Robbi Joy Eklow
In the studio - Tuesday - Friday, 1 - 4 p.m.
Hours subject to change. To ensure artist availability, please email.
Robbi Joy Eklow grew up in the Chicago area, working with fibers of various sorts from early childhood. She earned an Engineering degree from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, and moved back to the Chicago area with her husband, Brian. She started making art quilts in the 80's, eventually teaching classes and showing her work in national quilt shows. She's traveled Internationally to teach art quilting. She wrote a bi-monthly column in Quilting Arts Magazine for 12 years, and has written two books about quilting. Her work has appeared on the cover of several magazines. In 2017, she moved to Omaha, and has had a studio at the Hot Shops since June of that year.
I like math because there is always a definite answer. I think the shapes created by geometry are beautiful. I'm interested in how the world can be defined by math, and specifically, I like to use the numbers that are used in astronomy and time keeping. While many things around us are arbitrary, the relationship between the earth, the moon and the sun are not. You can divide a day in an arbitrary fashion: 24 hours, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. But a day is defined by the earth rotating once around its axis.
The moon takes 28 days to rotate around the earth. We know this because we can watch it wax and wane. The tides are affected by the way the moon rotates. Women carry the tides within our bodies, and that interests me. There are thirteen lunar months in a year, 52 weeks, seven days in a week. I use those numbers in my designs.
The structure of my designs consist of rotational symmetry, using divisions that I've just mentioned. I use shapes that occur in nature and in mathematics; the spiral, arches. Shapes from culture include greek keys and gears. I arranged these in groups of lunar numbers sometimes adding multiples of twelve, as divisions of time. I create my own fabric with procion fiber reactive dyes, usually draping it over a pole and pouring the dye down, creating color that flows like water. I use fused appliqué, leaving the edges raw, and free motion quilting to hold all the pieces on and to create a secondary design.
I enjoy the mix of precision in the appliqué, and irregularity of quilting patterns that vary, while fabric edges sometimes fray.
Humans strive for perfection, but only nature is perfect.