A Thread of the Everyday World
by Kathy Sax
The word textile comes from the Latin word “texere” which means to weave, braid, or construct. Textiles themselves have been around since the beginning of our time and while methods and materials used to make them have greatly changed, the function remains the same.
Textile arts are described as “arts and crafts that are of plant, animal, or synthetic fibers to create practical or decorative objects.” One of the simplest textile arts is felting, a method of meshing animal fibers together with moisture and heat. Other forms include weaving or twisting fibers into thread, yarn, or rope to create fabrics, rugs, and clothing. Also included are techniques in which the artist decorates textiles by dyeing and/or painting to create an image, needlework, lace, or table weaving.
Jacque Davis, from Freeburg, Illinois, has been studying textile arts since the 1980’s. She originally started with hand quilting while living in North Dakota. Although she loved the artistic aspect of quilting, she felt that the there was something else she wanted to add to make it distinct.
She started studying the art of quilting with internationally renowned quilter, Judith Trager, whose approach to quilting is far from traditional. She included embellishments and raw edge appliques to her quilting which made her designs distinct. She also introduced Jacque to creating layers with silk screen imagery.
Continuing in that direction, Jacque studied under Jane Dunnewald for 2 ½ years in San Antonio, Texas, in a Art Cloth Mastery program. Dunnewald is a professional artist, teacher and author of ‘Art Cloth: A guide to Surface Design on Fabric’, as well as several other self-published books. It was here that Jacque mastered how to create art cloth using dyes, color removing agents, paints, and foils combined through processes that include silk-screen printing, stamping, stenciling, and hand painting.
I was lucky to have had the privilege to visit Jacque at her studio in Freeburg and learn about the process of surface designs. She showed me how she starts with drawings and then uses the filters on a software program to precisely manipulate the colors to get the effect that she desires. I also observed different techniques, like altering colors with a method called discharged dyeing which, when used, can alter the depth and detail of a piece. She also enjoys teaching students in her studio, learning from them and experiencing the happiness of seeing someone create a finished piece.
Jacque’s work has traveled to many juried exhibits, won numerous awards, and has been purchased for private collection both throughout the United States as well as Europe.
One of her latest accomplishments was having her piece “Moon Fire” accepted to The Dunedin Fine Art Center’s exhibit, “Illumination.” Jacque’s piece is joined by exhibits from fellow members of Art Cloth Network, whose main vision is to “promote the medium of cloth as an art form.”
Jacque’s next project is in response to a call for entries called ‘Fly Me to the Moon” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The requirement is for a quilt measuring 18”W x 30”L depicting the artist’s vision of the moon. The entries then will be selected by a jury committee and published in a book by Schiffer Publishing in the fall of 2018. The hope is that the quilts will be displayed at some of the many Space Centers and Museums.
Jacque is a member of The Textile and Fiber Art List (TAFA). It is a membership association of handmade traditional and contemporary textiles and fiber businesses. I am including Jacque’s artist statement from the TAFA website because it captures her mission so well:
“Every person’s mind builds images while asleep or day dreaming. This language helps us to process and communicate our thoughts and feelings. Even as our dreams are uniquely ours, they have a thread of the everyday world in them. It is that thread that allows us to recognize the common language spoken in dreams. Cloth, paint, and thread provide the perfect tools to capture the evocative nature of our dreamworld. Cloth, soft and familiar to us all, provides the foundation. Thread connects the layers and lies visible on the surface, and painting can highlight or shadow an image adding another layer of interest. My artwork, through Jacque Davis Textile Arts, is a celebration of our connection to one another.”
As always, support the local arts! Check out Jacque Davis Textile Arts on Facebook and on the web to see the beautiful colorful works of art that she has spent endless hours to create.
Who: Jacque Davis
What: Textile Artist
Where: Freeburg, Illinois