The background story…is it important?
Barbara Zaretsky would definitely say that it is. Where does the source material come from for her textile creations? What about the dyes used in adding color to the fabrics? Are these components sustainable and harvested responsibly?
Making these fundamental decisions as a textile artist means forgoing any saving on lower cost materials. But, as a result, the end product has a unique and enduring character all its own. Each piece is made with careful consideration at every step of the process.
Barbara has devoted her career to creating textile home furnishings and clothing that are produced with thoughtful and well-researched methods. Her dyes are from plant sources including indigo, madder root, pomegranate and chestnut. The fabrics are made from sustainably harvested silk and natural linen. Barbara’s primary goal is stated here: “I believe that an object has more meaning when the owner understands the connection to the way it was made…and values the process. With each product I make, I aspire to bring beauty and harmony into my customer’s lives, but also to advocate for the sustainable use of our planet’s resources”. Barbara has many pieces in private collections across the U.S. and her work has appeared in Victoria magazine, Metropolis, Southern Living, Our State and other regional and national publications and blogs.
Textile manufacturing in the United States is undeniably a big business…and much of it has moved overseas to be even bigger. The fine craft artisan working in a textile medium has tremendous challenges because of the abundance and availability of ready to wear and home furnishings. It takes perseverance to do things differently… to go against the norm we are so accustomed to in our society.
To see this perseverance in action go visit Barbara’s Asheville art studio with me and experience the plant dye materials, dyepots, fabrics being prepared, and the many beautiful finished items. You’ll want to look closely and feel how wonderful these textiles are for yourself.