Welcome to our newest member, Luann Gilligan of Round Lake, New York, who joined Valley Artisans Market in December of 2016.

Luann has been fascinated and intrigued by fabric all of her life. She has been sewing since she was 12 years old and has enjoyed all kinds of handwork: embroidery, quilting, silkscreen and surface design using paints and dyes. She went to school for clothing and textile design then went on to have an interesting path working as a sample maker for Carter’s Childrenswear, doing theater costuming work and partnering in a small company that designed and produced figure skating apparel. She has also worked doing bridal alterations.

Decades of loving fabric has led to a wonderful collection of cloth. “I’ve collected a lot, mostly in the category of bits and pieces,” she says. She stumbled upon Shibori while trying to figure out a way to make something with all those bits and pieces.

“My current work is dying natural fiber cloth with natural indigo plant dye. I use a technique called Shibori, which involves folding, clamping, stitching, twisting the fabric, then dipping it repeatedly in the dye vat. Everything is then washed, cut and sewn together,” she says.

Shibori is like tie-dye. The way Luann folds or twists the fabric will result in different patterns and designs with some areas of the cloth remaining white from being tightly wound up.

Luann currently has table runners and table toppers for sale at VAM and is interested in new twists on traditional methods for her work. “I’m interested in more experimentation with the circle theme and in moving away from the very traditional examples of shibori to develop more abstract pieces for the wall or for art quilts,” she says. “I’m also quite infatuated at the moment with sacred geometry and the Fibonacci number series for design layout.”

When she isn’t immersed in the joys of fabric, Luann is busy with many fascinating jobs, including working with an autistic child, cooking for an alternative food store, as well as finishing an apprenticeship to become a Reiki Master. She is certified to teach yoga and meditation and is developing a Conscious Breathing course for people who are stressed and overwhelmed. “Everyday is different, and I squeeze the art work in where I can,” she says.

For more information about Luann, check her bio.