Shoshanna Schwimmer now has five pieces of art work on display in the lobby of Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT). Two are her special blend of fabric, stitching and ornaments.
The larger one will be a donation to the theatre art auction on Saturday, July 12. Another is pastels, as taught by Rose Dobbins of Greenbrier Artists, and two are Scherenschnitte, the German-Swiss tradition of paper cutting. Paper cutting is an ancient tradition going back to at least the sixth century in China. Wikipedia says it was done in most of middle Europe by the 16th century. Scherenschnitte (meaning “scissor cuts”) began in Switzerland and Germany at that time and was brought to America by immigrants in the 18th century. The designs are intricate and often symmetrical. Schwimmer uses designs from books but eventually hopes to create her own.
Schwimmer’s current fabric work started in a class at Cedar Lakes, near Ripley, where she planned to work in lavender and other pastel colors, but the teacher said “More orange, more red, more gold!” Since then, she realized that what makes winter challenging is not only being too cold to garden, but missing color. So now, after the last flowers have given up, she goes through her (color-coded) collections of fabric, beads and ornaments, to find what feels nourishing. This brings joy, and finding just the right sizes and combinations brings satisfaction. Over time she started mixing fabrics, using unusual threads, and adding beads, especially crystals, and other trim. Her work has become more complex, as she adds layers and ornaments. A piece is only done when it is as beautiful as she can make it. She always adds something for the viewer who looks more carefully.
“Craving Copper” was originally called “Craving Copper in Winter” and was not for sale, but now Schwimmer has decided to part with it and donate it to the theatre. This is her 12th year contributing to the GVT art auction.
Schwimmer’s art quilts have been shown at GVT, Carnegie Hall, City Hall and the Lewisburg library. They are in private collections in the U.S. and Canada.