-kind scarves.

I hope that these articles of apparel and adornment will reflect the pure beauty all of us can find in our naturalistic world, if we care to make that effort.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.