Fiber Artist and Potter Tanya Prather is deeply influenced by nature, and specifically the patterns and texture that occur within it. She began her explorations with ecoprints over 20 years ago while living in Virginia. Her home base is now New Hampshire, but she enjoys the opportunity to travel and work with different “palettes” of plants in other locations (most notably Colorado). A self-described “fiber artist…and sometimes other things”, Tanya is always trying new processes and playing in other media (such as, most notably in recent years, clay). She finds that those ventures inevitably spiral back and create an interesting dialogue with her core work. An ecoprint is a balance between artist and medium, requiring both intention and surrender. It is a process in which organic materials (leaves, flowers, bark, berries) are laid directly onto the surface of fiber (silk, wool, linen, cotton, or paper) and then bundled or compressed. Through either a heat or cold process, the fiber is submerged in water and the dyes from the plant materials are transferred to become permanently bonded with the fiber. Trace minerals in the water (iron, copper, aluminum) may influence color and transfer in subtle ways. The method of compression impacts whether the resulting image is a direct print or more nuanced and abstract. The season of foraging, soil in which the plants grew, freshness of the botanical material, and a myriad of other infinitesimal factors make it impossible to ever reproduce results.
While an ecoprint is guided by the artist’s hand and vision, mindful toward color, contrast, form and balance, the image takes on a life of its own. It embodies a moment, representing a unique convergence of being.
Her studio is located in the Picker Collaborative Artists building at 3 Pine Street in Nashua, and she is available to meet by request. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 603.557.2806
You can watch her interview on Dracut Access TV here.