Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

Presenting a Gallery of Color ...

Nan Halberg has always been captivated by color and pattern. Games like Chinese checkers and puzzles reinforced this fascination and also piqued a lifelong interest in problem solving. Challenges posed by "follow the dots" or "find the way through the maze" puzzles still engross her; in visualizing them as patterns transposed into colors, "voila!" she exclaims, "there's something very interesting going on."


Nan admits she is one of those people "who can't draw," so it took time and experience for her to realize that she possessed artistic abilities and drive nonetheless. She discovered her creativity through her work in analysis and problem solving as a Finance Project Coordinator, "I spend a lot of time trying to see the 'picture' of a new system or process. If I can draw a diagram or matrix of information, then answers become clearer." Nan realized that she could apply these skills back to more elemental and "fun" stuff. After taking a class in the history of textiles, she started hand dyeing fibers which led to weaving. "Then," she says, "It finally began to 'click.'" She describes her quest, "I finally could see the common patterns or 'threads' (pun intended) of activities that have intrigued me through the years. Now I am more focused on exploring color, fiber, pattern, and find that various activities contribute to ideas and learning across several techniques."


Color and understanding how to combine varied tones and hues has always seemed second nature to her - the more colors, the better! It was finding the variegated threads, such as Watercolours, which drew her back into stitching, in that "color is the point of the piece," but they also posed a dilemma of sorts: "How can I play with these? What will heighten the sensory impact of all of these colors?" It was her love of problem solving which pointed the way. Nan explains: "I started finding pattern possibilities - Celtic knots, Chinese lattice windows, alphabet variations, geometric rug patterns and so on." Contrasts intrigue her too, giving as an example the word, bittersweet, one of her favorites. She sets up challenges - striving to express opposites and other disparities visually.


Her artistic style? "Colorful," she states without hesitation, but also describes it as, "Controlled - I like the challenge of detail and intricacy within the grid of the canvas ­ Musical or poetry composition comes to mind . . . rules like 3 movements to a symphony, or x syllables in haiku etc. . . .provide a framework for creative expression within some pre-defined boundaries. Part of the fun challenge becomes how to convey something satisfying or meaningful within parameters."


Nan's recent focus has been on fabric dyeing and Temari balls. She plans to develop classes for Temari balls due to the widespread interest expressed. Whatever her next project, there's one thing you can be sure of - it will feature colors which compel, contain a challenge to intrigue and combine these attributes in a harmonious yet striking design.

For more information contact Nan Halberg
Colorific Thread and Dye Works
109 Windsor Drive
Petaluma, CA 94952
E mail: nhalberg@home.com

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