Constance Collins

Constance Collins

I became a weaver as an undergraduate in Indiana University’s Fine Arts department. Over the years, I pursued my artistic expression while honing my craftsmanship to an expert level. While in Chicago, I did production weaving for VanVechten Textiles, making fabrics for Henredon and other furniture makers. I also enjoyed teaching Digital Textiles as an Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Art’s Fashion Design program.

Moving back to Indianapolis let me focus solely on weaving and it has been a full-time effort for 6+ years. During this time, I focused on handwoven wearables made from eco-friendly and sustainable alpaca, bamboo & silk yarns. My swatches and samples are the source materials for abstract collages that address environmental or social issues metaphorically. I also hand make paper from my remnant warp yarns and incorporate it in my pieces. There is a synergy between the precise patterns in my wovens and the randomness of the paper that appeals to my design aesthetic.

Artist statement:
My artistic expression contains 3 key elements: pattern, color and texture. I became a weaver because it requires all of these. I hand-weave all my fabrics from sustainable and environmental-friendly alpaca, bamboo & silk yarns. Then I upcycle my swatches & samples, repurposing them to create my artwork.

Architecture and Gustav Klimt are major sources of inspiration for my patterns and designs. I have always appreciated architecture’s precision, angularity and the beauty of functional form. As a child, I would draw patterns while others drew their pets or family. As I grew, my eye recognized patterns in everything from nature to buildings to menswear. I was always admiring the precise beauty inherent to them.

Color provides emotional impact to everything in our world. The interplay between colors intrigues me and is critical in my fabric design process. Integrating color into the patterns I design strengthens and complements them rather than overwhelming. Crisply defined patterns are the foundation of my work.

Texture adds a dimensional component to our lives and is my third element. As the name implies, Textiles are tactile and to me, the hand of a fabric is critical. When selecting yarns, weight and feel are key considerations.

Weaving is a slow Zen-like process, allowing my ideas to expand as the fabric is growing. I use my fabrics as others use paints & inks, making them the source material for my artistic statements. My collages are abstract reflections on societal issues like climate change, pollution, racism, social injustice and inequality. Disrupting the natural order of the fabric by cutting into it to create something new is simultaneously exhilarating and scary. When finished, I achieve a kaleidoscope of intersecting designs and patterns. Like a pointillist painter, my pieces delight from afar yet reveal new intricacies upon closer inspection.

Still Life Painting Artwork
Still Life Painting Artwork
Still Life Painting Artwork