On the Path by Lisa Binkley 13"w x 11"h x 1.5"d.
I've been playing with fabric, yarn, thread, and beads since I was a preschooler. My undergraduate degree is in Textiles & Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After earning a Masters in Urban Planning and working as a policy analyst in that field for about 10 years, I opted to be home with my (then) very young kids and set up a studio in my home. So I've been working professionally as a studio artist now for about 10 years and feel very fortunate to have a studio in my home right next to my husband's studio. (My studio is also homework central after school, which is great).
I exhibit my work in my home area (near Madison, WI) and all over the country, and I teach bead embroidery works and lecture quite a bit as well. I love the balance of quiet, solitary studio time and time with students who love and want to learn about beadwork. My workshops range in length from 1/2-day classes in which students make samplers or ornaments containing a variety of bead embroidery techniques to a 5-day "All About Bead Embroidery" class I'll be teaching at QSDS (the Quilt Surface Design Symposium) in June of 2011.
On the Path will be in an upcoming two-person exhibition with my husband (illustrator Ed Binkley; www.edbinkley.com). We were pleased to be invited to have a show together this summer at the American Girl company corporate headquarters art gallery in Middleton, WI. We'll each have 10-12 pieces in Narrative Thread: The Art of Ed and Lisa Binkley from late June to early September 2010. I'm hoping to find some additional venues after that so that the show can travel a bit.
On the Path combines so many of the materials and techniques I love -- hand-made felt (from a large crocheted rectangle that I felted in my washing machine), hand embroidered beads and thread, off-loom bead weaving, and haiku. I love Japanese/Zen gardens and spent a fair amount of time reading about them while I was designing this piece. What I read helped me to decide where to place the stream, island (where the turtle sleeps), and large free-form right-angle-weave rocks. The piece was inspired by my love of Zen gardens, especially the raked rocks, and the wonderful matte-finish grey beads that I used for the raked rocks. I enjoy writing haiku and have now created three embroideries that include haiku I've written. My plan is to continue this series.