Monday, March 1, 2010

Artist Profile for March

Our Michigan SAQA profile this month is:

Sidney Savage Inch
Lake Orion, MI

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts?I first started sewing in high school. I spent much of my high school art hours dyeing silk in a gutta resist style. When I had made my (what felt like) 100th scarf, I decided there had to be more I could do with this technique. I designed a pattern for a quilted jacket with the signs of the zodiac on it. The trouble began when I tried to construct the actual jacket. I did not have much experience with a sewing machine and after the tenth time I destroyed the tension and my poor mother had to step in and finish the construction in order to save her sewing machine! The good news is that over the years my sewing skills improved and now that same machine is my trusty friend (I mean machine!)

Describe your art and its inspiration
I tend to work in a whole cloth method and appliqué and embellish from there. Sometimes I work with realistic figures but more often I work in the abstract. I see the fabric as a canvas and the stitching (machine or hand), beadwork and embellishments as the message. I like to take inspiration from the relationships we are surrounded by. Relationships with others, our relationships with ourselves and our relationship with the natural world are a never-ending fountain from which to draw inspiration.

Where do you do most of your artwork?
I have a wonderful walkout basement studio that is next to my daughters’ playroom. That way we can all play at the same time! The room was bare studs when we bought the house and I was able to design the layout in a way that best suited my working style.

What are your goals?
I do not enter competitive shows. My art quilts are sometimes in exhibitions and exhibits, but I make art quilts for myself. They are the way that I confront and deal with the turmoil and/or the joy inside and around me. My goal is to continue down the path I have found for my art. I want to continue to find my voice and create artwork that I am proud of. This past November I also put on my first art bazaar with the help of my friends from the Running with Scissors fiber art group. We had a wonderful time and a successful show. I hope to continue this show as an annual tradition.

Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork?
While my art quilts are made for myself; I do have a business selling my other passion. I create jewelry from unconventional and repurposed items. I use quite a bit of fiber in my jewelry but I also use items like dominos, hardware store washers and paper. Many of those unconventional items can be found in my art quilts as well! I find that there is crossover everywhere. Anytime I am inspired by a new technique I try to use a version of that technique in all of my creative outlets.

Where can your work be seen?
I always take part in Lynn Krawczyk’s “Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit.” She finds the most wonderful causes to support each year. This year it is Art Now for Autism. With my jewelry I do a number of outdoor art festivals and I sell them at galleries throughout the year. A list of all the places that I am exhibiting and /or selling is available on my website

What are your interests outside of art?
Running my own business, raising my two daughters and trying to find time to spend in my studio creating keeps me pretty busy, but when I have some spare time I like to get outdoors. As a family we enjoy camping, hiking, swimming and letter boxing. My girls and I spend as much of the summer as we possibly can in the lake!

You can see more of Sidney's artwork on her web site at

'Sacred Spaces: Dead River Falls'
18” x 22”

I went to college at Northern Michigan University and I will always remember those days fondly. Deep in the woods of the Upper Peninsula I fell in love, had my heart broken, made friends for a lifetime and took the first steps on the path to growing from a girl into a woman.

Materials: cotton batiks, hand-dyed cheese cloth, glass, bone and resin beads.
Techniques: hand beading, matte medium photo transfer, machine and hand quilting.

'My Muse; I Must Wait While She Grows'
40” x 30”

My muse starts as an nucleus of an idea. I must be careful, take my time and nurture that tiny nucleus of an idea into fruition.
Materials: batik cotton fabric, hardware store washers (brass & steel), yarns, fibers and assorted beads.
Techniques: machine quilting, hand embroidery and hand beading.

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