Her Primary Technique is “Cavandoli” or Tapestry Knotting
I grew up in Miami, Florida, raised by an artistic mom. I’ve always done some sort of arts & crafts, and in my teens I took up macramé. I taught myself the basic knots from a Ladies Home Journal article. My first attempts at jewelry were necklaces of thick waxed cord and seashells, and watchbands that I sold to a hippie shop on Miami Beach. I must confess, I also did my share of plant hangers and owls, some of which still hang in my garage. But, driven to take it a step further, I went on to create large sculptural wall pieces which usually involved more jute, shells and driftwood.
In 1989, after relocating to Santa Fe and being enchanted with the beauty and art of the area, I walked into a weaving shop near the plaza and saw the bead and fiber jewelry of the late artist
Tina Johnson Depuy. It was her work that inspired me to try my hand again at jewelry design. Using finer 18 gauge cord and delicate beads made a world of difference in the look I could produce, and I’ve been exploring the possibilities of fibers and beads ever since.
My favorite creative format is the one of a kind necklace. My primary technique is “Cavandoli” or tapestry knotting, a more condensed and detailed form of knotting than traditional macramé, which is generally looser and lacier. One square inch can take more than an hour and contain over 250 knots. It’s a technique that lends itself well to geometrical patterns (similar to weaving) but I also like to “paint” with colored nylon and waxed linen in an impressionistic abstract style. I think of metalwork as a natural compliment to fiber and I incorporate wire and metal elements (especially brass and copper) into many of my pieces. Working in metal is a real joy for me and gives me a much needed break from sitting at my desk, knotting and beading.
I also enjoy teaching and giving workshops. In 2008 I’ll be at The Bead Expo and The Bead and Button Show and have workshops scheduled in Denver, Rhode Island, and Michigan so far. I like developing new projects for my students and am working on my second book, which will contain some really nice intermediate - advanced projects .
I work in a small studio that’s attached to my house and am glad I can work from home, especially in these days of high gas prices. My husband/partner Jeff takes care of most of the everyday business , as well as designing and maintaining my website and book/DVD sales and shipping. We really enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and like to walk and ride bikes when we can. I love living a quiet peaceful life and when I’m not making art I like to listen to music, read, watch good movies and hang out with my husband, friends, and cats.
Joan’s book, Micro-Macramé Jewelry was recently reviewed by BeadBugle.Com. The review, in the new BeadBugle.Com online archived can be read by Clicking Here.
If you would like to order the book or CD directly from the artist you can visit Joan’s website at www.JoanBabcock.com.