Joan Lockburner Deuel

Joan Lockburner Deuel, Richford, NY

My work has the appearance of a painting, and the fabric is painted, cut apart and then stitched together.  Many of my quilts have stories as well.  Dichotomy, for instance, is an abstract piece that suggests a cross and the figure of a woman.  At the time this was made my husband and I were considering baptizing our youngest son.  The entire design and construction process was meditative.  In another piece, Three In a Row, I commemorate the many times the boys and I played tic-tac-toe.  It is a series of painted, embroidered  and quilted circles and Xs.  Quilts have a history of having information coded in the pieced or stitched design.  Coding according to Joan Radner and Susan Lanser in Strategies of Coding in Women's Culture has historically been included in many forms of women's stitched work.  At a time when women's opinion was not welcome, women stitched their meditations and anxieties into their creative work for the home.  Historically quilters have used their work as a metaphor for their politics, moral beliefs and personal history.  I myself am making a political statement by choosing to work in this medium as well as honoring women's stitched work throughout time.

Using a sewing machine as a drawing tool I manage involved variations in stitching.  Stitching pulls together various textures, colors and line in each section of the work.  Instead of allowing the machine control the stitch I disengage the control and work the stitches freehand.  This allows the stitched line to be hand manipulated in any direction at any given moment.  It is a way to connect layers as well as direct the eye.

I have a degree in Art from SUNY Plattsburgh.  My work has been included in several national and international exhibitions including Visions, International Quilt Festival and Quilt 21: American Art Quilts.

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