Heather Kerley Art

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Meet the Artist


  • About This Artist

    Heather Kerley is a full-time painter and fiber artist. For several years, freestyle hoop art has been central to her artistic practice. She makes unusual, abstract embroideries using found fabric, primarily vintage kimono silk scraps. Every work is improvisational, with designs riffing on and transforming the existing cloth pattern and using an array of different stitches and elements. Kerley's work is dedicated to keeping the rich and versatile tradition of embroidery alive and evolving.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I use upcycled fabric for my embroideries, especially scraps of vintage kimono silk from other small sellers. I don't always know what I am going to get when I order bundles of scraps and this suits my improvisational stitching style. I choose a pattern and then begin my piece by "riffing" on the original design until I have something transformed and unique. I like to experiment with a wide variety of different embroidery flosses, wool and beads, which I also enjoy buying from small businesses around the world and close to home. I like to finish my pieces in the hoops, which are made of sustainably-produced bamboo.

    A: I love fiber art because it is endlessly adaptive and tactile. Kimono silk represents some of the most beautiful of textiles the world over and it features a huge variety of designs from pictoral scenes to watery color fields or geometric designs. This opens up my imagination to play when I'm stitching.

    A: When the pandemic started, I began to (virtually) learn quilting with an experienced master of the craft, Lauren Kingsland. She connected me with a group of her other students who have various backgrounds in knitting, embroidering, and visual arts. We have been meeting every week on Zoom for a year now and it has been an invaluable source of friendship, connection, and creative dialogue for me.



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