March 2019: Karen Thurman & Claire Browne

Karen Thurman creates unique and colorful felted sculptures. She transforms fiber into felt  To quote Karen “I love working with fiber. My inspiration comes from the medium itself.”  Felt lends itself well to color, pattern, shape, whimsy, and humor, all of which shei incorporates into her work to bring some levity into this world. Karen studied textile design on both coasts before settling back in her native Oregon. Drawing inspiration from old movies, early morning coffee, and her love of nature, Karen’s unique style plays on the inherent qualities of the natural materials she uses. Karen uses both needle felt and wet felt techniques.

Claire Browne works with India ink and a nib pen, drawing lines continuously and mindfully. “I lean toward the absence of control while keeping in contact with the subconscious. She explains “I have been especially interested in ancient writing systems such as Egyptian scripts and Buddhist texts and have been moved by the Dreaming paintings of the aboriginal Australians and by the textile paintings of African art on cloth and bark.”  Claire begins with layering and using gel to attach recycled papers, envelopes, and old posters. “This creates a subtle texture and a sense of time. Sometimes I draw with my non-dominant hand, or cover the previous work on the canvas so that I can’t see what I’ve already done. The form that emerges from many hours of this often surprises me.”