Our first blog post from Ten19 Fibre Artists is taking an in depth look at our friend and fellow artist Jane Chipp and her artwork. Our thanks to Jane for being first up in the group!
Jane’s artwork is confident and meaningful. An integral component of her work is to take us back across the years, connecting us and giving an insight into past lives. Sometimes witty and sometimes moving, Jane is always inspiring the group to observe daily life and the small things that might pass us by.
What pathway did you follow to becoming the artist you are today?
I've always been creative but for many years was unsure how to use my creativity. I started making my own clothes at age 9 and continued with needlework for many years. I dabbled with drawing and pottery. About 10 years ago I started quilting and went to the Festival of Quilts with a friend and this was a turning point for me. I was entranced by the examples of textile art and all the stalls selling materials that were completely new to me. Shortly after that I enrolled on Sian Martin's City and Guilds course in creative embroidery. Over the three years I learnt so much from Sian about design and techniques. I attended several summer schools and learned from a range of great artists, both as tutors and fellow students. The course was superb and provided the perfect knowledge base for me to take my own route in art and explore what styles and media really resonated with me.
You have moved towards paper as your primary medium. What has attracted you to this?
I work a lot with collage, old photographs, and vintage ephemera now, although my textile background still shows through as I often use stitch in my work. I think my move towards paper is partly due to my love of 'domestic' history by which I mean the lives of ordinary people living their everyday lives. I collect old photographs, books, and ephemera; I particularly love finding old letters. These are the staples of my artwork. There is a certain sadness in finding old photographs and letters in flea markets and auctions...the fact that no-one wanted them enough to keep them. By using them in my artworks I feel that I am rescuing them and giving them the value that they deserve.
I also love to create artworks in small boxes and envelopes; I like the idea of creating a small story that is contained almost like a shrine.
Who and what influences your work?
I find inspiration everywhere and am forever scribbling down ideas as they arise. I'm never happier than when I'm at a flea market or auction surrounded by old books, photographs etc.
I relate most to artists who use found materials. I am a huge fan of Instagram and am connected to a great community of artists who inspire me daily. Some are well-known in their fields, but the majority are not; they're people experimenting with different ideas and sharing their work online. Its’ an incredibly generous and supportive community.
A shortlist of artists that inspire me would probably include Karla Fuller, Lisa Kokin, Lee McKenna, Randel Plowman, Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg but there are hundreds more.
Tell us about your favourite piece of work
It's so hard to choose! I put so much time into all of my work and become very attached to it. I'll settle on an altered book that I made recently. I used a lot of antique Japanese papers to create the book and they had beautiful fibrous textures. I used different image transfer techniques, silk fabric, stitch, and collage to create really interesting pages. The cover was made from an old poetry book page and coated with encaustic wax. The whole feel of the book was so pleasing.
What are your current chosen techniques?
My main technique is collage using antique papers from old books, documents and photographs. I often add stitch in either linen thread or silk. If it’s a piece with a nostalgic feel, or one to which I want to add many layers, I add encaustic wax.
Where do you create your art?
I work from a log cabin in the garden. I have three areas; a clean area where my computer sits, a desk with my sewing machine and a messy area which is where I make my art. The studio is crammed full of old books, papers, photographs, and other materials. I have an Etsy shop in which I sell vintage ephemera so all my supplies for the shop are stored in the studio too. Its lovely and light and surrounded by trees and bushes full of birds who sing all day. I spend a lot of time in here!
Name ONE tool you cannot live without!
This is the Ten19 Fibre artists blog
Here we will bring you the people who have influenced the group, the products we enjoy using,