My passion for ‘all things stitchy’ became the art form of choice for many reasons. I love the creative process, the beauty of imperfection and the ability to determine handmade in a nano second. Years of supporting an athletic daughter led to hours of sitting on a bleacher. This time became the foundation of learning the art of stitching. The need to be creative had to become mobile for me, so this medium was perfect. Plus, a giddy zeal for vintage fabrics and notions collected over the years provided enough supply to last a lifetime of ballgames.
Now, the nest is empty and my little bird is off in college. A rented art studio in a wonderful creative community is my home away from home. I am back to ALL things creative. Mixed media, jewelry, art and stitchery seem to be the medium of choice. The creative world for me is blossoming in a new way….I love it. My work has been featured on HGTV, TLC televisions shows, magazines, ‘how-to’ styled books; and I have a book of recipes (that you cannot eat!) entitled “Homemade.”
Ali Kay grew up in West Bend, Wisconsin. She started Positive Space, a decorative painting company in 2002. Ali’s work includes mural painting, faux finishing, and custom fine art commissions. After spending the last 3 years developing her company in Houston, TX, Ali chose to relocate to Chattanooga. She opened the new Positive Space studio at Chattanooga Workspace in the spring of 2013 and is excited about making art in her new city!
Julie Whitehead’s work with hand dyeing began while she studied Fiber Arts at The Savannah College of Art and Design. In 1999 after she received her B.F.A. in Fiber Arts she worked for various carpet and rug companies in the Northwest Georgia area designing and creating color lines for both residential and commercial carpeting. While employed with Shaw Industries, Ms. Whitehead further developed her keen eye for color, texture, and design.
After many years in the design industry, Ms. Whitehead felt her creative-self calling her in a different direction. She decided to start her own hand dyeing company. Julie Belle Designs was born in 2003 as she created hand dyed silk scarves and pillows to show at local festivals and galleries in NW Georgia and SE Tennessee. During a gallery show in 2008 Ms. Jones was commissioned to make a tie dye duvet cover for a local resident. The commission started a great love for experimenting with tie dye to see how far she can take the art of manipulated fabric dyeing.
Although a majority of her tie dye is traditional, Ms. Whitehead places great emphasis on clothing that adds a touch of sophistication. Julie uses techniques from Japan and Thailand to create the more sophisticated women’s clothing. She also spends several days a month having “creative days,” so she can experiment with non-traditional tie dye colors and patterns. Through color use and unique apparel Julie often sells her one of kind clothing to people who thought they would never buy tie dye. Her clothing is a local favorite in her hometown of Chattanooga, TN. Ms. Whitehead currently attends several markets, festivals, and has gallery shows in the SE Tennessee area.
“One of my goals as a hand-dyer is to introduce tie dye in a new light. Of course traditional California tie dye will always be popular but I want to show people that it can be sophisticated as well as fun.”
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