Arts and Entertainment

Fiber, leather and lace grace Blue Heron

Mary Hosick, whose ceramic work can be seen at the Blue Heron, recently traveled to China. - Courtesy photo
Mary Hosick, whose ceramic work can be seen at the Blue Heron, recently traveled to China.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Blue Heron Gallery will host two exhibits in July: “Ancient Message,” a show of fiber art by Regina Benson, and “Leather and Lace,” ceramic work by Mary Hosick.

There will be an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, July 3, with complimentary refreshments and live music by pianist and vocalist Maggie Laird.

Inspired by nature, archeology, travels and weaving heritage of her native Lithuania, textile artist Regina Benson creates intricate wall hangings, art quilts and dimensional textile sculptures. Working from her Colorado home and studio with materials such as silk and cotton, horse-hair and industrial polyesters, Benson often begins her pieces with black fabric.

Benson discharges the base black dye with paste or soy wax resists and Shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique. She then overdyes or rusts fabric surfaces multiple times to create additional images and textures and incorporates encaustic processes and burning into the pieces. Further embellishments include needlework done with hand-dyed threads.

“Ancient Message” is a series of undulating dimensional pieces and several painterly, flat pieces.

“My pieces are very graphic and intricately detailed at the same time,” Benson said. “I want the viewer to feel the overall piece at 10 to 15 feet, and as the distance gets closer, discover more and more detail of color and texture to enhance their first impressions.”

Benson’s work has been seen in galleries and museums in The Hague, San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Primarily self-taught, she has served as guest curator for cutting-edge fiber and textile exhibits. She earned the Quilt National 2007 Award of Excellence.

While studying for her BFA in weaving, Mary Hosick developed a parallel interest in ceramics. A member of Seattle Weavers’ Guild since 1973, Hosick continues to challenge herself to merge fibers, or the concept of fibers, with clay.

Hosick said that working with clay keeps her centered as she sits at the wheel, transforming both herself and the clay.

“I have an idea to create something round, open or tall, but sometimes the wheel decides something else. I like the uniqueness of each form,” she explained.

Hosick’s previous work featured primarily unglazed and wheel formed vessels, but this exhibit will showcase her new repertoire of form and firing techniques (raku, electric, propane and wood fired) using copper wire, steel wool and horsehair and finishing elements such as leather and kumihimo, a multi-strand braid.

Hosick has shown work in galleries including Silverwood Gallery, Blue Heron Gallery, Museo Gallery in Langley, Wash., and Kelly’s Gallery of Fine Art in Joseph, Ore.. She travelled to China in 2006 as a member of a ceramics arts professional and cultural exchange, visiting master potters and exhibiting work in the Sanbao International Art Exhibition.

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