Textile Works by CAS Members Barbara Barron, Robin
Berson, Sandra Flannery and Helen Radinery
I have always loved handcrafts. Since childhood I have embraced hand embroidery.
In later years I became a certified teacher of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.
When retiring from my fiber gallery after 24 years, I began quilting.
My first projects were simple and friends and family enjoyed my efforts. After a while I began using machine embroidery, including thread painting and painting on fabrics. I have entered the world of contemporary artistic quilt-making. It has been a great blessing for me to have been given the opportunity to create artwork for sanctuaries. For me it is an “hiddur mitzvah.” I love the colors and textures of fabrics and am a great collector of handdyed batiks. Currently, I have been accepted as a volunteer at Shakespeare & Co’s famed Costume Department and am learning tailoring. This is a very exciting new adventure for me.
Barbara Barron is a fiber artist who specializes in Judaica and works with quilted machine applique, using photo transfer techniques, hand-dyed batiks, Dupioni silks and metallic threads. She lives in Lenox, MA. and Delray Beach, FL. and received her BA from Hunter College, her MA from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and studied fiber and ecclesiastical embroidery at Oxford University and the Royal School of Needlework in London,
England. She operated Barron Designs, a fiber art gallery in Deer Park, N.Y., for 24 years, creating commissioned wall hangings for commercial and residential interiors. Working in the tradition of her faith, she has created over 50 Judaic curtains, Torah covers and wall hangings. Her Torah cover won the prestigious Avis
Lee & Abraham Neiman Judaica Prize Competition by the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach and was purchased for its permanent collection. In addition, she has had numerous one-person and group exhibits throughout the United States and Japan, including Pindar Gallery in Soho, N.Y.
My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet when I was five years old, and I haven’t stopped since. I challenged myself to learn all (well, almost) the needle crafts, so I’ve done a variety of embroideries, needlepoint, weaving (floor loom, inkle loom, card-weaving), and even tatting. (I have also taught history, edited a small scholarly journal, written three books, and run a high school library.) My current passion is for large quilts that memorialize and honor endangered workers and others in crisis situations. The newest project, just getting underway, is for a quilt honoring women with metastatic breast cancer.
I started learning to quilt in 2000 when we bought our house in the Berkshires. I love bright colors and contemporary designs. It took me quite a while to learn that it was okay to mix colors and designs that don't go together in a classical way.
I usually machine quilt as I don't have the patience to sit and hand quilt for months at a time. I often make quilts to give to family and friends for special occasions. Most quilts I make because I love working with the materials, colors and designs.
[The quilt in the show, Stepping Stones, I made in 2003. It was the first one in which I hand sewed the appliques. The sides were quilted on the
machine. The top and bottom designs were hand quilted.]
Helen Radin has been a Berkshire resident and CAS member since 1995. Her mother was a designer and dressmaker who delighted in creating fashion using diverse fabrics. Helen chose to define her medium using a variety of threads.
In prior years Helen lived in New York City and Englewood, NJ. She is a retired Jewish Community Center Pre-school director, teacher and camp director.
Her embroidery and needlepoint work began when she was a stay at home mom for several years in the late 1960's and early 1970's. (Chagall Window Needlepoint). In the 1980's and early 1990's while working full time Helen found embroidery to offer her a relaxing outlet and joined a weekly group led by an Embroidery Guild master teacher. The Victorian houses, Manhattan landscape and samplers were created during that period.
Currently, Helen prefers hand knit projects which are portable--a knitting bag generally accompanies Helen to meetings and events. The projects then find their way to the homes of friends and family.