Fiber artist Barbara Dorfman bought her first loom in 1975. She learned the basics of traditional weaving at the Craft Center at SUNY Stony Brook, and continued with individual instruction. Inspired by artists who used fiber work (weaving, stitching, knotting) who were being recognized in the sphere of fine art: Judy Chicago, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney. Dorfman studied with artists such as Tamar Shadur, an accomplished Israeli tapestry artist taught the basic skills. and Carol Russell, author of “The Tapestry Handbook” and internationally recognized tapestry weaver.
“The materials serve as my primary inspiration: texture, color, feel. Most of my art is made by improvisation and reflects both natural phenomena and inner experiences. Many of the pieces in this show start with loom construction and continue with off-loom work once the weaving is cut off the loom. I work in a studio in my home that is bursting with wool, linen, flax, sheep locks, stones, wood, artifacts. Fibers produced some of the earliest creations made with human hands. Recent discoveries indicate that woven mats and cloth existed 27,000 years ago. Indigenous cultures around the world developed their own styles of creating textiles. I give thanks to those weavers before me, and to the sheep and plants that supply me with an such an incredible medium for making art.”