Still Looking -- Guest Blogger Paula Kovarik

Fiber Artist Paula Kovarik has shared some thoughts on looking for patterns, adding lines and connections and rhythms to create an engaging whole out of apparently random elements.

These tiles had one thing in common. Black thread on a neutral background.

These tiles had one thing in common. Black thread on a neutral background.

I'm still thinking about how patterns emerge. And how our brains look for unifying elements to make sense of chaos. Quilts use repeat modules to create a whole from fragments. So, if I brought disparate elements together could I create a whole? Here are a few base thoughts:

1. Regularity unifies.
2. Grids are glue.
3. Lines travel and connect.
4. Connection = comprehension.

So I took a few of the sample thread studies I have laying around and cut them into 2" squares. Assembling them randomly on a background substrate created a tile-like pattern that I emphasized with a grid that holds them together.

Then I started looking for connections. These small tiles really have little in common— just some black thread on neutral fabric. My eyes seemed to bounce around the assemblage, hip hopping to find similarities. So I added a line mimicking the hip-hop journey my eyes were taking. 

Adding denser fill stitching at the intersections of the connecting line and patterned tile added a sense of rhythm to the piece.

Adding denser fill stitching at the intersections of the connecting line and patterned tile added a sense of rhythm to the piece.

Adding hand-stitched details adds action and brings the tiles together in small areas.

Adding hand-stitched details adds action and brings the tiles together in small areas.

Then I turned the piece to the back to see what was happening with my random connections.

The picture on the left is the front of the assemblage. The one on the right shows the stitching I added to the piece. I love the raw quality of those marks. And, I had no idea that I had formed a face in profile when I was working from the front.

The picture on the left is the front of the assemblage. The one on the right shows the stitching I added to the piece. I love the raw quality of those marks. And, I had no idea that I had formed a face in profile when I was working from the front.

Here's another comparison. The left side is dense with stitching and linework that is beginning to represent my idea of complexity and chaos. The back shows a simpler yet texturally consistent stitching that appeals to me. There's a sense of space on that side that brings more focus on the character of the lines.

Here's another comparison. The left side is dense with stitching and linework that is beginning to represent my idea of complexity and chaos. The back shows a simpler yet texturally consistent stitching that appeals to me. There's a sense of space on that side that brings more focus on the character of the lines.

I'm not sure how much farther I want to take this piece. I love the complexity that is beginning to show up with the layered stitching. And I like the back of the piece. I'll have to study it a while.


Paula will be teaching at North Country Studio Workshops in January 2018.
For details about her class, click here.

Visit Paula's web page here: http://www.paulakovarik.com