Local Artist Travels Afar to Perfect Her Artwork

| January 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

Charlotte Bird is a Mission Hills textile artist with a national following. In August, she was artist-in-residence in Denali National Park, Alaska. She chaired the Quilt Visions 2014 international juried quilt show, now displayed at the Visions Art Museum in Liberty Station.

Charlotte Bird uses a treadle sewing machine to create quilts.

Charlotte Bird uses a treadle sewing machine to create quilts

Charlotte realized her dream to become an executive in public service but found it less rewarding than she expected. In 1987, she and her husband used his law firm’s sabbatical program to live for almost seven months in Alaska backcountry. With the help of a treadle sewing machine, she envisioned textile art as a profession. On return, she started Birdworks Artwear, making one-of-a-kind coats and jackets. That evolved into Birdworks Fiber Art, dedicated to art for its own sake.

The Denali residency allowed Charlotte and husband Charlie to live for 10 late-August days in a ranger cabin near the park road but without any “grid” connection. Hiking daily, she studied the colors, including New England-like fall on the tundra. She took 1,000 pictures of rocks, leaves, trees, and riffle patterns on riverbeds, all to document lines, shapes, and colors. On the hikes, there were bears with cubs, migrating cranes, pikas, foxes, and caribou.

Charlotte called the lack of distractions very centering and peaceful. She is working on synthesizing her observations and experiences into an artwork for the Denali Park collection.

Charlotte and Charlie live in a canyon pole house. Her working studio is at the bottom of Reynard Way. Work can be viewed on her website, www.birdworks-fiberarts.com

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