Artist Statement: Through out the years, I have worked in various fine craft media. In 1973 theater was my first love, acting as well as stage production. In those years I also dabbled in costume design and construction. I macraméd costumes from yarn and created traditional and unusual plant hangers that incorporated glass & wood beads, pieces of driftwood, iron and weaving for a more arty effect. I got very good at knotting and creating huge wall hangings which created the bulk of my first fine art pieces.
I then incorporated weaving into my macramés and did abstracted versions of mountains and streams. I inserted feathers into macramés and began experimenting with creating feather wall pieces. To make these pieces I invented a stylized Indian rug loom to take my weavings beyond the macramé frames and created single, diptych and triptych abstract weavings using hand-dyed wools.
One year The City of Manitou held a Mardi Gras (pre-Carnivale). I decided to try my hand at making masks. They were a huge success. My feather work is what I exert my creative juices on to this day. I have lots of fun creating the different designs. Each mask is unique because Feathers are like Snowflakes, since no two feathers are alike. Nature is amazing because of its diversity. If you have an exotic bird, a Macaw, Parrot, etc., and have saved the feathers, I can create masks using these feathers that are very unique and personal for framing or wearing. I still feel a connection to my Theatrical roots when I make masks. They allow people to play and dance finding new expressions of their inner and hidden feelings. Wear a mask for good fun or fantasy, find your inner child and let him/her out to play.
General Informtion: Feathers I use for most of my masks include rooster hackles, ringneck pheasant and peacock. The more exotic masks are created using varitey of Oriental pheasant feathers such as Lady Amherst, Silver, Golden and Reeves Pheasants which have very dramatic patterns in their feathers. I also use Ostrich Plumes, Parrot and Macaw feathers. With small feathers I have created mandalas for the wall, pins, and earrings.
All my masks and jewelry have a suede backing. The masks have an elastic strap, making them very comfortable to wear, and yet durable.
Masks are light and hang easily by two nails or pins in a wall where they wait patiently for that special time the will be worn. Or they can be framed for purely for decorative purposes.
I have created many mask designs. Butterflies are my inspiration for my “Flutterbye” Series. These are created using various types of feathers to create the dramatic wing-like patterns. “Shamans”is another fun theme I have explored adding shells and other found items to give them their special “magic”. (These usually end up in frames, but can be hung without framing.) The “Man In The Moon” mask is wearable and also makes a great wall decoration. My “Aztec” series are the most exotic curled masks and they have three to six curled tails, three curled to the right and three curled to the left.
Festival Coordinator Julia Wright coordinated the Commonwheel Art Festival from 1976-2001 and returned to this position for the 2006 festival. This will be her 29th Labor Day Festival that she has coordinated for Commonwheel. Education & Affiliations: University of Northern Colorado Member of the Manitou Springs Art Council.