Born in Massachusetts, Sarazen was the child of a dysfunctional combination of North Eastern aristocracy and hard scrabble South Eastern mariners. She did most of her growing up in North Carolina right by the largest army base in the lower 48. While her toddler education included embroidery fit for any fine drawing room, other parts of her day were spent knee deep in questionable creek water catching fish and frogs.
Her youth was shadowed by familial mental illness. The arts, fiber craft and writing were her sanctuary from the chaos. Knitting and sewing carried her through the long years of getting an English degree. She picked up spinning 22 years ago shortly after the birth of her oldest daughter. Painting and felting followed almost a decade ago not long after the discovery of her husband’s double life and second family.
Today the traumatic experience of her marriage along with the joys of raising four kids and living all over the country inform her work. Themes of identity, authenticity, vulnerability, psychology, the complexity of reality and the terrible beauty of nature itself are regular creative visitors.
A member of the Foothills Craft Guild, she lives and works in Eastern Tennessee, surrounded by lush forests and the legacy of the Manhattan Project.
Hold up! OMG! Do you see that praying mantis on the sill?! Oh man and there’s a fresh cicada right there by it and I don’t think it knows what it’s gotten into. Look at how that mantis moves without looking like it really means to. Well that was fast. Poor cicada. You ever wonder how often things like that are happening all around you, like when you’re just fixing yourself a sandwich?
I find inspiration in the little things. The wayward Christmas ornament that disappeared into a dusty corner, the slow unrelenting creep of mushrooms digesting the rotting ground, sheets of shabby outdated wallpaper hidden by new, the lost, the overlooked, the forgotten, yeah buddy, that’s fascinating stuff.
I like making stuff with wool, silk, feathers, cotton. Mostly natural stuff from kinder sources if I can find them. Some of it’s leftovers from other things, you know, so there’s less waste. It’s amazing what all you can needle felt, you can even do paper. And I like to think about things like that cicada. It just woke up after 17 years and boom mantis dinner. Do you think it even knew that would be a possibility? In those last few seconds did it wish it hadn’t slept so long? Or got a chance to sing it’s little song even louder than they already do? Yeah, probably not, you’re right it’s a bug. But what if something like that could be waiting for us? Would you do anything different?
Oh yeah! My fiber art…I …uh…explore themes of the passages of time, the brevity and struggle for meaning in life, the subjectiveness of reality and the challenge to live authentically. Does that sound more fancy?
You know I’m also telling a story here. I’ve imagined this whole place. The town of Pinnacle and the Towering Elms/Broken Elms Estate. My paintings are like illustrations, sometimes from inside Madam Bledsoe’s head, sometimes not. I’d like to get other people to notice the little things around them a little more. Maybe then they’ed see how important they really are.
Wow, that was a lot of talking. It was great but I need to take a break now. Getting to know people is kinda stressful for me. Let’s do this again though. I need more good people in my life. Maybe together we can make this world a more compassionate place, praying mantises and all.
Currently lives and works in Oak Ridge TN
2021 Feb – March, South Knoxville Library
2021 April, Awaken Coffee, Knoxville
2021 June, Coffee and Chocolate, Knoxville
2021 Project Cosplay Past Winner’s Show, Animazement
2020 Alliance Members Show, The Emporium, Knoxville
2020 – 2021 Mayor’s Office Exhibit, Knoxville
2020 Group Exhibition, The Emporium, Knoxville
2020 Project Cosplay Past Winner’s Show, Animazement
2018 Group Exhibition, The Foothills Craft Guild Show
Animazement, Raleigh NC
Private Collection, Lancaster PA
2021 Session Instructor, PA Guild of Craftsmen
2021 Session Instructor, Smokey Mountain Fiber Arts Festival
2020 Session instructor, Smokey Mountain Fiber Arts Festival
2019 Project Cosplay, Animazement
2019 Hallway Costume Contest, Animazement
Studied under: Tom Knisely, Dale Lyles, Sigrid Briansdotter, Kim Caulfield, Victoria Walker, Geri Forkner, Cathy Briscoe
Foothills Craft Guild, member
Tennesseee Valley Handspinners Guild, Vice President
PA Craft Guild, Member at Large
York Town Craft Guild, former member