artist statement

i think of my art as an intimate form of communication. a message to one's self that one wears in their life - a talisman. a charm. a link to an inner world. an ephemeral garment of cloth woven from dreams. to this end, i like to use components that have personal significance to me, but are open to multiple interpretations. components that have history. salvaged. reclaimed. up-cycled. forgotten. discarded. then gathered together and mended into existence. breathing new life into their tenuous souls...

finding traditional quilting methods and commercially produced quilt-shop fabrics to be cold and unsympathetic to my tactile nature, i turned to salvaging fabrics from discarded clothing, household linens, and worn cloths in order to take advantage of their gift of history and their varied textures which enhances my work with interesting flashes of time-shaded colors and story-infused threads.

the excitement and fascination of salvaging fabrics to create my cloths resides in the joy of the unpredictable mark of time and the warmth of unexpected pairings. the beauty of which is not an accidental result of traditional methods, but derives from the skill and aesthetic sense of the artist.

the direct relationship between the dye-pot, the hand-stitched threads, and the final surface is very important. the unpredictable nature of experimental dye-methods itself, the random and spontaneous patterns produced, the simplicity of the process and its inherent risks, are all factors which have drawn me to this way of working. marking one's own cloth is a more direct way of working, producing a natural integration between form and surface.

i spend a lot of time working on each piece, valuing the slowness of my methods which makes each cloth an experience similar to meditation. the slow stages of selection, mark-making, over-dyeing, and hand-stitching are essential to the nature of my work.

in exploring the nature of my art, i have found that like aged cloth, we, too, are frayed. torn apart. must be re-stitched. missing pieces need to be patched, recreated or woven together again. the textures, colors and shapes create patterns which shift and change. but in art, like life, there is beauty in constant evolution. though, sometimes, one must look sideways to perceive the true beauty of a thing. to let go. breathe. then simply allow it to be beautiful all on its own. it is this unexpected quality of life that i seek to embody in my cloth.


  1. Beautifully expressed. I swear there's a book in you wanting to come out. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself.

  2. I will certainly buy and read a book written by joe

  3. this is the most beautiful, meaningful bio I have ever read