GrandMotherMadeIt is as literal as it sounds.
As a Grandmother of two, Pat Miller quickly learned that the grand kiddos needed only so many dresses, pajama pants, placemats, and quilts. That led her to expand her artistry into more fiber venues with a current focus on quilting, thread painting, embroidery, patchwork, and mixed fibers. Her designs range from modern and contemporary to playful whimsical. Most of her work is free-form based on natural inspirations. Several of her works are privately commissioned or memory quilts.
Pat began weaving in 1987. An award-winning and published artist, Pat has woven various styles of basketry and vessels - Nantucket, sculptural design, twills, coiling with pine needles and contemporary gourds. She has used reed, waxed linen, natural materials such as pine needles, barks and vines, gourds, antlers, foraged forest materials, cane as well as hand-painted paper, threads, wire, yarns, metals, alcohol inks and sometimes recycled materials such as stereo speaker wire, plastic tubing, or videotape.
I grew up in rural Union County, North Carolina in the small town of Weddington on a dairy farm, the oldest of six girls. I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1974 with a degree in Intermediate Education. After two years I returned to graduate school at Appalachian State University to receive a master’s in counseling in 1977.
Back in 2005 I purchased my first wood lathe and fell in love with the entire “turning process.” It starts with selecting the timber to be used, either salvaged wood that is destined for the landfill or responsibly harvested timber from other areas of the world. From beginning to end, the process involves working with the idiosyncrasies in the wood that are uncovered during the turning process.
Growing up in the Midwest my father recognized that I had the Call gift to draw. Eager to provide me with everything I needed to learn to cultivate my talent, he would constantly give me little projects to draw or paint; various items around the house, the family dog or members of our family.
Born into an artistic and tinkering family with deep roots in Deep Gap and Boone, I have been around creative endeavors of music, sewing, painting, metal work, and gardening since childhood. After a lifetime of singing and a 25-year career in higher education and human services, I fell in love with modern quilting. Offering endless creative opportunity, free-form quilting gave me a place to combine color, pattern, and texture as I create fiber art, wall hangings, and greeting cards with new and recycled materials. Every choice of fabric and embellishment and every stitch gives me the opportunity to use my own visual instincts and respond to color, fabric, and possibility as I sew.
I was born and raised in Lincoln County, NC, not far from the potters of the Catawba Valley area. Unfortunately, my love of pottery did not begin at an early age; but once I recognized the importance and history of local pottery, I began acquiring and collecting pieces from as many area potters as possible, including B.B. Craig, his son Don Craig, and Charles Lisk. As I began purchasing pottery and visiting potters at work, I decided I wanted to try my hand at the art.
The beauty of nature in our world inspires and uplifts Susan. Sadly, what she loves may soon cease to exist as evidenced by recent natural disasters of fire, flood, draught, and storm. She feels compelled to express her perceptions and impressions of nature somewhat like a celebration, as we celebrate our nostalgic memories of our loved ones passed.
Susan’s art goes beyond simply recording visual experiences in a free flow of self-expression. Her work has an Asian influence using the lyrical abstract expressionist approach, which involves colorful brushwork with an absence of premeditated form and structure. It is lyrical because, like music, the colors sing.
Weather permitting, Susan paints “plein air” outdoor scenes and attends weekly painting sessions with other talented local artists to continually enhance her skills. The art equipment in her studio is intentionally minimal and, using an ever-present phone camera as a primary resource, she recreates her best photos taken while exploring vistas of the High Country. Embracing the stunning beauty of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Susan’s paintings deliver scenes in a manner that allows the observer to visually provide the constant flux of environmental color for a rewarding and very personal interpretation.