We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, let’s jump right in. What are you most passionate about? Why?Creating things out of fiber has been my life long passion. When I was in elementary school I learned how to knit, embroider, needlepoint, and sew. I spent most of my free time creating things for my family and myself. I loved it SO much I would stand up against the school building when I was at recess and knit! Fast forward many decades later, and my passion for fiber has never waned. I’ve added other techniques and processes to my toolkit like weaving, crochet, basketry, dyeing, and felting. When I discovered weaving at the age of 19 through a continuing education class at UT Austin, I immediately felt like I had come home. Weaving has been the one process that has dominated over the others (though I do like to dip into the others regularly). When I am at the loom, I can enter a meditative state and the rhythm of the loom connects me to the rhythm of my heart beat; I feel centered and balanced when I work at my loom. I became a visual arts educator in 2005, and integrated my life long passion of working with fibers into my art education curriculum. Fibers are a ubiquitous material – we are surrounded by fibers every single day! Imagine one day without ANY fibers! No sheets and blankets to snuggle into; no comfy couch or chair to sit in; no soft carpet under our feet; no towels to dry us after a bath or shower; and NO clothes to wear! The importance of fibers is something we take for granted, even when they are essential to our day-to-day existence. Educating my students about the importance of fibers and the exciting possibilities of creating art with fibers became a priority for me in my classroom. And it was an easy thing to do because most students LOVE working with fibers as well! It calms them because of the meditative actions of stitching, sewing, and weaving. I extended by passion and my knowledge of fibers in art education to a broader audience with the creation of www.ExploreFiber.com. The website serves many purposes and provides: inspiration about contemporary fiber artists; a monthly newsletter with Teacher Highlights showing how other educators are incorporating fibers into their curriculum; blog posts that illustrate the importance of fibers in science and technology; resources of organizations, schools, workshops, teachers, journals, and more; and lessons or projects that can be used in the classroom. Explore Fiber is the culmination of my life long passion for fiber and allows me to support others who are interested in exploring this versatile art medium. As a newly retired art educator, I now find myself back in my studio and it feels so great to be back creating full time! My husband and I have created a Coral Reef installation that consists of his 2D resin paintings that represent being in the ocean alongside my fiber sculptures that represent coral and oceanic forms and organisms. I love the freedom of expression this exhibit has provided me! I am able to incorporate many of the fiber techniques and processes that I’ve spent my life mastering to create a new body of work that is colorful and exciting. Using our art as an advocacy tool for our endangered coral reefs gives a new meaning for my passion for fibers. Perhaps the viewer of our exhibit will be impacted in a way to take individual action to help preserve our planet. You can watch a short video about our exhibition here Beneath the Surface – A Coral Reef Installation Official Video (https://www.youtube.com/
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been weaving for over 45 years now, and there are many more to come! It has not been easy marketing my work, and though I tried several times for my passion to support me economically, I always came up a bit short. I have reinvented myself as an artist so many times! I have been (and still am) a studio artist, I founded a custom textile studio that sold to the design industry, I had a cooperative gallery in Olla Podrida (before it was torn down), and I continue to blend my teaching and fiber arts with Visiting Artist programs in schools. It has not been easy, BUT, I can honestly say I have never stopped creating throughout the decades! When one door seemed to close, another one would open and I am proud of the fact that I have continued down the path of my passion no matter what! My specialty is weaving with wire; I warp my floor loom with wire and then weave across it with yarn and wire to create a woven metal fabric. The resulting fabric allows me to create sculptural forms as wall pieces, 3D sculpture, jewelry, and home accent pieces. I’ve been weaving with wire for over 25 years and I have yet to find the limitations of it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love taking my out of town visitors to Klyde Warren Park on a beautiful day, step across the street to visit the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, then have a lovely dining experience at Savor in the park. Perfect day & evening!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to the Surface Design Association (https://www.surfacedesign.
Christine K Miller, Gabrielle Pruitt