In my final series of conversations with Ingrid Restemayer, I posed this question:
Is there a significant person or persons in your life who has influenced your thinking and attitudes about your work?
“My family is definitely the most influential. I often reference coming from a long familial line of fiber artists and craftsmen including generations of quilters, tatters, crocheters, knitters and woodworkers. My immediate family made DIY a lifestyle long before it was a trend.
“But separate from family, there are a number of artists who have touched my life and without whose influence I wouldn’t be doing what I do today.”
Although Ingrid shared many influential individuals, one stood out. It is the story of contrasts with Ingrid’s college friend and artist, Christy Puetz.
“Christy and I first met and studied together at the University of North Dakota where we both graduated with BFA’s, concentratiing in Fiber Arts. Christy has influenced my work for decades first, as young students where I was obsessed with process and a focus on the formalistic qualities of the medium at hand. Christy was the opposite, she used the medium simply as a venue for her ecstatic expression. I saw creativity ooze from her fingertips and was fascinated by her freedom and less dependent nature surrounding craftsmanship. My devotion to craftsmanship could sometimes get in the way of invisioning a satisfying end result. This creative tension was really good for us, pushing and pulling each other to one side or another . Today, we still draw upon those early lessons and continue to guide and encourage each other. I think we are both better artists for it.”
Ingrid surprises me with her new exploration of color. Still evident though is her exquisite craftsmanship including thousands of french knots.
Ingrid Restemayer--Etching, Stitching & Handmade Paper
Christy in contrast has a wonderful free form style and almost controlled chaos in her work.
Christy Puetz, Princess Meatball, 2007
Using playful found objects, Ingrid explores less structure in her stitching. Perhaps influenced by Christy at some level?
Ingrid Restemayer, Redwork--Checkerbox
And Christy’s recent work highlights her beading craftsmanship. Lessons learned from Ingrid?
Christy Puetz, Blue Ringed Octupus Skin, 2008