My Creative Journey: Part 3 Soft Sculpture

In 1978 I left Boston and moved to New York City. I was immediately inundated with sensory overload. The constant bellow of alarms and sirens, revolting stench of garbage on the street, the sheer immense volume of people and the unnerving hustle and bustle both excited and overwhelmed my nervous system.

We lived in Germantown on the corner of First Avenue and York. I ran the reservoir in Central Park, shopped in 24 hour supermarkets and visited the Met every single day. Creativity oozed out of every pore of my body because every where I looked was unfamiliar and inspiring.

I longed to go to Art School but having studied science my whole life was ill-equipped and obviously deplete of a portfolio.

I researched classes in paper making, book binding and pottery, all of which I attended then one day I discovered that the Embroiderers Guild of America had a chapter in Manhattan. At home with a needle and thread, a sewing machine and fabric I ecstatically signed up and participated. The first class was to make a soft sculpture pendant.

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At the class I was introduce to and enchanted by an incredible off Broadway theater producer and soft sculpture artist who lived at the "First National Church of the Exquisite Panic" on 13th St.

Rhett Delford-Brown was to become my best friend and most remarkable mentor. She invited me to collaborate on a huge sculpture commissioned by the New York Jewish Museum. Made of fabric and over 35 feet long it was an interactive Jonah and the Whale designed for kids to climb on and through.

Over the next year, with Rhett's support, guidance and curation I built a beautiful portfolio of work that included a crocheted coat, a silk screened sarong, an embroidered wall mural, a hand made quilt, a beaded bag, a hand bound book and painted skirt. 

The day finally came to apply to Parsons School of Design. With much trepidation I entered the halls, portfolio in hand. I was interviewed and much relieved; accepted. 

There I met Seaver Leslie.