Laurie Carlson Steger
Angled Light in Woven Forms is the theme title of my work since 1996. Many artists study and design work with light through the use of color, shadow, transparency and reflective surfaces. As a textile artist, the challenge to physically bring light into the weaving structure became possible by the development of plastic optical fiber. This new stranded material became a springboard for experimentation as a lighting device integrated within textile structures. I work to make the lighting element an integral aspect of the ideas behind the image, rather than creating a gadget integrated into fabric.
My artistic approach is fulfilled by the presence of light, of the kind often associated with NDE, an experience that is unforgetable. The pragmatic skills associated with making cloth provide an abundance of time to think about and resolve the images residing within, while the intrigue from the language parallels between engineering rules and philosophical beliefs foster concept and form. For instance, the description, total internal reflection, is used to describe a meditative state of enlightenment, while in the field of optics, it is the term to describe the mechanics of signal propagation along the length of a fiber strand. Both meanings are a form of abstract communication. Blending concepts like this one is the basis for the new field of intelligent technical textiles, smart fabric and electronic textiles.
Title: "Corona", detail, 2010, (photo by artist)
Materials: Natural Linen, brass wire, plastic optical lighting fibers, glass beads, halogen illumination
Techniques: Handwoven base linen warp, brass wire weft, 'summer and winter' block pattern, embedded plastic optical fibers, floated palstic fibers for finger woven scupltural form, supplemental brass wire looping with glass beads