Social Fabric is a new business in Bellingham WA that is a Textile Gallery, Boutique and Learning Facility. The owner, Renee Sherrer, has a dream to “create a space that will open the door to the world of textile arts, fashion design and the sewing arts.” That is exactly what you’ll find inside her shop. Check it out online at the Social Fabric website.

During the months of March and April, you can stop by to see artworks in the gallery space by Renee Sherrer, Denise Snyder and Anita K. Boyle (me). Each of the artworks involved handmade paper in some way. Here is one of my artworks….

This artwork uses upcycled paper, embossed, to create a comparison of shell types, from floral to fauna to human impact.

This artwork uses upcycled paper, embossed, to create a comparison of shell types, from floral to fauna to human impact.

Nature has a way of protecting the individual by encasement. As individuals, we have the “shell” of our bodies, the “shell” that surrounds our brains, and perhaps one for our consciousness. Who knows? Sometimes, this shell-like separation feels like isolation. Generally speaking, though, we live happily in these natural shells, learning, working and playing with whatever we can. Right? This work showcases shells of all sorts: egg shells, sunflower seeds, snail shells, bullet casings, and even a garter snake skin. The paper is embossed with a small ice cube tray, to indicate another form of shell. These details are placed on a thick piece of handmade paper (made from book trimmings and other recycled papers). A small monotype displays circles and lines, to repeat the idea of shells, and includes a dried mushroom cap and stem. This artwork also includes ink, thread, gouache, and a hiker’s bear bell. The egg shells were dropped by robins or other wild birds; the sunflower seeds are eaten by birds, and the snails eat vegetation like the sunflowers in our gardens. The artist, who planted the garden, uses her brain-in-a-shell to gather and place these elements (and others) into this artwork titled “Shell Game.”

In this show, there are a few more assemblages, several of my handmade journals that make use handmade paper and pond algae, and some small sets of handmade paper.

Here is a link to see the Art of Denise Snyder on her website. She has three pieces on display at Social Fabric.

The artworks Renee is showing use paper she has made that include threads and printed matter duplicated in a process she would be happy to explain to you. So go to Social Fabric (1302 Commercial Street, Bellingham, WA) and see this show. Chat with Renee while you’re there. She’s a lot of fun, and brilliant, too. You can see more of her work on this page of the Social Fabric website.

At Social Fabric, Renee holds a surprising variety of classes in Fashion Design, Pattern Making, Sewing at many levels, Draping on the Form, Copying a garment without taking it apart, Fashion Promotion, Felting, Millinery, Paper Making, and many many more topics. For example, on Saturday, April 2, 2016, Renee will teach a class on Shibori, which is a Japanese artform of shaped resist dyeing. Take this class, and you will discover the wonders of creating beauty on of the world’s most revered fabrics and time-honored Japanese silk art modalities. Each participant will take home enough shibori squares to form a booklet, collages, notecards or for use in other creative ways. The level of difficulty for this workshop is low, the level of fun is quite high.
Time: 11–6 p.m.
Location: Social Fabric, 1302 Commercial Street, Bellingham.
Phone: (360)733-1323
Fee: $50.

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