Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Artist Profile: Robbi Joy Eklow

Robbi Joy Eklow
Third Lake, Illinois

1. What kind of challenges did this theme present to you? After exploring several design ideas, I decided to dive into my “leftover bin” and use some parts from other quilts as a starting point. I found the lovely petals and couldn’t remember why I had set them aside. I worked with them and did remember the stumbling block but I was already moving in another direction. The leafy border on the outside edge was also a good solution to a problem I was having with the space outside the flower.

2. Describe your studio space?  I use one bedroom in my home in Illinois for my “dry studio” (domestic machines, fabric storage, ironing, working wall) and another bedroom for storage of my quilts. And part of the basement holds my APQS Millennium longarm. We are leasing a loft in Omaha, in the Market District and I’m moving into studio space at the Hotshops. I think my longarm and other machines will move there, so I can use it and teach classes there. My small studio in our loft is just the second bedroom, but it has an amazing view out the window, a lagoon, with modern sculptures, and a waterfall. It’s wonderful and I think it will give me some design ideas. The Hotshops space will also be fun, there are lots of other artists there. It’s not so far from the Quilt Museum in Lincoln.

4. Do you ever work in a series?  If so, what benefits or challenges does this present to you as an artist? I have been working in a series for over 15 years, I can’t remember which year I started. I keep exploring other ideas and then fall back to the series, to solve a problem in the next quilt, that I couldn’t in the last. I feel like I’ll stay in this series until I have it perfected. Then maybe one more. My last series was of quilts that had a lot of overlapping and transparent images of vases and other vessels.

5. What other activities do you engage in that “feed” your creative energy? My husband and I got a sailboat a few years ago, a 1985 Pearson 303. It’s small, and old, but it’s a beautifully crafted boat. The Pearson brothers literally started building fiberglass boats in their garage. Remind you of anyone? Anyway, we love the boat and sailing on Lake Michigan, from Waukegan harbor. It’s very good to get out there and just sit on the deck by the mast and look at the water rush by. I come home with ideas.

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