Terri Lipman, Depth in a Surface Designer

You know how simply seeing someone’s name in your inbox can make you smile?  Well, for me, Terri is one of those women.  She studies surface design the same way a fish studies swimming…by osmosis.  Her batiks are complex and layered and she transfers this same aesthetic to free form crochet and knitting.  You’ll find her work on Etsy and she just introduced me to the Fiber Focus social network on ning…now if she could only add a few more hours to my day 😉  Terri will be returning to teach two classes at Fiber College this year…Soy Batik on Friday from 10:00 AM to 1 PM and Free Form Knitting and Crochet on Saturday Morning from 9:00 to 1 PM.

Recently she responded to our interview question this way:

Terri's Freeform Knitting & Crochet

Terri's Freeform Knitting & Crochet

1)     Teaching takes courage and experience and so much extra time.  When you’re not teaching, what else do you like to do? My art!  And depending on the weather, kayaking, swimming, hiking, snowshoeing and/or knitting.

2)     Fill in the blanks for the following statement:  Inspiration for my work comes from nature and my doodles and from creative thoughts. My design is a very important aspect of my work and something to which I find I am very sensitive.

3)     We’d like a sense of your expertise and ability to teach the class you’re offering so tell us how you came to feel confident about leading a group through your particular class. I have been doing art and teaching it all my life.  My students bring me much inspiration and I hope I do the same for them. My confidence comes from knowing my medium and knowing how to solve the student’s problems with the medium.  From this experience I am able to share my confidence with the students so they feel good about their work. How long have you been practicing?  Many many years.

4)     If you make a knitting error (substitute your art form here) do you jump right in and frog it (rip it out) or do you call it a design feature and keep right on going?  Does the mistake cause you anxiety or do you feel like it’s just one more opportunity to make the project your own? Whether I am knitting, painting, crocheting, batik, whatever, all my mistakes become designs. I do not rip unless necessary.  I sometimes put things aside for further development.  I am free spirit and try to impart that attitude in my students.

Surface design using wax batik

Surface design using wax batik

5)     What techniques are in your bag of tricks for motivating a student to struggle through a difficult step maybe something that’s just a bit out of his/her range and come out the other side feeling successful? Sharing the principles of design and sharing my knowledge of how to fix things, if necessary. Texture where there was none removing texture if necessary, changing colors, adding colors, using different tools to get different results, etc. These are some ideas I use to correct things to bring it to a successful conclusion.

6)     I am an avid collector of too much of everything in a stash: yarn, fabric, paint, you name it, I got it.

7)     The best advice I have ever been given: If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

8) What is your favorite color? List three qualities of the color. Consider that these qualities apply to your work. Loaded questions as I LOVE COLOR!  Green is a favorite because it compliments my skin and hair color from a younger age.

Green is a mix of yellow and blue so it can be cool or warm. All greens will always blend which is not true of blues which could clash. Green is natural – look around us: grass, flowers, trees, vegetables.  It compliments paintings.

9) My formal educational background is BFA in Art.  In 30 years, I have evolved from oil painting to folk art to painted furniture (because the wholesale market created the sales for it) to acrylic textile painting and now textile dyeing, batik, etc.  My knitting and crocheting have taken a leap into the art world with it.  Fiber artist is really my current title.

10)  What do you like best about what you do? It is the freedom to be me.  It makes me feel complete and happy.  I have a sense of satisfaction about the completion of something.  I like the compliments when I do a good job and my work has been accepted by someone.  Sales are another ego trip!

11)  What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well? I am satisfied with the design, the colors I used and their placement.  It has achieved a look or a result that I think is complete and well done.

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