The Franklin Gallery at RiverStones Custom Framing, 33 N. Main Street, Rochester, will host an exhibit during December entitled Thread Painting, featuring the work of seacoast artist, Melanie Lovering. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, December 2, from 5 to 6:30. The public is invited to attend.
Melanie has been working with fiber since she was a little girl. “My mother and grandmother were both seamstresses. At nine years old, I was designing my own Barbie doll clothes with my crochet hook. When I was twelve, I was working for my neighbor, making piece-work fabric doll clothes. By 1977, I was teaching quilting and making women’s sportswear for the Red Mill in Rye, NH.” She continued to teach sewing and knitting while working full-time as an elementary school guidance counselor.
In 2001, Melanie discovered thread painting while attending the Vermont Quilt Show that year. “Seeing Christine Fries-Ureel’s quilt Miranda: The Tempest at that show was a life-changer for me. I loved how she thread-painted Miranda’s red hair. Soon after, I took a class with Christine and began my thread painting adventure. I have studied with Nancy Prince, Jennifer Day, and Susan Brubaker Knapp. All of these artists have contributed to my current style.”
Melanie has lived in New Hampshire all her life, a place where she can enjoy everything from the mountains to the seacoast. Her work is inspired by nature where she likes to stop and take photographs. These photographs are the basis for her work, which she has printed on fabric. “To give my work a 3D appearance, I highlight the fabric printouts with thread and use them as backgrounds for my thread paintings. I free-hand thread paint animals, birds, and butterflies in an embroidery frame that is placed under my sewing machine needle. These separate pieces are then attached to the background fabric.”
She has taught thread painting at the Art Quilt Bee three times which is a division of the Cocheco Quilt Guild (2012, 2014, and 2017). In the summer of 2017, Melanie gave a demonstration and taught thread painting out at the Isle of Shoals Dream Quilting Conference on Star Island. In 2019, She was asked to do a demonstration on thread painting for the New Hampshire Maker & Food Festival.
The Franklin Gallery and RiverStones Custom Framing are open Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Unless otherwise indicated, all exhibited Franklin Gallery artworks are available for purchase. For information about this and future Franklin Gallery exhibits, contact Kris Ebbeson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-812-1488.