Maria Tinnell is a fiber artist whose focus is on coiled basketry. She creates her work by wrapping unwaxed linen thread over a braided nylon core, stitching each coil to the next as she proceeds.
Tinnell arrived at this process after exploring a wide variety of approaches to textile art, falling in love with the linen and the surprising durability it brings to her work. The basket as a form carries expectations of functionality that makes the use of fiber materials a small surprise, but these baskets are impressive for the balance of strength and aesthetic appeal, with designs of strong color and pattern that blend traditional and contemporary sensibilities.
“I love making coiled baskets; they are simple and natural. Stitching by hand I do not require loud machines or protective gear, just my hands, needle, thread, and maybe some beads. Historically, baskets have been both basic and decorative. They can help tell a story, record important occasions, and pass guarded messages.
In addition to stand-alone baskets, I have created wearable baskets combining beadwork to match the colors of the linen. I integrate beads and other objects within the baskets. I began experimenting with oral and leaf shaped beads to create draping coils, and I am currently working on baskets with a focus on nature's patterns. Butterfly wings, ladybug and bumble bee patterns, as well as floral and leaf patterns.”
Tinnell’s work has been featured in Arts Across Kentucky and Louisville Today magazine. She has been a Member of LAFTA since 1999 and currently has work at Craft[s] gallery on Fourth Street.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA with major in textiles, University of Louisville
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.