Friends School of Minnesota grandparent Kathie Simon Frank shares: “After many wonderful years of life filled with family and friends, a career I loved, and a little leftover time for my handcrafts and art, I retired early from my job to pursue more “work” with my hands.

Subsequently, in October 2010 I was accepted into the Textile Center’s Protégé/Mentor 18 month program to study more about life as a fiber artist. My inspiring, encouraging mentor is Karen Searle, a St. Paul fiber artist.

I focused my studies on quilting, which I’d begun learning in the 1970’s. I experimented with a technique that I thought I had developed — I call it “fiber collage”. Remember, though, “there’s nothing new under the sun!” and, as I explored more, I came upon information about a 17th century European technique called broderie perse that was similar. I focused my internship on developing a body of work using this technique.

New Studio

Recently I was fortunate to find a small studio in Minneapolis where I can concentrate my studies in fiber in a contained space (instead of all over my home!!). I cleaned and painted it in August (interspersed with a vacation to Washington/Oregon and visits to the State Fair), and moved in near the end of the month.

A room of her own: Kathie’s new fiber studio

I deeply thank my family and friends for their help, contributions of shelves, furniture for storing fabric and yarn, chairs, and all their moral support. Now it’s time to get to work. I look forward to entertaining friends and fellow-artists there. If you have a project, come over to sit, visit, and work together! All are welcome! An open-house is in the plans sometime this fall. Watch for more information about that.

What is Broderie Perse?

From Wikipedia: “Broderie Perse (French for “Persian Embroidery”) is a style of applique embroidery which uses printed elements to create a scene on the background fabric. It was most popular in Europe in the 17th century, and probably traveled from India, as there are some earlier findings there. The technique could be considered an early form of puzzle piecing.

“Broderie Perse can be done with any printed fabric on any ground, but it originally was worked with Chintz type fabrics. Chintz typically has clearly defined, separated motifs, which were cut out and invisibly applied onto the ground fabric. The typical intention was to create a scene from the motifs, but the decoration could also be random. The resulting fabric was often made into bedspreads, either unlined for summer or quilted for winter. They were typically saved for special occasions, such as guest beds.”

Kathie Simon Frank, fiber artist

Kathie Simon Frank is a Friends School of Minnesota grandparent. See more posts about FSMN community members and events.