Lin Bentley Keeling

Flora Folklorico basket by Lin Bentley Keeling Fiber Artist
Lin Bentley Keeling of LBK Fiber Arts - El Paso, Texas

Lin Bentley Keeling – El Paso, Texas

I have been creating coiled vessels for more than 30 years, using weaving and knitting yarns wrapped and stitched around jute or sisal core materials. Inspiration for my designs comes from the yarns themselves and from instrumental music; the rhythm, harmony and counterpoint of music and visual design are based on many of the same principles and I often think of myself as a composer of visual music.

Each piece begins with colored fibers, a small skein or ball of yarn, something that catches my eye and grabs my imagination. Adding other colors to this inspiration, I build an ensemble of colors and begin thinking about the shape of the piece which works in concert with the surface design. Only about a third of the design of a closed, traditionally shaped vessel can be seen at one time while sculptural pieces reveal about half of their design. An open, wall-hung piece features the spiraling nature of coiling more than the other two and the design must accommodate the curving nature of the structure.

Lin Bentley Keeling, Tidal PoolNext, I begin painting the surface design which becomes a ‘score’, a rough suggestion of how the vessel will look. I follow the painted designs fairly closely at the beginning, but as the piece grows, I improvise more and more, taking cues from the evolving piece, placing colors and shapes in accord with what’s gone before. I blend four to six strands of yarn at a time in the needle, changing individual strands of color in and out, so that the colors vibrate and sing. Each vessel requires many hours to complete, often more than 100, stitching 12 to 15 inches of a linear row around the spiral per hour. People often ask how I have the patience to do what I do. But I love this meditative, quiet work. I find it a welcome, restful counterpoint to the harried pace of life.

I show and sell my pieces in the hope that the joy of color and the peace and harmony I put into them will become part of other people’s lives, and perhaps send some positive energy into the world. If you like my work, but don’t see anything in my current inventory that you’d like to have, I would happy to discuss creating an original coiled vessel for you. Thank you for visiting my Artizan Made profile. Health and happiness to you!  Website

 

Firestorm, Art Basket by Lin Bentley Keeling

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