Kaly Scheller-Barrett is a local weaver + fiber artist, as well as the sole creator behind the brand Scheller + Suns. Kaly has created a line of handwoven rugs to sell here at Kestrel, and we are beyond thrilled to be showcasing such fabulous local craftsmanship in our store. Her rugs are made from 100% recycled vintage flour sack cotton, handwoven + hand dyed with all natural indigo dye. We asked Kaly to answer a few questions for us for our Meet the Maker feature, here's what she has to say...
Name + Age: Kaly Scheller-Barrett, 24
Place of Birth: Fürth, Germany
Current Location: Northampton, MA
Mantra: ; )
Tell us about your work, your relationship to textiles + fabric, and how your practice has taken form over the years: Ever since I can remember I've been an extremely tactile person, so when I first learned to weave while studying towards my BFA it came very naturally. For the past four years my work has been really heavy and conceptual. I started making rugs about six months ago as a way to give my brain a break from doing work that was really intense both to make and to think about. There's something indescribable about the meditative nature of fiber work that allows me to decompress physically and mentally. The payoff is even better if the end result is something beautiful that i love and care about!
What inspires you: My peers, Anni Albers and all of the Bauhaus weavers, Japanese Boro and Sashiko, light and shadow, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, tools, ritual, utility.
What challenges you: I think pursuing the arts in any form is its own challenge. It can be tough trying to strike a balance between doing the work necessary to support yourself financially and the work that feeds your soul and supports you mentally. I'm definitely still working towards finding what works for me.
Describe your relationship to other art forms + how they relate to or differ from your textile work: I was raised by my mother who is a master potter, so I grew up around craft media. I think that there is something really special about traditional craft materials (fiber, clay, metal, and wood) that by their very nature speak directly to our tactile sensibilities. What's unique about these things is that beyond having the ability to translate into fine art, they take on really commonplace uses that we tend to overlook--so when an artist turns them into something that blurs the line between art and function, our gaze shifts and the mundanity of the object melts away. It becomes precious! I think that's what's special to me about working in fiber. I feel like as an artist and a craftsperson I am in the unique position of shifting how people look at everyday objects.
Plans you have for new + forthcoming work: I'm currently in the process of warping a set of large rugs. There's something really special about making something bigger than your own body, so I can't wait to get to work on those! I'm also showing some of my conceptual work in a few different places this fall which is always something to look forward to.
More about Kaly and her work here: