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From The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, released Aug. 29:

HENDERSONVILLE — [“Common Threads: Innovative Textiles Practices in India & Western North Carolina”] explores the work of four fiber artists who optimize collaboration with other individual artists or businesses to create work that is both innovative and viable to the marketplace.

An exhibition at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Hendersonville showcases a collaboration between WNC and Indian artists to highlight innovative textile practices. Here, an artisan working with one of the collaborators, Jabbar Khatri, shows the Bandhani tying process. Photo courtesy of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design has selected two artists from India and two from Western North Carolina who successfully collaborate to refine their craft and expedite production while maintaining the highest quality in selection of raw materials, woven structures and dying processes.

This exhibition will be on view Sept. 9, 2011 through Jan. 27, 2012. A reception and gallery talk with participating artist Catharine Ellis will take place Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 5-7 p.m.

“The exhibition allows us to explore examples of collaborative textile production both locally within Henderson County and abroad in India,” says Stephanie Moore, CCC&D executive director. “The Oriole Mill is a unique enterprise manufacturing textiles in Henderson County in a time where more than a million U.S. textile-industry jobs have been replaced by imports. On the other hand, the textile industry in India is one of the leading segments of their economy and employs about 38 million people.”

From India, designers Bappa Biswas and Jabbar Khatri work closely with local artisans who help them to execute components of their design in various capacities – hand weaving, dying and/or sewing. Both designers, who are internationally known, have achieved success through working with individual artisans. Bappa is based in Kolkata in eastern India and uses a wide range of traditional weaving techniques to create contemporary fabric designs sought after by today’s fashion designers. Jabbar is from Kutch in western India and designs textiles using bandhani, a tying and dying technique that his family has been doing since the late 17th century, which he has adapted for the contemporary market.

In Western North Carolina, fiber artists Barbara Zaretsky and Catharine Ellis each collaborate with The Oriole Mill, a local business creating highly customized fabrics while also making industrial Jacquard looms available to artists. Zaretsky and Ellis each work with the Mill to design certain fabrics that are then hand dyed using their own unique processes. Both fiber artists weave some textiles and collaborate with the Mill for other fabrics.

One of the artists, Barbara Zaretsky, made this dress with fabric woven at The Oriole Mill, then hand-dyed. Photo courtesy of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.

Zaretsky uses natural dyes along with block printing techniques to create her clean, abstract and formal designs for functional textiles. Ellis is known internationally for her woven shibori, a process of weaving and resist that she developed in the 1990s based on the traditional Japanese shibori technique. Through work with The Oriole Mill, Ellis allowed her shibori technique to advance to a different level by designing a woven structure that achieved a laborious hand-process using industrial Jacquard looms.

This exhibition will share information on the unique artistic processes of these four designers and highlight how collaboration has expanded opportunities for creating their work.

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design is located at 1181 Broyles Road in Hendersonville. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays. For more information please visit or e-mail

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Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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