Buenos Aires, 2014

Buenos Aires, 2014

Artist statement

My name is Eva Camacho-Sanchez, and although I was born and raised in Andalucia, Spain, I have spent most of my adult life in the eastern part of the United States. I learned to create from my mother, who grew up in a poor, rural village, and who had no choice but to make her own clothes and other textiles in the 1940s and 50s. A passion for creating and the importance of self-sufficiency was instilled in me at an early age, though my artistic passion only came alive when, as an adult, I discovered the amazing qualities of wool and the wonderful art of felting. Coincidentally, my father also tended to his family’s sheep flocks while he was in grade school. Unfortunately, he had to leave school at the age of eight to tend to the flocks full time, so it only seems fitting that I continue with a similar connection to sheep and the fibers they produce.

Most of my felting career has been dedicated to creating nuno felted garments. Over four years I went to many art shows, where I sold my work, and many pieces were also sold in galleries, boutiques and museum stores. But I knew that wasn’t going to be it for me. I’ve always admired artists who create conceptual work. and I wanted to be one of them, too. In 2017 I decided to not make anymore wearables and dedicated my artistic career to teaching workshops and making more visual and conceptual work. Although I am devoted to felt, I have also been intrigued by other fibers and fabrics. I have been including other materials such as paper into my work because, through my own experimentation, I learned I was able to make a very durable material by felting mulberry paper into the wool. Mulberry paper is made from the mulberry tree, and it has long fibers which help to give the paper its distinctive finish. This paper originally comes from Asian countries, such as South Korea and Japan. Jiyoung Chung, a Korean paper artist, has been a great influence on my work. The process of Joomchi is very similar to wet felting, and I love how these two techniques can be used interchangeably.

I have also been stitching on a lot of my final pieces, especially since I found slow stitching as a way of meditation. The simple running stitch going through the felt, and not knowing where the next stitch might end up, brings a lot of joy and a lot of peace to me. I’ve been very much influenced by Claire Wellesley-Smith, Alice Fox and Christine Mauersberger, three great fiber/ textiles artists and amazing stitchers.

I am currently working on a few projects. I’ve been exploring all the different possibilities of using paper and wool together, along with the stitching, and this helped me create my latest piece “Hasta Siempre/Forever”, a piece dedicated to my bother, who unexpectedly passed away in February 2018. Another of my recent projects will participate in Human Impact: Stories of the Opioid Epidemic at Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts. Human Impact aims to broaden awareness of the opioid epidemic, while offering messages of hope and resiliency by bringing together artists with families affected by the opioid crisis. The final works will be exhibited at Fuller Craft Museum September 2019 – March 2020. A portion of the exhibition may then travel to partner sites and possibly beyond.

Through my work I also hope to raise awareness of the problems of climate change, while highlighting solutions we can embrace to mitigate the threats and adapt to new environmental realities. I hope to continue establishing relationships within the animal husbandry community (specifically with sheep farmers around the world, many of whom don’t know what to do with the fleeces after their flocks are shorn) to help herders and other livestock-dependent communities understand additional sustainable uses for the materials their animals produce. I have begun teaching fibre arts across the world, and hope to continue my work as an educator. My hope is that all of my work can inspire a more ethical society working towards stronger families and communities upon a more sustainable planet.

A very quick peek of the ancient art of feltmaking!