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Canisters of natural dye powder in a row lined up on a windowsill.|Close up of Kristen Dettoni's hands working on punch needle artwork.|Two images of original punchneedle artwork created by Kristen Dettoni

Heading to Convergence 2022?

The Handweavers Guild of America is hosting Convergence, its International Fiber Arts Conference, in Knoxville, Tennessee, July 15 – 21, 2022. Convergence 2022 is an event hosted every other year full of workshops, lectures, tours, exhibits, competitions, and more. It is also a place for the fiber arts community to come together. Attendees build community while learning and inspiring each other.

At this year’s event, Kristen has one piece of original artwork on view in the juried exhibit, Symphony of the Mountains. A mixed media exhibit, this exhibit was open to work created in any media using any fiber art technique. Author and Convergence keynote speaker Kathleen Curtis Wilson juried the submissions.  

Color Study in Kamala Yellow

The piece accepted into the exhibition is titled Color Study in Kamala Yellow. Kristen created this punch needle piece on cotton monk’s cloth, using wool yarn she naturally dyed. In this piece, she used Kamala yellow, cochineal, and indigo from Botanical Colors.

For Kristen, texture, color, and pattern occupy both her physical and mental space. She is fascinated by how an image changes depending on its relationship to the materials and technique used, as well as the scale. In this piece, the subtly and the inconsistency of the stitches created using the punch needle technique create their own pattern. Kristen alternates between cut pile and pile loops to add additional dimension.

This piece is also an exploration of several dyes and the joy of color blocking. During her dyeing process, Kristen loves mixing pigments and exhausting dye baths to see how the color changes and fluctuates. After dyeing, she plays with her dyed skeins and arranges them into interesting color stories.

Photo by Erin Long Photography

For Kristen, the punch needle process is very meditative. She first learned this technique on a creative trip to Scotland. As many entrepreneurs who work from home can probably relate, she also enjoys the flexibility of being able to create artwork away from her studio and desk. Lightweight and portable, Kristen often enjoys making her color study pieces on her deck or even at the beach.

If you’re heading to Convergence 2022 and want to see Kristen’s piece in person, Symphony of the Mountains will be on view July 15 – 18 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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