Artist Profile: Gale Zucker

Cameras are everywhere! Many people carry their smartphones, iPads, and digital cameras nearly all the time. Fiber College is no exception; you’ll have myriad opportunities to capture shots of new friends, breath-taking fiber, details of your classes, the beautiful seashore, and fantastic gatherings every day. What fun!

If you’re really lucky, you’ll take a class or two with professional photographer, Gale Zucker. Gale focuses on fiber art photography and you may recognize her name from all the photo credits she’s amassed. She counts as the highlight of her career, the pleasure of meeting and photographing so many talented knitwear designers, dyers, and fiber farmers in the course of her work over the past decade. Also, her photo was on the cover of Vogue Knitting that went into Oscar Award Nominees’ Swag Bags at the Academy Awards this year in Hollywood. How crazy is that?

Gale will teach Photo Haiku Postcards with Beverly Army Williams on Friday, September 9 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Gale will also teach Your Creative Vision Photo Workshop on Saturday, September 10 from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Let’s meet Gale and then you can read more about her Fiber College classes and sign up here.

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.

There is no doubt that being part of the knitting, fiber arts, and maker community enriches my life in every way. Since I started a knitting blog in 2005, She Shoots Sheep Shots, I’ve connected with people who’ve become dear friends, beloved collaborators, and/or cherished clients for my professional commercial photography business (sometimes all 3 at the same time). My skills as a fiber artist, my social life, and my work life are all so enhanced by this community.

Gale's Creative Vision Photography class is offered on Saturday afternoon

Gale’s Creative Vision Photography class is offered on Saturday afternoon

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

There’s something magical about the setting, the people, and the timing of Fiber College. I absolutely LOVE summer, and I used to feel that September was the most melancholy (yet beautiful) month. The jolt of inspiration and creativity and beauty that happens every year at Fiber College—the friendships I’ve made and the beautiful Penobscot bay grounds—keep me submitting class ideas, and making that drive north to teach.

One of many published photos taken by Gale Zucker

One of many published photos taken by Gale Zucker

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

I always have more ideas of things to make and try than time to do them. Trying new ideas keeps my creativity fresh. This year I’ve played with some mixed media art pieces, a teeny bit of knitwear design, and crocheting on rocks large and tiny. I want to get back to sewing, something I used to do a lot but haven’t had time to return to.

Gale took this photograph at a spring shearing

Gale took this photograph at a spring shearing on Nash Island (you can read about this extraordinary place on her blog – link at bottom)

What does your studio space look like now? What change would you make if you could?

I don’t have a real maker studio, I like to work everywhere.  But I do have an office and it is very cluttered, and dominated by admin type things, not creative activity or supplies. I would love to have a space just for making with nothing relating to admin in it. I actually have a space in mind in my home; I just need the time to overhaul it. (My true fantasy is to win a little shed type thing to put in my backyard, as a studio….)

Gale's photos are featured in many publications

Gale’s photos are featured in many publications

Who has had the greatest impact on your work as an artist?

My parents. They encouraged my sisters and me to think for ourselves, not to conform to others’ ideas of who we should be, try whatever we wanted, don’t waste our brains, think creatively, make the world better, and to be independent. I can’t think of a greater gift to give to anyone than to offer these expectations.

You can create some beautiful haiku cards with Gale Zucker and Beverly Williams on Friday morning

You can create some beautiful haiku cards with Gale Zucker and Beverly Williams on Friday morning

How do you ensure plenty of time to be an artist?

Well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to do a white glove inspection of my home!

Another of Gale's amazing images

Another of Gale’s amazing images

Gale’s blog, She Shoots Sheep Shots, can be found on her professional website:
The blog is amazing!! You can get lost for hours in Gale’s beautiful images and wonderful storytelling.

Her Instagram feed (Gale loves Instagram)

From Gale:  I am attaching the cover of a new knitting book I have coming out, DROP DEAD EASY KNITS, from Clarkson Potter/Random House. It is on presale now but arriving in shops September 20th. My co-authors are Mary Lou Egan and Kirsten Kapur, whom I became close friends with through our sharing a cottage and teaching at Fiber College—which led to the book.

The link for it is here

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