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October 2011

Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Hendersonsville, NC, Features Works by Fiber Artists

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Hendersonsville, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Common Threads: Innovative Textiles Practices in India & Western North Carolina, on view through Jan. 27, 2012. A reception and gallery talk with participating artist Catharine Ellis will take place on Oct. 5, from 5-7pm.

The exhibition explores the work of four fiber artists who optimize collaboration with other individual artists or businesses to create work that is both innovative and viable to the marketplace. The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design has selected two artists from India and two from Western North Carolina who successfully collaborate to refine their craft and expedite production while maintaining the highest quality in selection of raw materials, woven structures and dying processes.

“The exhibition allows us to explore examples of collaborative textile production both locally within Henderson County and abroad in India,” says Stephanie Moore, CCC&D executive director. “The Oriole Mill is a unique enterprise manufacturing textiles in Henderson County in a time where more than a million US textile-industry jobs have been replaced by imports. On the other hand, the textile industry in India is one of the leading segments of their economy and employs about 38 million people.”

From India, designers Bappa Biswas and Jabbar Khatri work closely with local artisans who help them to execute components of their design in various capacities - hand weaving, dying and/or sewing. Both designers, who are internationally known, have achieved success through working with individual artisans. Bappa is based in Kolkata in eastern India and uses a wide range of traditional weaving techniques to create contemporary fabric designs sought after by today’s fashion designers. Jabbar is from Kutch in western India and designs textiles using bandhani, a tying and dying technique that his family has been doing since the late 17th century, which he has adapted for the contemporary market.

In Western North Carolina, fiber artists Barbara Zaretsky and Catharine Ellis each collaborate with The Oriole Mill, a local business creating highly customized fabrics while also making industrial Jacquard looms available to artists. Zaretsky and Ellis each work with the Mill to design certain fabrics that are then hand dyed using their own unique processes. Both fiber artists weave some textiles and collaborate with the Mill for other fabrics.

Zaretsky uses natural dyes along with block printing techniques to create her clean, abstract and formal designs for functional textiles. Ellis is known internationally for her woven shibori, a process of weaving and resist that she developed in the 1990’s based on the traditional Japanese shibori technique. Through work with The Oriole Mill, Ellis allowed her shibori technique to advance to a different level by designing a woven structure that achieved a laborious hand-process using industrial Jacquard looms.

This exhibition will share information on the unique artistic processes of these four designers and highlight how collaboration has expanded opportunities for creating their work.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 828/890-2050 or visit (


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