Currently based in Eastern TN, Sarazen is a fiber artist specializing in dimensional wool paintings using a variety of materials, including wool, silk, paper, feathers and fiction. She began her her fiber arts journey in the early 1970’s learning embroidery. Her skills also include sewing, knitting, designing, crochet, spinning, wet felting, dry felting and writing. She began wool painting in 2014 and in 2018 began developing the world of Broken Elms. Her work is inspired by themes of identity, authenticity, vulnerability, psychology, the complexity of reality and the terrible beauty of nature itself.
A Bailey Opportunity Grant winner and the 2022 President of the Tennessee Valley Handspinners Guild, she works 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disappeared into a dusty corner, the slow unrelenting creep of mushrooms digesting the rotting ground, sheets of shabby outdated wallpaper hidden by new, the lost, the overlooked, the forgotten, yeah buddy, that’s fascinating stuff.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