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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 102317 — Sarah LaBarre

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A big #sparkchamber welcome to fiber witch Sarah LaBarre. Sarah’s work is informed by the language of painting, but she uses a vocabulary appropriated from traditional fiber techniques and mediums. She draws upon historical decorative and textile designs, combining these blueprints with abstract imagery inspired by microcosms found in the natural world. Sarah is also an avid knitter and crocheter with over 25-years of experience. She has assisted workshops at both Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She received a BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, did her post-baccalaureate work at Oregon College of Art and Craft, and earned an MFA from Colorado State University.

Check out her work at www.sarahlabarre.com and instagram @spellboundthreads
1.] Where do ideas come from?

For me, ideas come from all sorts of places. Physical places. My environment has a massive influence on the structure, texture, mood, and concept of my work. I find that I become so immersed in my surroundings that my dreams are filled with the day’s views, contributing to what I'll make. Ideas also come from other artists. Whenever I feel stuck, I look at artists that I feel akin to, and I read about what motivates their work. Then I walk, and I pay attention.  

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

I think this one is about working something out, both within and without. I feel the need to make because I want some tangible way to understand the world we live in. Most often, this comes by looking closely at the “little worlds” around us [small sections of pavement, peeling paint, corroded metal] and recreating them. It is both compulsory and methodic. 

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

I definitely procrastinate. However, I think even when I’m not making, I’m processing ideas. When I begin, I have no trouble focusing, and often work for hours upon hours without a break. There’s a build up before I sit down to start [from all that procrastinating] and thankfully I allow myself enough time to lose myself in the work. Space is a very important part of this. 

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I don’t think you ever are “done.” I find that I come back to ideas over and over, reevaluating them and adding/subtracting. If there’s a deadline for a particular piece, I’m done when it’s due. For now.