Fiber artist Sierra Cole combines both fine art and functional art in her wool creations. One of her most common creations are her felted hats, which she estimates she makes 400 per year. But Sierra also makes woven scarves on a loom, and spins her own raw wool to make yarn.
But Sierra also makes fine art work, featuring her fibers as well. We talk about her collaborative work with Tom Duimstra, combining her ethereal wool pieces with Tom’s industrial wood scraps. We also get to learn more about her collaborative work with Barbara Lash called The Department Project, creating a series of yarn bombing, adding color to the formerly-drab parking lot that now hosts Movies on Monroe with DGRI.
Sierra says she didn’t always work in fiber art—she started in graphic design and printmaking, and we get to learn in this conversation how she made that transition to a full-time fiber artist.
Now, that “hustle” to be a full-time fiber artist includes a long list of stockists all over the country, carrying her work and another long list of art fairs she participates in to sell her work in person as well. She gives us the inside scoop on how she built that sustaining income and the benefits of the community of artists and makers traveling the country visiting these art fairs together.
“It’s kind of like the family comes together every weekend,” she says of the art fairs, “It can be a really lovely life.”
Follow along on Instagram to see Sierra’s creations, or see them in person at Light Gallery + Studio. And check her website for a full list of art fairs she’ll be selling her work at, and other stockists for those around the country unable to visit the Avenue for the Arts here in Grand Rapids.
All images courtesy of Sierra Cole and Light Gallery + Studio.