America is not like a blanket - one piece of unbroken cloth,
the same color, the same texture, the same size.

America is more like a quilt - many pieces, many colors, many sizes,
all woven and held together by a common thread.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson

I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t fascinated by woven cloth, patterns and sensual textures imbedded in cloth or inspired by nature. Each spring of my youth a trunk filled with summer wear was opened. Like a cornucopia, it was filled with delights. It held a pink and white quilt, soft and smooth to the touch showing years of loving use. I held it close and each night slept with it until once again it was time to return it to the trunk. I noticed letters passed back and forth between my dad and my uncle with small swatches of cloth attached to the top. I received a Brownie camera as a gift when I was about 10 years old. Little did I know how these seemingly small events would affect my life-work!

Women and men down through history have used cloth and felted wool as a protective skin for clothing, architecture and furniture, rituals and personal expression. Quilts hold the stories of their makers as well as the people who continue to care for them. Some quilts get completed years after the original inspiration. Sometimes portions of a quilt are left in their uncompleted state. They become sacred treasures. The history of feltmaking dates back from between the seventh and second centuries BC. Historian B. Laufer noted that the material was “Part and parcel of their lives and inseparable from their inward thoughts”. There is evidence that Felt also possessed mystical and metaphorical qualities.

Through these art forms I feel connected to women and men throughout history who share my passion for fiber, decoration, photography and the written word as a means of personal expression. Venturing beyond traditional methods and purpose, I experiment, often blending mediums.

I feel fortunate to live in a botanical wonderland. A wealth of native plants flourish in these primeval Blue Ridge Mountains. My studio is flooded with wonderful light. From my window, my ribbon flower gardens and the mountain ridges seem to dance together in ancient rhythms. It is through my connections with the landscape and organic materials that I experience nature and the cycles of life.

I work in an intuitive experimental manner responding to the colors, tactile qualities, textures and rhythms that unfold as well as my personal history. This work is about process, relationships and hope.

 

 

All designs, images, and text © 2015 Norma Bradley Earth Quilt Designs
For information or to arrange a presentation or workshop, please contact Norma at 828-273-7509 or
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