Susan Leschke, Textile Center Teaching Artist 

For Textile Center Teaching Artist Susan Leschke, this time of quarantine has led not only to a change of focus in her practice, but also a time of slowing down. 

“Before social distancing was in place, I was very busy doing many things other than working in my studio,” Susan says. “Because I was forced to stay in, I have been able to focus more in my studio, first organizing the space and then creating. I have been able to take time and sketch, go through materials, and consider more thoughtfully how to proceed.” 

With so much time for Susan to create these days, she has done many things to stay inspired. “I’ve pulled out paints and played around, sorted through my fabrics, threads, and old sketch books to see what called to me, and met with my critique group via Zoom to catch up on what we are all doing.” 

Susan is fascinated with birds. Her current project is finally using the pattern she made for embroidering birds awhile back. “I’ve got a small pile of birds that are in various stages of being embroidered, and I’m experimenting with embroidery styles and techniques.” 

She has also stepped up to the plate of sewing face masks for local health care works due to supply shortages during this pandemic. 

Increased time in solitude has led to some reflections that Susan will carry with her. “Because I am actually enjoying this time to myself, I have discovered that I need more of it than I was getting. I’m going to be carefully considering what I commit to in order to have more time to focus on working in my studio.” 

When all of this passes, Susan is most looking forward to “seeing family and friends, going to the library, and of course, visiting everyone at Textile Center!”