kay collins

Line, form, space, color, texture…the elements designers use with the principles of balance, emphasis and continuity to create art. Sometimes it's a conscious thought process, sometimes it's instinctive. We all share this experience. 

Fiber of one sort or another has always been a part of my life, my first making a gathered skirt in 4-H using flour sack cloth! Influential people are my great-aunt who was never without projects, be they sewing, knitting or crocheting. My mother was an excellent seamstress, making many of my clothes when I was a young girl. My appreciation for those skills is a part of who I am. 

While teaching art, I attended graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and under the tutelage of Virginia West and Carol Westphal, felt I was embarking on a journey that was meant to be. With that background, I started as a weaver, dyer, spinner, surface and clothing designer using silk, leather and suede. I dyed and spun wool into yarn, wove rugs, on-the-loom clothing and handbags, wall hangings, painted designs on silk and experimented with whatever process I could in the textile field. Interesting to me was the discovery from my mother that European ancestors on her side of the family were weavers. Could I be so lucky as to inherit the fiber gene? 

Recognitions include exhibiting at Johns Hopkins University's Milton S. Eisenhower Library Galleries; award winner at the Academy Art Museum's annual juried show in Easton, MD; as a faculty member at Salisbury State University, participation in the Prince George's County Community College's Marlboro Gallery and the Salisbury University faculty art show at its Blackwell Library; membership on the Maryland Arts Council which determined quality of arts activities in Maryland's related Art's Council's programs and grant-giving processes; first prize in the Rehoboth Art League members' juried exhibition of Crafts and Decorative Arts; participation in Longwood University's Craft Objects by Virginia Arts held at the Bedford Gallery; participation in the Baltimore Museum of Art's traveling exhibition, entitled Focus on Fiber; exhibiting at the Fells Point Gallery, Baltimore, MD; owner of The Wooden Shuttle, a shop selling Dorset looms and Harrisville Design yarns; and most recently a first prize in the fiber category at the Calvert Art League's annual juried show. 

I've returned to fashion, but this time using the medium of felt. Of the elements mentioned above, tactile and visual texture and color appeal to me the most with interspersing of line to tie together pieces of a design, be it on a hat, scarf or a handbag. I'm also returning to silk painting and making handwoven clothing. 

In the Summer of 2008, I became re-inspired when I attended the Handweavers Guild of America's Convergence in Tampa. My eyes opened wider and took in more than I ever thought existed in the textile arena. I had taken a necessary extended leave of absence and decided I was ready to get back to pleasing my artistic soul again. 

My journey is just beginning.


Return to Artist Roster