Creative Chain: Connecting creatives one link at a time, week 22

[Emily Potts] Happy Hump Day! Let’s make it an inspirational hump, shall we? The last link in last week’s chain was Michelle Ross, so in her own words, she is inspired by…

Heather’s work has the perfect balance between risk and restraint. I love that as a book/graphic designer and artist, Heather has the capacity to combine systematic thinking with intuitive abandon. Her work appears effortless and spontaneous, yet she works with carefully defined parameters and an impressive command of materials like ink that often defy control.

Movement of Objects at Rest
I love her commitment to process and abstraction, which is a welcome clarity in these times of spectacle and cacophony. Heather writes, “My work is process-oriented, rooted in materials-based working methods that allow me to explore physical and psychic phenomena such as flow, stasis, circulation, time, and the limits of sensory perception. The incremental, serial nature of the objects I make is driven by the desire to understand how line evokes form and creates meaning while remaining resolutely abstract.”

Gradual Instant
This installation is comprised of works on paper, an artist’s book and a suite of lithographic prints made in collaboration with Mahaffey Fine Art. Gradual Instant is in some ways a never-ending project with multiple individual pieces that can be installed differently in each venue to differing effect. This inspires my interest in uncertainty and change and the mutability of materials in context.

Heather is inspired by …

Marie’s commitment to a deep and expansive exploration of one specific object—the blanket—has led to an enormous body of work ranging from small-scale bronze sculpture to large-scale public art. Between those shifts in scale, she creates a sustained meditation on universal human stories, enabled by the rich metaphors of the blanket, and the evident work of the hand—and in many cases, many hands.

In her exhibition Skywalker/Skyscraper, Marie offers a mesmerizing space of rising and reaching, then swooping and hovering, as the semicircular wall pieces and I-beam blanket towers seem to pull viewers around the room. I also love the collision of the rigid industrial building material softened and surrounded by the domestic, woolen object.

Cradle: Chief’s Stripe
A series of smaller sampler works, including “Cradle: Chief’s stripe, Systematic painting, Shimmering land,” reveal the worn edges of a blanket’s satin binding, splayed open and arranged in a patchwork composition with alternating woolen squares. The careful dis- and reassembly of these well-worn materials, embroidered so intricately, makes me think of the ways that we both maintain and revise cultural traditions and personal history.

Marie is inspired by …

I am inspired by the subtle biographical narratives in Victoria’s material, spacial, conceptual objects that hover between painting and sculpture.

North x Northwest Mystic
I appreciate how she conjures the history of Northwest Mystics—Mark Toby, Morris Graves, Hilda Morris and others—not to mention the random mystic, while personalizing her own investigation. This work includes references to triangle/diamond shapes that might be seen in the double diamond sign posted to indicate an alpine ski slope’s difficulty, a triangle/diamond motif lifted from the TDK mixed tapes of her youth, and geometric shapes she has long embraced in variety of manifestations. Just when I think of her work as being defined by a particular material (tape/ink, rubber-bands/nails, aluminum/contact paper), she suddenly uses something unexpected and yet so completely right (Gore-tex/reflective film, glass/neon tubes, carved wood). This piece, for me, references outerwear, tents, quilts and a history of abstraction.

Pilchuck Lights
Victoria created this when she was a resident at Pilchuck Glass. I love how this temporary sculpture occupies the wooded space like a flag and marker. The angular shapes mimic those of treetops and local mountains. It is a drawing in space, flat and dimensional.

Tune in next week to see who Victoria Haven is inspired by.

Take a look at the complete chain any time.

Emily Potts has been a contributor to Felt & Wire since 2010, reporting on design news, new books, and people she loves. Her day job is senior acquisitions editor at Rockport Publishers.

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by notely on 10.10.12 at 9:13 am

    Another great Creative Chain!

    I took a look at more of Heather’s work, and discovered some other work Felt & Wire-ists might like …

    Follow this link ( to see the work she’s done with one of my favorite media: security envelopes! She marries them with dryer sheets and embroidery thread, and not sure what all else.

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