Chris Thomas - Fiber Art

My journey into fiber art

My college minor was in Art but life got in the way and I went from making art to simply enjoying what others had created.

As my children grew older and more independent I enjoyed designing and making quilts, but I found myself yearning to break away from the rigidity of traditional quilt patterns. I wanted to do something more creative. 

When I retired I took a leap of faith and joined the Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists.  Soon after I joined a smaller group of women who share my passion for working with fabric beyond the boundaries of traditional quilting. This group -The 3150 Studio Artists - meets weekly to dye, stamp, silkscreen, discharge, embellish, and stitch our way beyond "grandma's quilt" to mixed-media works of art.  We are all "women of a certain age" and proof that it's never too late to explore and learn and grow.

I invite you to scroll down to see some of my work.  Prices are included in case you see something that would make the perfect gift for someone special  - or for yourself!  You can contact me to view the piece "in person" to decide if it is just what you want. (tini-t@charter.net Know that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Mary's Pence, an organization supporting grassroots women's projects across the Americas that address injustice and poverty. (Go to www.maryspence.org to check it out.)

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

 

The Power of Poetry 18"X12" $100 framed (Paper, fabric, thread, paint; stamped, sgraffitoed, crackled, stitched)
Enchanted Garden 21"X17" $225 with 3" white mat and deep black frame (fabric, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, thread; painted, stenciled, stamped, image transferred, stitched)
Two Fans 27"X42" $250 (Hand-dyed and commercial fabric, commercial and hand-dyed paper, distress ink; stamped, monoprinted, cut collaged, stitched)
"A" 36"X12" $140 Framed and covered with plexiglass (Commercial fabric, paper; cut, collaged, stitched)
Growing Wild 47"X68" $250 (Fabric, thread, oil sticks; fused, raw-edge appliqued, quilted, rubbed with oil sticks) This piece hung over our fireplace but we've moved and it doesn't fit into our new home. This is a discounted price because there has been a tiny bit of fading.
A close up of a leaf in Growing Wild
Lost and Found 9"X32" $100 (Fabric, wood, feathers, found objects, thread; hand stitched)
Morning Walk 34"X22" framed NFS (fabric, paper, cheesecloth, paint, doilies, thread; fused, stitched)
A Long Walk to Redemption 10"X20" $140 framed and covered with plexiglass (hand-dyed, stamped & lettered fabric, commercial fabric, paper; collaged, stitched) This piece asks the question: How much is enough?"
Breaking and Entering: Alzheimers Identity Theft 18"X25" $175 (commercial and hand-dyed fabric, sheers; appliqued) I worked for many years with seniors and saw the heartbreak of people losing touch with their identities. This piece was done as a tribute to them.
Xs and Os 10"X20" $60 (felt, screening, fabric, paper, thread, wire, found objects; hand stitched)
Sloss Furnaces 14"X14" $75 framed in metal (hand dyed and commercial fabric, thread; dyed, fused, stitched) Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, AL is the only site of its kind being preserved in the US.
Into the Wild 21"X17" $175 with 3" white mat and deep black frame (Fabric, acrylic ink, thread; painted, stamped, image transferred, stitched)
Spring Floral 20" X 24" - $200 (hand-dyed and commercial fabric, paper, Pearl Cotton; stamped, fused, machine quilted, machine embellished) Displayed at Madison Senior Center's "An Artful Affair" spring 2014
Prismatic Woods 67" X 31 14" -Not For Sale (purchased hand-dyed and commercial cottons, Pearl Cotton; fused, machine quilted, reverse machine embellished) Note: This picture does not do the piece justice: It is huge, brightly colored, and very dramatic. (Shown at UW Madison Pyle Center Madison Contemporary Artists spring 2014 "In Living Color" show)
Ode To Lee Krasner 29 1/2" X 37 3/4" - $400 (commercial and hand-dyed cottons; fused and quilted) I'm drawn to the paintings of artist Lee Krasner. This piece is an interpretation in fabric of "Untitled" - one of her "Little Images" for which she is famous. I've tried to retain the fluidity of her symbols as well as the gird-like quality of the entire painting. (Shown at Madison Senior Center - 3150 Fiber Artists' Spring 2014 art show)
Cosmic Chatter 29 1/2" X 37 3/4" - $400 (Commercial and hand-dyed cottons, decorative thread, string; Fused, quilted, hand-stitched.) Krasner is thought to have painted symbols to depict communication. I ask the question: In some distant future will there be communication across the cosmos? (Shown at Madison Senior Center - 3150 Fiber Artists' Spring 2014 art show)
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words 29 1/2" X 37 3/4" - $400 (Commercial and hand-dyed cottons, satin, screening, papers, dry wall mesh; fused and machine quilted) Krasner's work has inspired me to consider the vast number of symbols we use to communicate today. (Shown at Madison Senior Center - 3150 Fiber Artists' Spring 2014 art show)
Springtime - Not for sale (magazine paper, Citra Solv, paint, fusible web, netting; printed, stamped, paper altered, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted)
Hubble (based on Hubble telescope photos & quote by Oscar Wilde) 15 1/2" X 57 1/2" - Not for sale (commercial and hand-dyed fabric, bleach, Transfer Art Paper; Sharpies; embellished with bleach and Sharpies, transferred text) Each panel was made from a single piece of fabric that reminded me of a particular Hubble telescope image. I dipped the opened end of a paper clip and the edge of a credit card into bleach hundreds of times to make the stars and the streaks of light. I then quilted each piece and combined the pieces with the Oscar Wilde quotation. All of this was inspired by the book "The Hand of God." NFS
Fantasy Flower 20 1/2" X 34" - Sold (at Olbrich Gardens' MCFA Wild Things show) (paper, commercial cottons, satin & sheers; painted, dyed, stamped, monoprinted, fused, raw-edge appliqued and quilted)
Pura Vida 22" X 31"- sold (at Olbrich Gardens' MCFA Wild Things show) (hand dyed cotton, commercial cotton, synthetic satin & sheers; sun dyed, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted)
Bamboo Scroll 15 1/4" X 20 1/2" - $110 (hand-dyed & commercial cotton fabrics; dyed, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted) (Shown at Beaver Dam Area Arts Assn "Fiber Arts Now" show in spring 2014)
Go With The Flow (depicting bubbly water flowing in a strong current at the base of a waterfall) 18" X 31" - SOLD (hand-dyed & commercial cottons, synthetic sheers, acrylic paints; dyed, monoprinted, stamped, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted) (Shown at Beaver Dam Area Arts Assn "Fiber Arts Now" show in spring 2014) Sold.
Show Offs - SOLD (at Middleton Hills Creating for Causes show) (commercial cottons; fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted) The bright fabric was a "challenge fabric" which I cut apart & used to bring these birds to life. Only tiny bits of it were left when I finished!)
Three Moons Rising 20 1/4" X 17" - $110 (hand-dyed & commercial cottons, acrylic paint, metallic thread; dyed, stamped, raw-edge appliqued & quilted)
Reflections of a Setting Sun 22 3/4" X 18 1/2" - Gifted (magazine & other papers, commercial & hand-dyed cotton and netting; dyed, painted, raw-edge fused, appliqued & quilted)
Side By Side 37 1/2" X 25" - on loan to my church and then to be gifted to my daughter (hand-dyed & commercial cottons, synthetics, specialty threads; pieced & heavily quilted)

This piece was displayed in the 2013 Sacred Threads Exhibition in Herndon, VA with quilts from around the country and Canada - all exploring joy, inspiration, peace, grief, healing and spirituality.

My accompanying artist's statement: Traditional liturgical colors morph, and life forms are glimpsed, expressing the nuanced spirituality and vitality of my church - a people stitched together as they work side-by-side rather than from positions of power.  We honor the ancient Scriptural writings as solid building blocks for our lives (symbolized by blocks of strips), but recognize that each individual has unique insights into the Mystery we call God (expressed by strips that grow beyond those solid areas.)  We're held in God's enlightening, transforming Spirit (shimmery creams.)  I offer this "heartwork" in thanksgiving for the caring community of my newfound spiritual home.

Something New Breaking Forth 29" X 18 1/2" - SOLD (papers, Lutradure, hand-dyed & commercial cottons; dyed, painted, fused & quilted) (Shown at UW Madison Pyle Center Madison Contemporary Artists spring 2014 "In Living Color" show) (Sold at Anderson Art Center, Kenosha 2015 reprise of "In Living Color" show)
Child of the Dustbowl 18 1/2" X 24 1/2" $180 (commercialcottons, safety pins, oil sticks, acrylic paint; images Photoshopped & printed on fabric, garment sewn, stamped, colored with oil sticks, fused & raw-edge appliqued)

This piece is based on a photo taken by Walker Evans of young Minnie Lee Tengle.  It was displayed at the Overture Center for the Arts in conjunction with Forward Theater's 2011 production of "A Thousand Words." 
The eyes of little Minnie drew me into the photograph, but it was the safety pin cinching the over-sized and incredibly soiled dress Minnie wore that inspired me to create this tribute to her and to the families whose lives were so harshly impacted by the drought of the 1930s.  This piece is also a tribute to Walker Evans whose photograph so honestly portrayed the dignity amidst the poverty.

In The Garden 19" X 25" - $180 (hand-dyed & commercial cottons, synthetic sheers & satin, Inktense sticks; dyed, Inktense "painted," fused & raw-edge appliqued)
Penetrating Heat 11" X 18 1/2" - $40 (hand-dyed cotton and hand-batiked cotton from a friend; dyed, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted)
Forest Woman Mask 15" X 18" - Sold (at 3150 Spring Art Show - Madison Senior Center) (Paper toweling, plaster, paint, Lutradur, , Tyvek, deli paper, glitter & sticks); moulded over plastic base & clay, painted, glued & glittered)
Trio of Iris 9" X 15 1/2" Sold (at the 3150 Studio Artists' Verona Library show) (hand-dyed & commercial cottons, synthetic satin, rice paper, deli paper, cheesecloth; dyed, painted, fused, raw-edge appliqued & quilted)
City Streets 12" X 12" Sold (at the Middleton Hills Creating for Causes show) (commercial cottons & paint; painted, stamped, fused & quilted)
Number 42 16" X 20" - Make an offer. It really is rectangular; the photo just wasn't taken straight on.

You can reach me at tini-t@charter.net.  I'd love to hear from you!

Let me know if you'd like to be on my mailing list for upcoming shows.  (You'll receive an email only 2 or 3 times a year.)

 

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."

Thomas Merton

 

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Pamela | Reply 07.06.2016 11.41

Chris, your work is exquisite, so thoughtful, intense and expressed with a variety of themes, colors and shapes, both realistic and abstract.

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Latest comments

15.06 | 16:24

Linda,
Your quilts are amazing! I recently attended a 1969 Morgan women's class reunion. If you'd like a class picture and update please send me your email.

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28.01 | 16:11

Beautiful work. Let me know when you next show.

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06.12 | 19:50

Mary, Art Mask ROCKS at MPL. Bravo, so interesting, Hope your group hangs a show at Cap Lakes in '17. Great space. Love your fiber art, so happy, it is magical!

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22.11 | 14:02

Many thanks again. Your vibrant art looks awesome, hanging adjacent to "Dangly Things." The Path Ahead is a happy piece to own/admire. Gratitude & best Wishes

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