Fiber College: Debbie Dutton

Isn’t it wonderful when you get to take a class from an artist who is always learning new things herself? Debbie Dutton is just such an artist. She travels all the way from Texas (wow!) to vacation in beautiful Maine AND to teach at Fiber College, and we’re so glad she’ll join us for our 10th Anniversary!

Deb has had myriad experiences in various artistic and creative areas. As a semi-retired graphic designer, her time spent in her studio these days is mostly hers to create what she loves. Paper, pens, pencils, watercolors are her favorites. She loves doing calligraphy and is on the board of the Houston Calligraphy Guild so she’s constantly learning and being challenged.

This year Debbie offers two classes at Fiber College. On Friday, September 9 from 12:30 – 2:30 PM, she’ll teach Handmade Cards featuring Tea Bag Folding. 

On Saturday, September 10 from 9 AM – 1 PM, she’ll teach you how to make an Altered Book Accordion Folder.
It’ll be great to see Debbie at Fiber College this year. You can go read the details about her two classes here and sign up, too.

Deb Dutton - what a studio!

Deb Dutton – what a studio!

As we celebrate the tenth year of our Fiber College community, tell us about how community plays a part in your life as a fiber artist.

Celebrating the 10th year of Fiber College along with the fiber arts community is a joy and privilege.  I discovered Fiber College through a publication at a Maine Visitor Center many years ago and immediately signed up for classes.   I’ve been back every year since, the last year as a teacher.  My home is in Katy (west Houston), Texas where I love to hang out at my studio and teach classes or create art projects with fellow calligraphers, book binders and artsy folks.  I love the encouragement and challenge that creative people bring into my life.  There is a vibrancy to the atmosphere of creative minds in concert.

Beautiful handmade cards made with tea bag (origami) folds.

Beautiful handmade cards made with tea bag (origami) folds.

What keeps you coming back to Fiber College? How is FC different from other teaching venues? What’s your favorite thing about Fiber College?

What keeps me coming back to FC? The vibrancy that exists at Fiber College in a breathtakingly beautiful location in Searsport, Maine!  I can’t wait to go back there every year.  I delight in the crisp Maine weather and love having classes outdoors.  All the generations of my family meet in Maine each summer to enjoy each other and the bounty of fresh ocean air.

What a clever idea! An accordion book (great for keeping secrets!)

What a clever idea! An accordion book (great for keeping secrets!)

How do you keep your creativity fresh and new?  What have you experimented with in the fiber arts in the past year?

My creativity is consistently stimulated by my clients.  I have been asked to write calligraphy on a giant potted plant and more recently – perfume bottles.  My studio is a crazy mess right now.  I’m experimenting with Batik techniques and dyes on paper.  It seems like the most fun things to try are also the messiest.   What I love about this process is that there are no mistakes.  I look at every trial as a success in learning.  Even the scrap of paper that was headed for the trash can be an origami bird or butterfly to make someone smile.

One of Deb's many paper creations

One of Deb’s many paper creations

What’s the most important thing that you want potential students to know about you?

Teaching art is positive, fun and hopefully an encouragement in self-esteem.  The classes I teach have a very high success rate and I think that’s because I believe we are all capable, interesting, creative people.  I want to help people see that part of themselves that is already there – maybe just adjust their lens to make it clear.

I look forward to being back at Fiber College–catching up with friends and meeting new people.  Learning, creating, sharing and (yes) playing at art are my favorite things to do.

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