Welcome to the Online Gallery of Artist Gail Ferens
About the Artist:
I graduated from the University of Oregon School of Art and Architecture with a B.S. in Art Education. Years later I graduated with an M.A. in Art Therapy from the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California. I have utilized art as an educator, artist, and therapist since 1968.
The focus of my work professionally has been to assist others to utilize the "arts" as tools to access inner wisdom, explore, symbolize and say what cannot be spoken. My work artistically has always been about the joy of exploring shapes, patterns, textures, and "playing with color".
Description of Clay Process/Product:
My lifelong passion has always been working with clay. One summer in 1962, my mother signed me up for a clay throwing class at the local art center. Thus began my love affair working with clay. Off and on since then, I have worked with clay, when a studio was easily accessible and I had time. All my current work has been done since 2013.
The pieces are formed on the wheel or by hand. For many of my pieces a black satin glaze is applied prior to firing. I use a Sgraffito (in Italian "to scratch") technique, to leather hard pottery, to create contrasting images, patterns and textures. After the bisque firing, I inlay the design with white glaze and stains, before the final glaze firing. This is a very labor intensive process.
Description of Silk Process/Product:
My joy of painting on silk began in the late 1980’s. Fabrics acquired in Ghana and Nigeria in the early 1960’s were my original inspiration for experimenting with Inkodyes and Cassava Paste resist on rayon and cotton. In the early 1990’s I switched to silk, silk resist and French silk dyes.
The silk is first stretched taut on a frame. Resist is then applied to the surface of the silk to form designs. When the applied substance "dries", it resists dye and when it is later removed, the design of the reserved area remains . The dye is then applied with brushes.
The fabric is then steam-set with a fabric steamer. The colors are up to 4X brighter than with other methods. The silk and dye are permanently bound together with hot steam. The resist is removed after steam-fixing by washing it.
Contact Information for Gail Ferens:
I welcome your questions or comments. Please feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org