Blog Member: Casey Puetz
I live in Waukesha, WI and belong to several art quilt groups including SAQA, FAC (Fiber Art Coalition), MArQ (Milwaukee Art Quilters) and PAQA (Professional Art Quilt Alliance). My husband Pete rarely asks about my art related purchases and is my most loyal supporter.
Quilting gives me a chance to be creative regardless of the subject matter. My goals are to use cloth to produce something that is different from what other quilters and mixed media artists have done. What started as hemming flour sacks into dish towels on my grandmother’s treadle machine has turned into manipulating fabric and adding various embellishment possibilities.
A piece begins with either a specific or a vague idea of what the piece should convey. Fabrics, beads and ephemera are then pulled from the stockpile to achieve the desired effect. The design board is my favorite tool because it helps form the image in terms of color, surface quality and design elements. Design changes occur almost continuously throughout the life of the piece.
I believe that artists should continue to develop their skill sets. I take technique classes that are presented by nationally known teachers on a regular basis. Reading books and magazines also provide endless source of inspiration. While I like the look of hand dyed and painted fabrics, it seems that my time is spent using those yummy fabrics made by other artists – in short, I’m a user of fabric more than a maker of fabrics…but that doesn’t stop me from silk-screening or painting now and then.
Currently “Lady Audrey” is on display at the Waukesha Civic Theater. “Portals” which is at the Schauer Arts and Entertainment Center received a State Award in the Wisconsin Regional Art Program. It will be a part of the statewide competition this fall and will be eligible for a possible cash award. I am actively working on a commissioned triptych of a pair of cypress trees on the coast of California. When completed it will measure 3 ½’ H x 9 ½” and will hang in the lobby of the Waukesha Public Library.
SAQA membership has been invaluable to my continued professional growth. New friendships have been forged and new opportunities to exhibit my work have occurred. A big “Thanks” to those fellow artists who have answered many questions and demonstrated the professional behavior incumbent to members of the art world.
“Tranquility” is a piece that was made in response to a special exhibit at the Anaba Tea Room on the north side of Milwaukee. This mixed media art quilt incorporates tea-dyed batting and muslin, dyed 4x4 cotton gauze, dyed silk cocoons and painted/heat-shrunk Tyvek®.