Grand County Artist: Martha Hut
What is your day like when working on your art?
As a fiber artist, my days can vary greatly. I dye fabrics with natural dyes. The cloth first has to be prepared for dyeing – called mordanting which is a several day process.
Once the fabric is ready to be dyed, I dissolve the dyes in large pots of water and am often running inside and out with the heavy pots. Some dyes “strike” very fast and others may take several hours to achieve the best color. In order to only dye parts of the fabric, I use resist methods such as folding the cloth, binding the cloth with string, clamping the cloth with various objects, sewing the fabric by hand. The fun part comes after rinsing the excess dye from the cloth and removing the resist work. Even though I may have started with a plan, the results are usually different from what I have imagined! But this just adds to the fun of it. Once the dye has set , I may use stamps I have created, screens made from my drawings or “found objects” to print on the fabric. Finally I end up with cloth which can be made into clothing, scarves or wall hangings.
What is the best part of being an artist in Grand County?
Grand County is a land full of colors, contrasts and patterns. While hiking in our mountains or rafting on our rivers, I find lots of opportunities to observe many natural phenomena. Have you ever noticed the array of colors in the small piece that the squirrel spits out after chewing on the seed in the pine cone? Do you ever watch the patterns of swirling water in the eddies of the Fraser River? How about the sparkling of the pine needles when the sun hits them? There are so many things – lichen on rocks in the high country, the fine detail in a mariposa lily, our magnificent sunrises and sunsets. All these things influence me consciously or unconsciously in my fiber work.
Appreciation of what others do is a strong characteristic of the people of Grand County. There is a wealth of supportive people in Grand County. So many people, including other artists, have given me much support in my artistic endeavors. I would like to thank all those who have encouraged me in the past… and in the future.
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