Paula Darnell: Blossoming Fabric Flowers

Artist Statement

I am a self-taught artist specializing in textile and mixed-media jewelry and art. I have taught fashion design at the college level and adult education jewelry-making classes. My wool art piece, Midnight Caller, was published in an issue of Rug Hooking Magazine, and several of my jewelry design articles have been published in Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal; another was featured in a book, Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. I was a fashion writer for for several years. Since 2011, I’ve been selling some of my textile jewelry online through Etsy.

My fondness for fine fabrics began decades ago when I learned to sew, and blossomed further when I owned a small mail-order business selling silk fabrics. My favorite fabric to use in my textile art and much of my jewelry is silk. I've used silk organza, charmeuse, crepe, habotai, dupioni, satin, and noil in my creations. Silk fabric takes dyes beautifully, and this delicate fabric—once stiffened and shaped with heated tools—works well to mimic flower petals. I also favor wool fabric, which I can hand shape, needle felt to create accent effects, or employ the rug-making technique known as standing wool. I’ve found uses for recycled cashmere and angora in my artwork, too. Textiles all have their own unique characteristics, which make them intriguing.

Flowers are my most frequent theme, both because of their wide range of shapes and hues and their beauty. Although their fragile delicacy doesn’t stay around in nature, it can be preserved for long-lasting enjoyment in pieces of art and jewelry.

On exhibit at Sahara West Library from May 12, 2024 through July 28, 2024

Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM