Joanna White, Fiber Artist

Joanna White hand paints silk to create art to wear in her Fiber Visions studio in North Carolina.

Joanna White

Over the past 30 years, my love of color, texture and beauty has been expressed through various textile mediums: sewing, weaving, knitting, felting, quilting and fabric collage. The women of my family were all masters of fiber and design.  However, it has only been in the last five years since I have retired from the teaching profession and embraced the world of fine arts and crafts that the love of all things fiber has fully been expressed through painting on silk.  It is wonderful at retirement age to have discovered that through silk painting, this love of color, design and line can be most effectively nurtured and expressed. I have found my passion!

Silk is a living, breathing fiber that reflects light and has an inner radiance that brings forth the beauty of the wearer. Painting on silk is like flying in beautiful skies . . . the dyes move and flow magically on stretched white silk.  The size of the frame is determined by the garment, scarf or accessory that is being created.

Sumi-e brushes, French dye, and resists of all kinds are the vehicles for creating one-of-a kind fabrics. Manipulating these dyes with a variety of techniques —gutta resists (water-based and solvents), faux batik using soy wax, watercolor, salt, and alcohol techniques, as well as deconstructed silk screen printing—assist me in creating beautiful and unique textures and designs that can move from the abstract to the realistic.

The silk fabric, once dried, is then professionally steamed and washed to render the fabric washable and colorfast.  I then cut the fabric, hand-sew and embellish it using all the many fiber techniques from my past to develop garments and accessories that are unique and a joy to wear and display.  Creating these individual works of art allows me to share this joy of creation with others. Every piece is an expression of the beauty that is seen all around me in nature and the inner world of spirit. Capturing the light and color of our world and then creating art to wear has become a path to the Soul.