New Exhibit Added to “Textile Revolution”

Visitors can now see a stunning new exhibit on display in ATHM’s core exhibition, “Textile Revolution.”  This piece, titled “Sky into Water / Tides,” is a contemporary work of fiber art featuring optical fibers by artist Laurie Carlson Steger.  The piece has replaced another work of fiber art by Steger, titled “Keyhole,” which was added to “Textile Revolution” in 2011.

"Sky into Water / Tides" by Laurie Carlson Steger

Steger says, “The sky is a point of reference and inspiration. The expanse of the universe, atmosphere and horizon at the point where the ocean meets the sky capture my sense of wonder.”

The basis of “Sky into Water / Tides” is a warp of linen dyed with indigo woven with stainless steel wire as the weft to create a ten-foot long piece of fabric that has been manipulated into gathered ripples to resemble the rolling waves of the sea.  Like the sun or moon shining on water, the stainless steel wire reflects light.  The base fabric was then interlaced of optical fibers, which intensifies the presence of light in the piece.  The surface of the fabric features a lace crochet from white linen, creating the froth of each wave and the background frame is silk that was hand-stitched into gathers, resembling rippled sand.  Vintage crocheted pieces collaged into the piece present another reference to the froth waves on the shore.  Small particles of shells, beads and glass add to the visual discovery of areas within the textile.

Detail of the optical fibers featured in Steger's new exhibit.


Steger is a textile artist and consultant with an interest in intelligent textiles, electronic textiles and fiber optic fabric. She says, “Communication is an inherent purpose of the fibers that I choose, particularly optical fibers. The textile fibers are chosen for the inherent strengths and the qualities that they bring to the fabric construction. What makes me think in terms of ‘how to weave it’? I am part engineer, part day-dreamer, part romantic.”

While growing up in central Massachusetts, Steger learned to weave and sew as a child. She earned a BFA in Textile Design and an MFA in Artisanry/Fibers from The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. She works from her home studio in South Dartmouth, MA. To learn more about Laurie Carlson Steger work, visit her website at and come see “Sky into Water / Tides” on display at ATHM.

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