Five Questions For Fiber Artist Ana Buzzalino

Joining us for the first time this autumn is award winning fiber artist Ana Buzzalino! Before her workshop kicks off, Ana took a moment to tell us more about herself and her background in fiber art.

Q: What is your most unexpected source of inspiration?
AB: A few years back I fell in love with the old wooden grain elevators that still dot the landscape of the Prairies, so I set out to photograph as many as I can before they are torn down and disappear. The textures and grayish tones of the old wood, the peeling paint, the effects of time, all that gives me ample material for new work. 

Q: How has teaching impacted your person art practice? And vice versa, how does your approach to your personal art impact your teaching style?
AB: Teaching is what keeps me current and engaged. Time spent with students is time that I have to share what I know and love and at the same time, learn from them. Every class I teach, teaches me something new. I have grown in my art in the past few years and I find that those changes inform my teaching; I want to share everything I know and love: all the techniques, the tips, the tricks that allow me to work in my own style. I love to help students how to find their own voice, and this particular workshop I am teaching is one way of doing that as everyone works on their own designs. I give them, hopefully, a few more tools to be able to translate their visions into actual fiber pieces.

Q: What’s one tip you have or trick you use for keeping your studio space organized?
AB: I have just finished renovating my studio so everything is organized and nicely put together right now. I have an entire wall covered in built-ins with drawers, shelves and baskets which allows me to keep tools organized and projects together. As I tend to work on several pieces at the same time, I can set aside the ones I’m not working on at the time in their own drawers until I am ready to work on them again. The one thing I cannot live without is my design wall, which covers one wall in my studio and sits right across from my sewing table. I pin up pieces in progress so I can look at them and let them “percolate” for a while. 

Q: Who are your art heros? Who do you admire and why?
AB: I have so many … I admire so many artists in different media, such Georgia O’Keefe, Robert Rauschenberg, Sean Scully, Anne Moore, Fran Styles, and so many more painters and mixed media artists. Quilters and fiber artists such as Laura and Linda Kemshall, Hollis Chatelain, Michael James, Sara Impey, Bethan Ash, Eszter Bornemisza, Willy Doreleijers, Cecilia Koppmann, Sue Benner, Pamela Allen, and so many more. Each artist, in their own media, creates work that moves me and resonates with me. I wish I could spend one week in each of their studios, just observing … and absorbing…

Q: What exciting projects are you working on right now or big dream projects you would love to begin exploring?
AB: I am working on new samples for classes coming up, but I am also working on larger pieces that have sat percolating for a while and are ready to be finished. Plus a few more that right now reside in my head, one in particular that has been developing in the last few months which means I need to work on creating a few more pieces of fabric using mono printing, screen printing, etc.

Learn more about Ana’s workshop with us here