A Weave Of Women
. Works by fiber artists range from three-dimensional
Jewish-themed pieces to stark abstracts.
Special to the Jewish News
At the Charach-Epstein show, the seasoned artistry
of Roberts and Smith is complemented by pieces
done by fiber fans just starting to experiment.
The butterfly wall hanging exhibited by Barbara
Victor-Gittleman started life as a shawl. But, as the
.Huntington Woods occupational therapist began •
sewing fabric to stabilizing chunks of material, she
decided to change the course of her design.
• "I find working with fiber relaxing and reward-
ing," says Victor-Gittleman, who has enjoyed mak-
ing clothes but gave that up because of personal
time constraints. "I started making quilts in 1998
dents, whose ages run between 3 and 6.
Judaica may be in the future for fiber artist Mindy
Mitchell of Farmington Hills. While she uses the
ancient Japanese cloth wrapping and dye technique
known as shibori for shaping and dying textiles that
have no Jewish connection, she wants to try her
hand at tallitot, Jewish ritual prayer shawls, particu-
larly one for her son, Nigel, 9.
"I sometimes feel addicted to silk," says Mitchell,
who is exhibiting four abstract wall hangings. "I like
the shine and soft feel. After. dying material, I put it
through a mangle to bring out the luster."
One of her pieces, Bamboo, was titled by friends
who thought the color pattern reminded them of
the namesake substance. Emerald Lake takes its title
from a colorful body of water near a camp the artist
attended as a youngster.
In addition to fiber art, she has designed jewelry
and worked in the glass industry.
"I'm bringing artistry to our home as we restore a
century-old farmhouse," Mitchell says. "I'm current-
fiber art — from Judaica to abstract
designs — will fill West Bloomfield's
Janice Charach Epstein Gallery through
The new exhibit, "Limitless Visions: Fiber
Artists Push the Boundaries," features work by
about 40 loom and stitch devotees from around
the country. Included are quilts, tapestries, bas-
kets, sculpture, jewelry, clothing and handmade
"We are very pleased to
have projects by many artists
who have never been repre-
sented in the gallery before,
and we also are glad to have
new work by artists who
have been featured in the
past," says Sylvia Nelson,
Among the returning
exhibitors is Sherri Roberts, an
Ohio artist who is showing
designs. Havdalah spice con-
Left to right: Ann Sch umacher: "Vessels of Stillness," wool, rayon, silk. Sherri Smith: 'Mayan Sacred Calendan" made of woven wool and
tainers, such as Fragrant Water
cotton, suggests a 260- day year. Sherri Roberts: Fragrant Water Lily," is a Havdalah spice holder made of silk fiber and wire flower sculptures.
Lily, made of silk fiber and
wire flower sculptures, will be
among the items she will show.
ly working on stained glass for special effects."
"I make many kinds of decorative containers,
after seeing a 'memory' design and deciding to make
Also represented in "Limitless Visions" are Barbara
says Roberts, a self-taught artist who takes com-
one for my daughter."
Celia Block, Marilyn Kaczander Cohen,
missions through her own business venture, Galil
While studying in Japan, she learned that the but-
Sheila Groman, Jan Jacobs, Carole
Threadworks. "I draw inspiration from the natural
terfly is the Chinese symbol for longevity. -
beauty of Israel's varied landscapes and the sub-
In addition to fiber art, Victor-Gittleman has cre-
stance of Judaism."
ated art deco furniture for her kitchen, and has been Susan Aaron Taylor, Ruth Adler Schnee, Alice
Bronston, Barbara Cohen, Susan Fox, Leslie
Roberts combines thread and fiber into com-
represented in an exhibit at the Oakland County
Golomb Hartman, Muriel Jacobs, Susan Knott, Ann
plex, nontraditional designs for home and syna-
executive offices through her textile guild.
Lynn Aleman, Helen Bruck, Judi
gogue celebrations. Often starting with a silk base,
Ruth Ann Prag of Farmington Hills brings her
Henrion, Sarah Kaufman, Anna
she goes on to use yarn, polymer clay and beads.
most elaborate wall hanging to "Limitless Visions."
Nelson, Miriam Nathan
Judaica is not a part of the work of Sherri
Using hand embroidery and reverse appliques, she
Smith, a professor at the School of Art and Design has made a replica of a restored opera house in Flint. Roberts, Joan Schwartz, Nancy Sedar Sherman, Lola
Sonnenschein, Louise Silk, Anita Sudakin, Karen
at the University of Michigan. With her Jewish
"I was challenged by a friend to do this ; " says
Willing, Patti Tapper and Carol Wineman.
heritage traced only through a grandmother, she
Prag, who has been a member of a number of
devotes her creative time to large abstract woven
sewing groups and is also a member of the Detroit
Out 64 About returns Sept. 13.
Women's Forum Project of the American Jewish
Smith, a former New York textile designer who
has had her work exhibited internationally, will be
"Limitless Visions: Fiber Artists Push the
She began fiber work years ago while living in
showing pieces expressing science themes. Mayan
Boundaries" will be on view through Oct. 31 at
northern Michigan and raising horses. One of her
Sacred Calendar, made of woven wool and cotton,
the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery at the West
favorite series of wall hangings shows teapots.
suggests a 260-day year. Aquifer II, made of woven
Bloomfield Jewish Community Center. There
Barbara Goldstein of Oak Park captures the story
cotton and cotton cloth, has to do with under-
will be an artists reception 6:30-8 p.m.
line of the children's book The Very Hungry
ground water movements.
Thursday, Sept. 12. An evening of "Coffee,
Caterpillar for her piece Emily's Quilt. She combines
Smith, whose undergraduate classes were at
Culture and Conversation," during which
silk with fabrics of different textures and has tried to
Stanford University in California and whose grad-
of the artists will be present to discuss
find swatches with colors that look like real fruit.
uate studies were at Cranbrook, also taught at
takes place 7:30 p.m. Thursday,
Goldstein regularly sews with a group that met
Colorado State University. She came to Michigan
Oct. 10. For reservations, call (248) 432-5448.
and formed three years ago at a supply shop. She
in 1974 and has established a studio in her home.
also makes quilts with her special education stu-