We're thrilled to be hosting an installation in our window by fiber artist Sheila Halali of Halali Studio!
Sheila's 'Mini Hoop Series' was recently on display at the Abrams Claghorn Gallery in Albany. Her work is simply stunning!
We had an opportunity to ask Sheila a few questions:
1. How would you describe your work?
I like to think my work is romantically moody. I try to capture a certain energy and mood in each piece, and always throw in some small whimsical touches.
2. How did you find your way to the Hoop Series?
I try to find as many ways as possible to use my scrap materials and make a slightly smaller impact on the environment. This Mini Hoop Series came out of one of those moments- I had finished my large pieces for the gallery and was left with tons of small remnants.
The mini hoops are actually so much fun because they are quick to make, so you don't have to wait forever to see a finished piece like you do with larger works.
I also love making them because they sell at a much more accessible price point, and open my work up to a wider audience.
3. Where do you find your inspiration?
I've always been quite drawn to words- English was always my favorite class growing up (surprisingly I didn't love art class), and so I think it was kind of a natural form of inspiration when I started my creative journey. I'm constantly inspired by stories- by the human experiences that are so difficult to find words to express. I consider myself a "virtual storyteller" and strive to put those stories and experiences and emotions into a language that anyone can understand.
4. Is your work mainly with textiles?
Yes- My formal training is in Fashion Design, which is where my love of textiles and fibres emerges. I love the malleability of textiles that is hard to find with other materials- when you learn to drape as a Fashion Designer you learn not to force the fabric to do something it doesn't want to you...you have to listen to how the fabric wants to react, and what it is telling you.
That being said, I've recently started finding joy in some hard materials. I made a live edge wood table with the help of my boyfriend's dad, which has sparked an interest in wood. I also worked with copper for the first time for this project and am really excited to do so again.
My work will always be focused in textiles, but I'm really excited to see how I can incorporate and mix new materials in!
5. Art or craft?
Both. Neither. I wish there was a word that combined the 2- that acknowledges the art that exists within craftsmanship. I've always struggled with considering myself an artist, since my training is in Fashion Design. I went to art school, and still never felt like an artist.
There is currently a big movement around the "maker" community, which I find very appealing. Most of the people are Fibre artists, but it includes craftsman, artists, and yes, sometimes even crafters. But they don't discriminate or get hung up on the distinction. It is the most welcoming and friendly community of people around the world- they find their joy in the act of physically making things. This community is where I feel most at home at the moment.
6. What are you currently working on?
I just started a new large weaving- in creams and whites, which is way outside my comfort zone, but I'm trying to push myself this year.
I am also designing and making a friend's wedding dress, which is probably the most exciting thing for me! I have dreams of one day having my own bridal line- nontraditional, with hand-woven, hand-dyed and painted elements. Something for the artistic brides, which I feel is lacking in the market still.
Stop by and check out Sheila's gorgeous window display. Click here
to see more of Sheila's work.
Photos courtesy of Halali Studio