I am thrilled that everyone who purchases my fiber art knows they are getting a unique work of art which can touch their soul. I am also pleased that my home decor items personal accessories are worthy of complementing your home or your ensemble.
Having spent my first 15 years in Japan as a child of missionaries, I find myself drawn to images and art reflecting Japanese ideals. I have lately been collecting images of “washitsu” – Japanese style rooms which look out onto lovely outdoor gardens. These portray the peaceful safety of the indoors but also the opportunity to gaze toward the lovely outdoor landscape.
My “Window” series is about interior and exterior, the safety of being unexposed or hidden and the risk of being exposed and vulnerable. My art is an exploration of my world and my experience of trying to find a place of belonging. What are the costs of remaining in the safety of isolation? What do I learn from stepping out and allowing myself to be vulnerable? I obsess about this… I tend to over analyze my interactions with people and worry what they think of me, experiencing frustration that I can’t get beyond it.
I primarily use hand dyed or painted cottons, silks and non wovens but also have a love of Asian fabrics and kimono silks, incorporating these ancient traditional fabrics into my compositions. Use of sheers, couching and color values give a sense of depth and texture. Slightly curving lines portray gracefulness and circles are often present representing wholeness and creativity.
Before I created Rachel Derstine Designs I enjoyed sewing and quilting for my home and family. Then my friends encouraged me to have an open house to sell my work. Friends and family seemed to find these items were perfect for their homes, table settings and found they made great gifts.
After doing this for a few seasons a friend encouraged me to apply to craft shows and after being accepted, I met a larger group of customers who also enjoyed purchasing my work for their homes. It’s been a journey of growth as I have gradually come to think of myself as an artist.
It turns out, the road was more difficult than I imagined. It was hard to juggle both my music teaching career with creating my artwork and selling it. I’m lucky I can still do both as my teaching schedule has become more consolidated. My husband has been ever the supportive partner and adds the muscle to all the heavy loading in and out at art shows. He also adds much needed humor to the long hours of sitting in my booth in all kinds of weather. I hope to add more online sales and work with a broader range of customers through this venue, as well.
How my line of bags began:
I was frustrated with trying to find the perfect little bag for carrying just my essentials instead of the huge bags which were popular at the time. I discovered many friends were also searching for the same perfect little bag.
I decided I would set out to create a unique artful but practical little bag that I would love using. After creating one and receiving many compliments on it I began to include it in my inventory at craft shows and it’s been a best selling item. I have several different styles available and it’s a fun way to carry a little artful creation which can complete your ensemble.