— How did you get started designing?
I was born in Israel and lived in Tel Aviv and San Francisco before moving to Michigan. The different cultures, climates, sounds and scenes of these places have influenced my vision and perceptions.
I studied art, majoring in painting, as well ceramics, interior design and photography. I began designing needlepoint pieces that give students a taste of the colors, textures and shapes that fibers can produce. I enjoy the challenge of giving the stitcher something new.
— What are the things you like best about needlepoint?
My background in art is painting; I enjoy the challenge of “mixing colors” in fiber. Since it can not be done by stirring two colors with a paintbrush, the challenge has taught me to really understand color and what “makes it tick”. There are so many intricacies in the mix since we work with fibers that provide texture in addition to color. I also love the quiet solitude of working with my hands, my eyes and my mind and watching the empty canvas blossom in front of my eyes. Needlepoint stimulates me to always come up with another experiment I would like to try, either with new color, new stitch combinations or even new base materials to stitch on (I also work on 18 count brass mesh).
— How would you describe your style?
I think my style is a combination of contemporary and ethnic. It must be a result of the places I’ve lived in and visited such as Israel, California, South Africa. I enjoy working with bold color and unexpected combinations. There probably is a bit of unconventional in my work since I am self taught and therefore not aware of breaking rules.
— What are your main influences when you design?
I am very influenced by ethnic art. This past year I have discovered that I am influenced by music (my Windows in the Old City series that I actually designed to the music of Gypsy music from Eastern Europe) I am influenced by glass art, having a collection of blown glass pieces and being a huge fan of Dale Chihuly, the renowned glass artist.
— What are your goals (if any) when you make up a new design?
My goals when I approach a new design are first and foremost to say
something new, something I haven’t said before. It can be a new color combination, a new style, a new design size or perhaps experimenting with new elements such as paint on the canvas etc. My goal is to have stitchers who see a new design of mine say: oh, I would have never thought of that…or I haven’t seen that before. Of course, thisdoesn’t always work, but the goal is motivating.
— I would characterize many of your designs as breaking the traditional conceptions of needlepoint and how to use it? What kind of things along these lines can we expect in the future
I hope to experiment with kinetic needlepoint. I would like todesign a piece that has the feel of Calder’s mobiles or sculptures. I also plan on venturing further into wearable needlepoint art.
— Which do you prefer stitching or designing?
It is hard to answer this question because I truly could not do without both. I hope I never have to give either up. The designing is what excites me and the stitching is what calms me.
— Can you describe a bit about how you work?
I always begin a design with a piece of empty canvas looking right at me, never on the computer or on the paper. I have a general idea of what I’d like to do but it is only a seed. I am a “mood” designer so I will choose 2-3 fibers that I am in the mood for. It may sound weird but I truly plunge the needle in the canvas and let it guide me for the first few stitches. Then things begin to clear up. One thing leads to another and by the end of my stitching session I usually have the total picture in my mind. I almost always design and stitch in the evenings and into the night. I love the late quiet hours.