Some people tell a story through words. Others through song. Then there are people like Liz Pemberton of Tobyhanna who finds a unique way to tell a story. Liz creates a story through fabric. She is a fiber artist.
Known for her fabric collages, quilts and wall hangings, she has now added a new dimension to her art. She wrote a poem titled, "An Autumn Sunrise" in 2006. It is a peaceful poem of what she envisions when greeting an autumn sunrise. Then she created pictures out of fabric to tell the story of the poem. The end result is a beautiful book featuring the poem with 16 fabric pictures, titled "An Autumn Sunrise." She has had it self-published.
"It was a lot of hard work. The first time I saw it to proof it, I thought, 'It's amazing.'"
She dedicated it to her four children.
Liz shared this book and her fabric pictures with Suzanne Werfleman's art class students at Pleasant Valley Elementary School.
First she asked the children to close their eyes and she read the entire poem to them. When they opened their eyes, she read each page of the book and showed them the pictures.
She had several of the original fabric pictures to show the students. She explained that first she drew a picture, traced it and then traced it on a piece of muslim fabric. From that, she traced different parts of the picture on various pieces of fabric, cut them out and glued them to the muslim to create a fabric picture.
"I love to create in fabric," she says.
She loves bright, vibrant colors and patterns.
"Like most people, I am moved by color. Vibrant fabrics and the works of other African-American artists do influence my work tremendously."
She told the students that she loves collecting fabric and never throws away any scraps because they may be just the right size for something she will need in the future.
Most of her work is hand-stitched. She showed the children one of her wall hangings.
"I call this my 'Road Trip to Rhode Island.' I sewed by hand all these circles on it while taking and bringing home our daughter from her school, The College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University."
Liz has a background in drafting and has worked for many civil engineering companies. She started quilting in 1995 and began making fabric collages in 2002. She has one of her quilts featured in the national touring exhibition called "Textural Rhythms: Constructing The Jazz Tradition." Her quilt is called "So Jazzy."
Liz travels to different schools working as an 'Artist in Residence' where she helps create large murals for permanent installations, like the ones she has done for PVE in the past, as well as working with the youth in her community, teaching and demonstrating the fine art of quilting and collage.
"My textiles, quilts and collages are meant to be uplifting and to bring a sense of peace to everyone. I strive to convey meaning, symbolism, and truth through simplicity of form with every challenging piece of art that I create. With the help of God, I am doing just what I am called to do, to create beautiful art and to help other people do the same, especially children. Visual beauty is transforming enough, but a colorful quilt or collage enhances the lives of many."
Liz is currently working on a second fabric book, "Wonders of the World."
To view her work or find out more about her book, visit on-line wix.com/lizpemberton/textiles.