Fibre Looms Large in Artist's Career

By Eric Olson

February 12, 2013 Updated Feb 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana--Artlinks Regional University Exhibit is full of great things to look at. You’d expect as much, these are works created by the art professors who teach at IPFW, Huntington University and the University of St Francis. But even among these gems there is a real standout..not of paint or metal or ceramics…but of cloth.

Sara Nordling has loved making things with fabric all her life. How she played with her Barbie dolls as a child gives you a clue.

“Instead of making my Barbie dolls do things I just created things, wardrobes. I made them home mattresses and quilt bedding for them I made them things.”

For nearly 30 years Sara Nordling has been making things on a loom, beautiful tapestry-like hangings that tell stories and invite the viewer to touch. She’s experimenting with 3 dimensional weavings, adding pleats and folds. Viewing this work is like looking out through blinds at a multicolored world. Nordling is an explorer and experimenter, always trying new things, new methods…new materials.

“Kind of like the abstractionist expressionists and their painting, they weren’t necessarily painting a tree or painting a house. I’m trying to relate to people maybe in an area that’s not even expressible, maybe some feelings of safety and comfort, some feelings of playfulness sometimes.”

There’s also a quality of perfection about Sara Nordling’s work. Every color, ever weave, every fold carefully considered and executed. The qualities she hopes future generations will recognize in her work.

“That there’s a slow and methodical quality to doing these, to appreciate that someone cared enough to take the time.”

Eric Olson reporting out in Your Country.

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