AIR Interview: Sarah Finkle
Sarah Finkle, one of our AIR Cycle 8 residents, works with wool roving and natural fibers to create soft and inviting sculptures. Her technique of choice at the moment is crochet, with no hooks or needles, which allows her the freedom to let the material inform what the piece will look like. She has been exploring new techniques and processes during her time at TAC that have given way to new experimentation in her practice. I had the pleasure of talking to Sarah about her upbringing with textiles and how she envisions her work transforming in the future.
“I got started in textiles at a young age, learning to sew and crochet from my mom when I was very little. It was something that was always around the house and part of my childhood. Both my mom and grandmother were sewers/makers/textile enthusiasts, whether it was sewing, crocheting, cross-stitch, or quilting. I remember my grandmother always had some sort of very old family quilt that she was re-backing and restoring. I was always eager to learn a new technique or was creating new knitting projects for myself. It wasn’t until college when I was able to take a fiber arts class and learned to weave on a floor loom and more about the history of textiles that I realized their possibilities. I realized that what I saw as my hobby was more my passion and what I wanted to, and was able to, pursue.”
“When I work on my pieces, I typically like to come in and sit with my work a bit before I start. I gather my ideas and plan what pieces or processes I want to explore that day. Once I start making the work I pay attention to how the material is forming and let that guide how the work develops.”
On her experience at TAC:
“It’s been a wonderful experience having both the space and community to grow within. I’ve been able to explore new techniques and ideas I wouldn’t have otherwise. As well, having a community to bounce ideas off of has been a really helpful and motivating space to work within. It’s definitely made me not only experiment with how I see my work, but also the processes I use to create.”
“I love working with wool and other natural fibers. There is something really inviting about roving as a material that lends itself to so many possibilities. In my current work I crochet with roving, using just my hands (no hooks or needles) and the material. I usually have a form or general shape in mind as a starting point, but let the material, in a way, inform how the piece develops. It’s a balancing act between my vision and what the material wants to do. I end up learning a lot this way, about the material and different techniques that work best, and discovering new shapes and forms that help inspire the next piece.”
On who influences her work:
“Some artists that have always inspired me are Nick Cave, Ernesto Neto, Ann Hamilton…the scale they work within and how their work interacts with the audience and how the audience can interact within their work has always been really exciting and inspiring.”
On how she envisions her work in the future:
“I would love to work larger, creating full fiber environments for an audience to explore, that include both vast and intimate spaces. I’m really fascinated with playing with scale and how our interactions differ within these spaces, and the comfort and discomfort that comes with both. I’m currently exploring the ideas of personal and intimate spaces, but am curious how my work would change on this larger scale.”
Check out the video below to see Sarah in action!