Ceci Lewis, Textile Center Teaching Artist

“I’d rather do anything other than clean my worktable, but I need to reclaim my space,” says Ceci Lewis, one of Textile Center’s esteemed instructors and an avid indigo dyer who is now encouraging others to clear away the clutter. “The problem is that it’s very hard for people who make art to throw stuff away. Because I like to work with big pieces of cloth, I can’t do anything until I clean that tabletop off.”

As she contemplates her next project, Ceci says she can spend “too much time staring at the wall, confused. Enough of that! I have indigo ready to make myself something to wear, but first I have to clear my worktable.

When her creativity is sparked, Ceci is inspired to put some rhythm into a piece of cloth. “Rhythm occurs with colors playing against or with one another,” she says, “as well as where the marks are laid down. It all creates textures, and that’s about rhythm.

“It’s like a musical piece,” Ceci adds. “If it’s just a plain white piece of cloth, there’s just no sound.”

How does Ceci find motivation? “I tell myself – and anyone really – to first take a deep dive into their imagination and think, ‘this is really my time.’ Remember what it is you said you wanted to do but said you didn’t have time for. What are the things you always push back? Now, it’s the time to get that thing underway.”

Ceci continues, “For example, my current goal is to make a short how-to video. I’d like to show people how to do a running stitch and make stitch resist patterns.”

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