Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Terry Bouchard

The Canadian prairies have been home for Terry Bouchard for the majority of her life. She earned a BA from the U of M and an MLS from the U of A. She then worked in the Middle East for ten years before retiring to Victoria, B.C. in 2008.

Terry was born in a large rural family and remembers how resourceful and frugal her mother was as she took used clothing and up-cycled them into new clothing and blankets for her eight children. These unforgettable memories and her love of the environment prompted Terry to honour her mother when creating her pieces. She does this by recycling used materials and up-cycling them into her own works of art.

As a self-taught artisan Terry believes that attention to detail is paramount. Her artistic fulfillment comes from designing and hand stitching her original creations. She prefers hand stitching and avoids the use of a sewing machine whenever possible. Although this type of work is time-consuming every stitch becomes a labour of love and gives the piece a personal touch.

As her mother did, Terry has rejected most synthetics in favour of recycling natural materials. She sources used woolen blankets and previously owned leather garments from thrift shops. The blankets are then machine washed at least twice in very hot water and dried for several hours in a hot dryer in order to complete the felting process, creating a wonderful medium in which to work.