Artist Sandra Sciarrotta’s stunning fiber and mixed media kimono wall hangings are richly detailed with color and stitched design.
Over a lifetime of learning to craft things with my own hands, I learned about that good feeling of accomplishment that I receive when finished and the headiness of having others enjoy my work. There has never been a moment when I have stopped working at creating my mixed media forms.
The love of fabric and design has been with me since I was a teenage girl. I first learned about sewing clothing when my friend, who was a wonderful seamstress, and I made our own prom gowns. This was exciting. I was inspired to find out that I could make all manner of wonderful things.
Quilting was something I added to my own clothing. I’d seen photos of Japanese workers whose clothing was quilted for warmth. So, I quilted collars, cuffs and even pockets on entire outfits.
When I discovered embroidery, in its many forms, I found joy in adding it to everything.
I was inspired to learn how to make quilts, pillows and wall hangings. It was so exciting having some of my pieces published in and on the cover of a national magazine. In addition, I took first prize in a quilt show for my hand stenciled quilt. This accomplishment led me to begin teaching classes. I’ve been teaching classes in mixed media ever since.
After art school, I began looking through craft magazines and found that there was a whole new world of artistic experience waiting for me, including embellishments galore. I fell in love with what I saw and began adding new embellishments to my wall hangings.
I wanted my kimono wall hangings to have different mounting pieces than the standard round dowel or metal piece. I looked everywhere seeking how to do this. The next major inspiration came when a friend showed me a quilting magazine by Sarah Kaufman, “Folded Log Cabin Quilts.” Ms. Kaufman made her own mounting devices or used farm implements to hang her pieces.
I thought this was great! I ended up finding used balustrades from old houses or made my own wall hanging devices which I sanded, painted or stained, then added a protective coating. Then I used painted twine to join the fabric and the mounting piece together to create my own, unique wall hanging.
My body of work has multiplied and I have grown. I’m still in love with this process, always looking for the next great fabric.