Color is my passion. I see color in all things. I love breaking it down into its component parts, I love seeing the mildest of variations of a color - either in strength or in direction towards another color. When I was a kid, I loved crayons that went blue-green to green-blue. I wanted crayons that were green-green-blue and blue-blue-green.
I also love fibers and textures of fibers. I started sewing before I remember. I didn’t particularly like dolls, but I liked sewing for them. I started knitting probably when I was 5 or 6. I had always seen sewing and knitting, so there is no time in my life without fibers in one form or another. When I was young, we sewed all our own clothes. I learned to shop for fabric early. I can remember walking past the bolts of fabric with my hand extended to feel the fabric. If it was pleasing, then I would stop to look at the color.
Today, when I shop for clothes, I do much the same thing: first I touch them to see if I like the feel of the fabric, then I look at the color. If those two things aren’t right, well, I will pass them by. Yarn is the same way. The feel and the structure of the yarn have to be right, then it can be dyed.
Who I am today as an artist is not who I was 2005 when I began dyeing full-time. I know my tools (dyes) so much better today, but see that I have other directions to go to stretch my artistic skills and knowledge. I’m not done experimenting.
My color inspiration has always been nature. I love seeing the colors that occur there and playing off them to create yarns that evoke the emotional impact of the natural world. Not all of my colors are nature-based, but the breadth of colors in nature is pretty incredible.
While I know I have a good color sense, I am very clear about remaining humble in the face of this gift. I believe that I must never take this gift for granted.
- Babs Ausherman, 2016