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Recycled denim inspires Indigo Landscapes fibre art series

Shar Hamlin's collection is on display at the Timber Village Museum until June 21

Indigo Landscapes, an art exhibit currently on display at the gallery of the Timber Village Museum (TVM) in Blind River features one-of-a-kind fibre art pieces created by Shar Hamlin.

Hamlin combines her academic training in landscape design with her love of textiles, creating pieces of art from recycled denim jeans.

Thursday evening saw an open house, which attracted a large crowd to the museum, to see her pieces and meet and talk with Hamlin about her unique work.

A quilter for 25 years, she started experimenting with fabric art as a sidebar to her regular quilt work.

Hamlin likes the fact the materials she works with are recycled.

“We have a lot of fibre waste in our environment from the fashion industry alone. This brought me back twenty years to the back panel of my denim jacket, still resting in its Rubbermaid container. I dug out this UFO and decided I was no longer interested in a denim jacket with deer on the back but thought why couldn’t it be a piece of art?”

“Like many creative people out there I start projects and then set them aside while I move onto another project. Thanks to the Rubbermaid tote, I can carefully store, stack, and hide many textile projects for years until the finishing urge strikes. These projects in the textile quilting world are referred to as UFO’s - unfinished objects.”

“Every piece in this collection is comprised of recycled denim jeans. Denim was cut or torn or frayed, its indigo and white warp and weft threads were then manipulated and machine stitched. These textured surfaces became a one-of-kind Indigo Landscape.”

The blue jean remnants are collected from family and friends and stitched together to create landscapes and other designs.

“I am primarily a quilter, though I do work with fibres in many other ways, such as needlepoint, crewel, weaving, slow stitching, and eco-dying. I am always drawn back to the hum of my sewing machine. As a quilter I purchase cotton fabrics spontaneously (ask any quilter about their stash) for potential project ideas which result in more Rubbermaids storing metres of fabric waiting to be cut up and stitched back together and quilted years later.”

“Winter Deer” was the first piece which inspired the creation of my Indigo Landscapes fibre art series," she added of the pieces created from textile denim.

The exhibit runs for several weeks yet, closing on June 21. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4p.m. located on 1 Hagger Road at the marina in Blind River.

There is no charge to see the exhibit though donations are welcome.

TVM is also looking for vendors for its waterfront artisan market set for June 16 from 4 p.m. Vendors interested in taking part can contact TVM at MUSEUM@BLINDRIVER.CA or by calling 705-849-3006.



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About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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