a sewing machine as the “paint brush"

Featured Artist Deb Menz

Color Blocks #4, 6” x 8”, Hand embroidery with dyed silk threads by Deb Menz
Deb has been hooked on fiber, threads and fabrics since college. That is her medium of choice. It started with weaving and has evolved to using embroidery, both hand and machine to express her ideas.

The process of including several mediums to achieve her final results is important to her. She begins with taking photographs. The photographs are not used as is. They are edited on the
computer. From there, the image is either transferred or painted onto a piece of fabric. She has two approaches to her work – she either embroiders by hand or uses a sewing machine and “free motion” embroiders with that. Threads are painted or dyed when hand embroidering and colors chosen if machine embroidered. Free motion embroidery is a technique using
a sewing machine as the “paint brush”. Fabric can be freely manipulated with her hands so threads create lines on her cloth. By stitching in several densely stitched layers, she can achieve great optical mixed colors, not unlike impressionist paintings. She uses ungessoed canvas as the fabric and sewing threads to stitch with.
Historically, she has worked in a realistic style, based on her photos, but she is now working on a new series/study that is abstract. Her art background is in teaching all about color theory and how to mix dyes to get any color you want.
She is applying her thoughts about color relationships and applying them to a
new body of work. The design element stays the same in all these pieces – she is
only using 1⁄4” squares. Each piece explores a different idea about color or color relationships. All of the threads she uses are hand painted or dyed and are not all solid.
Deb graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has spent most of the last 30+ years traveling across the USA and Canada teaching workshops about using dyes, color theory and designing multi color hand spun yarns. She has written two books: “Color in Spinning” and “Color Works” both published by Interweave Press.
She will have a solo show that will be hung at Steenbock Gallery this coming December. You can view more of Deb’s work at: www.debmenz.com

Color Blocks #4, 6” x 8”, Hand embroidery with dyed silk threads by Deb Menz Color Blocks #3, 5” x 6”, Hand embroidery with dyed silk threads by Deb Menz Law Park, 4.5” x 6”, Free motion embroidery by Deb Menz State Street, 6” x 4.5”, Free motion embroidery by Deb Menz Wisconsin, 6” x 4.5”, Free motion embroidery
Overture Center”, 4.5” x 6”, Free motion embroidery by Deb Menz Color Blocks #2, 5” x 5”, Hand embroidery with dyed silk threads by Deb Menz
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