photo by Adam Cramb
Textile artist Amber Friedman taught herself how to sew and dye fabric at 10 years old. She studied textiles at New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is currently exploring using text in her batik paintings and working with a variety of local and ancient natural dyes. Friedman is a member of Malaspina Art Society and a founding member of the eCouture Wearable Art Fashion Show. She teaches various textile-based workshops through Powell River Academy of Music, Urban Homesteading School of Powell River and The Arts Building in Gibsons, BC
Are you originally from Powell River? If not what brought you here?
After driving to British Columbia from New Brunswick, I landed on a cherry orchard in Creston, BC, where I met a beautiful woman who invited me to come for a visit to Powell River. So I did and I stayed.
Tell us about your work; what do you create?
I create hand-painted batik wall hangings and clothing using botanical living dyes that I make myself from various plants, roots and barks. I’m really into photo transfers of random imagery and silk-screening photographs and text over my paintings. My artwork is intentional. I work with the chakras and use medicinal herbs to make fabric with healing vibrations.
What medium or work are you most proud of or excited by?
I’m really proud of myself for figuring out how to make botanical dye extracts to use on my batik paintings. I spent years studying direct application through books, practice and travelling to Vancouver to study with people working in the field. I’m excited to be getting back into up-cycling clothing this summer; this is where my whole business started 13 years ago. I’m also proud of myself for facilitating workshops. I was so nervous when I started and now I feel confident and excited.
Do you have any upcoming shows or events?
I’m going to be an artist-in-residence at the FibreWorks Gallery in Madeira Park in early August 2018. I’m hosting Indigo Jamz, a drop-in Indigo night, on May 28 at the Academy of Music from 6 to 9 pm, and stay tuned for dates of my Batik and Botanical Extract Workshop in late June at the Academy of Music.
Where can people see your work online or in person?
Studio Curious this summer, FibreWorks Gallery and online at intentionalfabric.ca.