One of the aspects of my job that I like the most is to interview fellow sewing and quilting enthusiasts during the Nancy’s Corner segment of Sewing with Nancy. After seeing Kent Williams’ work on display at the Quilt Expo in Madison, WI, I knew that I wanted to get to know the person behind the dramatic wall quilts. With a little convincing, Kent agreed to be on my show. You can see the interview during the series on Copy Cat Patterns. There’s only so much you can learn about a person in a 5-1/2 minute TV interview, so here’s a follow-up chat with a guy that truly understands how color and geometry effectively work together.
Kent Williams grew up near St. Louis and earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois. Although his original intention was to become a lawyer, his creative spirit was better served as a freelance writer. He’s been an art critic, a movie critic, an advice columnist, and a textbook editor. As it turns out, that was the exact experience he needed to become a notable quilt artist.
On his website, Kent refers to himself as a “geometric abstractionist”. I could not resist asking him what that meant.
Kent replied, The geometric part refers to the shapes I tend to work with: squares, rectangles, etc. Even the curvy parts of my quilts owe something to geometry. They look like they’ve been drawn with a protractor and compass. The abstraction part refers to the fact that I don’t tend to depict things. There are no people in my quilts, no kittens, or flowers—just lines, shapes, textures, and color. That said, I do have a landscape series I keep coming back to, but my landscapes are very abstract as well—kind of boiled down to their (geometric) essences. With the landscapes, I’m mostly trying to capture my feeling about a place, and for me personally, the more abstract they are, the more feeling they carry.
I think a picture is worth a thousand words — NOW I get “geometric abstractionist.”
Then, I asked—why do you quilt?
Kent said: That’s a good question! I like the result, for one thing. I’ve never been much of a builder of things, so it’s very gratifying for me to be able to put something together from scraps. Quilting, it turns out, is also a very good way of forcing me to slow down. I’ve tended to be rather impatient in the rest of my life, but much less so since I started quilting. The chief reason I quilt, of course, is that I love quilts. I love the feel of the fabric, the homespun quality, the size you’re able to work with. I think it’s a great artistic medium with a long, rich history. I like being part of that.
Thank you, Kent, for your works of art. You’re an inspiration!
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The random winner of a Trace ‘n Create Bag Template—The City Bag Collection is Joanna. Here’s her comment.
Everything about making a cotton laminate bag is new to me, but using the piping is so smart. I haven’t much success making bags so this fabric may be a good thing to try. I have also read a few other good things in blogland about wonder clips.
Bye for now,