Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Gordon, Lida Gail


Textile crafts--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions; Costume design; Fashion design; Clothing and dress--Remaking


This thesis accompanies an exhibit of hand-stitched abstract geometric compositions in wool and other fibers recycled from discarded clothing. My work is process-driven, centered in a method of improvisation intended to break down the egocentric, perfectionist tendencies that are a barrier to free artistic action and creativity. An introduction sets the context for inquiry into strategies to pursue creative work fluidly without anxiety. A chronological discussion of specific works illustrates the gradual learning process and research that led me to articulate an effective working practice. Various cultural traditions and artists inform my work: the Gee’s Bend and other African-American improvisational quilts, the wabi sabi aesthetic and historic rural textiles of Japan, Byzantine icons, and 20th century artists Alberto Burri, Andy Goldsworthy, and Alan Thornhill. My method has developed from Zen Buddhist theories of “no mind” (mushin) and “beginner’s mind” (shoshin), along with Nakamura and Csíkszentmihályi’s ideas of “flow”.