STEPHENVILLE (July 10, 2017) – The Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council is bringing awareness to a different kind of art with its newest exhibit, “Celebrating Doilies.” This exhibit of Suzann Thompson’s textile creations will run through Aug. 24 in the CTFAC gallery.
“My wall hangings that are in the show — a lot of them are knitted quilts,” Thompson said. “They have crocheted flowers and stuff on them and buttons and beads and things like that. So, it’s just all of those little things that I love to do and love to collect used together in one project.”
Two receptions will be held for Thompson and her exhibit. The first will be on July 22 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The second will be on Aug. 19 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Both will be at the CTFAC.
“[The works] all have doilies or vintage crochet incorporated into them,” Thompson said. “The show is about doilies, and it’s about my artwork with doilies in it. It’s also about our local heritage of doilies. I’ve talked to a lot of families and gotten their stories about their family doilies and their family crochet. Those stories are included in the exhibit.”
Thompson began knitting when she was seven years old. She learned from her mother, who learned how to knit in school in Germany. Thompson moved onto crochet a few years later.
“[I learned to crochet] because there was this orange and yellow granny-square hat in a magazine, and I really wanted it,” Thompson said. “So I got my mom to show me how to crochet. Then I made it.”
Thompson loved knitting and crocheting, but it did not become her career until after college. Thompson now teaches workshops, designs knitting and crocheting patterns and much more.
“At some point as I was going through life, I realized that those magazines that I found patterns in—the patterns were written by people,” Thompson said. “Just regular people. A little later I learned that a lot of those people were freelance designers. So once I figured out how to do it through networking and through going to a conference and stuff like that, I started designing knit and crochet projects for those magazines.”
Thompson went on to develop a technique called TextileFusion, which combines knitting, crocheting, quilting and embellishment. Her works are made using this technique.
“Like a lot of people who do crafts, I like to do a lot of different things,” Thompson said. “Sometimes when you read about artists, you’ll read that they choose one thing to concentrate on, and I just couldn’t choose one. I loved knitting, I loved crochet, I enjoyed sewing, and things like that. So I thought, ‘Well I’m just going to use all of those together, and I guess my one thing will be the combination of all of those crafts’.”
Thompson’s TextileFusion works have been featured by the CTFAC before. They have also been exhibited in a solo exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and Chicago.
“People have been comforted by crafts like knitting and crochet through their lives,” Thompson said. “I think that we sometimes forget about those small comforts and pleasures that we have all experienced because we are so used to focusing on these big, enormous things that people in the world do. We forget that we also make things that are appreciated. I would like people to remember that.”