I was raised in a small town in Berks County, Pennsylvania. I have always been involved with doing traditional fiber crafts and learned at an early age to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew. I learned pattern drafting from my mother, Claire, and enjoy making a lot of my own clothing. I attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I majored in Art Education. It was there that I learned the basics of weaving and met Harriet Knox who later taught me spinning and would become a major force in the direction my career would take. My interest in weaving continued and I acquired my first loom not long after I graduated college. Harriet owns Autumn House Farm, a sheep farm and yarn shop not far from where I live and we became good friends and professional colleagues. I started to weave professionally in the late 1980's with her encouragement. Personal issues in my life took me away from the field for about 10 years, eventually I was employed as the receiving manager at a local department store. In 2002 I found myself unemployed when the store closed.
I am also heavily involved with our community theater; performing, directing, designing sets, and building costumes. Much of my life is spent in creation and artistic pursuits, and so I decided to step into the challenging world of creating fine craft as a living.
I started The Wandering Vine in late 2002. My studio is located in my home. I am a full-time professional weaver. I work on a 45", 4 harness Schact floor loom. My concentration is in creating clothing for women and men. I design and weave my own yardage, and tailor the yardage myself. My garment designs are original patterns I designed myself or are based on traditional garment shapes.
I spend much time experimenting with the interplay of color and weave structure. I do a great deal of my own dyeing in both cottons and wools so that I have more control over the way the color is laid into a garment.
My work can be seen at various fine craft shows and fiber festivals throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Ohio. I have won numerous awards for my work, including artistic excellence at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA and Best Craft in Show at the Quaker Arts Festival in Orchard Park, NY. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and was awarded master craftsman status in that organization in April, 2006.
I am always happy to create custom orders. When ordering a piece, please keep in mind that it will take between 1 to 2 months from the time of ordering a custom piece until you receive it. The length of time will depend upon my current work load and the availability of the materials I will need. When a custom order is placed I often work up samples so that you can actually see and feel what the material will be like.
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