Heather Allen HietalaHeather's work is in transition from being focused on textiles for 20 years to including ceramics, wire and gut and...
I love the way fabric feels. It's even more fun playing with colors and designs on fabric - printing my own fabric, cutting it, and making fabric puzzles. I dye and print on silk, bamboo, cotton, and linen making wall hangings and scarves.
As I dye and print, colors and shapes in nature inspire me: the myriad shades of green as spring leaves burst into life; the vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and subdued browns of fall leaves; the amazing colors in the sky as the sun sets behind the mountains. I try to capture a brief memory of the natural world as I print using screens and stamps. I make organic images that resonate by layering colors and textures until you can’t tell where one begins and another ends.
I photograph a natural scene that captures my heart.
As I begin to assemble a wall hanging, the yards of printed and marbled fabric become my palette from which I select the most interesting areas. I translate each part of the image to pieces of my fabric. I lay together the cut out pieces until a new image appears that echoes the orignal photograph. Sometimes I use manipulated photos printed on silk or vintage fabrics as an accent. I assemble the puzzle using the thread and the stitch that best melds each new piece to the whole.
I have always had an affinity with fabric – studying it in college and working with historic textiles as a museum curator.
Dyeing and printing my own fabric in classes awoke a creative streak in me. The deconstructed printed fabric is the focus in my pieces. These wall hangings are my attempt to bring our nature’s beauty inside. They may reflect the scene just outside the window or represent a favorite place far away. Look at the completed piece and see how many images you can find in the layers.