Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Berea Artisan Shawnna Southerland to Demonstrate Coiled and Stitched Fiber Bowls at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
On Saturday, March 7, Shawnna Southerland, of Berea, will demonstrate her coiled and stitched fiber bowls from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Southerland comes from several generations of seamstresses who created both functional and decorative works. She is reminded of this family tradition, some of which predates the sewing machine, every time she sews on her 1950s machine.
Southerland credits her mother with teaching her everything she knows about sewing.
“My mom had a craft shop when I was a kid,” she said, “and being around the daily routine of quilting, sewing, selling and working with fabrics gave me a natural understanding and appreciation of working with fabric.”
Southerland works mostly with new fabric, but occasionally tries to incorporate recycled fabrics into her work as a way to repurpose old clothes. She has been sewing clothing and creating quilts for many years and has only recently begun to create her coiled and stitched fiber bowls. She came across the idea on a craft website tutorial and taught herself the techniques and processes.
To start, Southerland cuts long strips of fabric into a standard 1-inch width. She takes these fabric strips and coils them around clothesline. The wrapped fabric coils are then sewn into a spiral pattern, and shaped into a bowl form by holding the piece at varying angles as the rows are stitched into place.
“I enjoy seeing how the fabric evolves from flat cloth to something three-dimensional using coils. I am drawn to bright colors because of the many design possibilities,” she said.
Photos left to right: detail of a colorful bowl by Southerland; Southerland showing a finished bowl during a demonstration; an array of colorful stitched fiber bowls by Southerland
Works by Southerland are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit, “Turn, Turn, Turn: Lathe-Turned Works by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display March 7 through Sept. 12, and in the lobby the exhibit, “Kentucky Murals by Frank W. Long” continues through April 18. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.