Joan Schlichting
Nipomo, CA

E-mail -



Artist Statement


I use fiber to interpret the natural world around us. 

My early memories are of our farm in Minnesota. I grew up being surrounded by our crop growing grid. It was comforting to live among these repeating square and rectangular shapes, but I also loved the way the grid was interrupted to make way for rivers, boulders and trees. 

Traveling in other parts of the country have shown me many jewels of nature; some vast in scope, and others are small vignettes of color and texture. The need to travel, explore, and absorb the textures and a shape of the land is important to my inner peace and creative inspiration.


How I work

I start with a shape in nature, but the colors tend to be whatever feels good to me at the time. I sometimes say that I “build my art.” The creativity part is in the dreaming and imagining the piece. Then I plan out the shapes and colors and make the parts that are assembled into the finished piece. This is a system I’m completely comfortable with and don’t feel it takes away from the creative free spirit of making art.

I first started creating my textured 3-d fiber art using burlap that I dyed myself, added free form stitching to create detail/interest in special areas. I decided that burlap wasn’t the most permanent of materials and switched to tapestry weaving with 3-d elements added. The tapestry technique to me tends to be a little restrictive in some ways, so I have started experimenting with felt making. Felting is a little more creatively flexible, allowing for more changes as the process moves forward. At this point I’m still working on techniques of felting to find out what is possible.

Where I’ll end up concentrating my efforts between 3-d tapestry or 3-d felting is unknown, but I’m looking forward to the journey.