I LOVE fabric. I have been sewing for over 50 years and still haven’t tired of it. I have been dyeing my own fabrics for about 12 years, which adds another dimension to the pleasure of creating with fiber.
Although I may start out with a sketch of the desired results, much of my designing is done on the wall during the sewing process. Most of my fabrics are free-cut without using a straight edge. During the process of laying one shape of fabric next to another, I consider the impact of the color of one piece on the pieces surrounding it and on the work as a whole, the possibilities of pattern moving across the surface, and the relative significance of shapes as they become part of families or isolated instances. For me, this spontaneous designing is the most engaging part of the quilting process.
I enjoy both machine and hand stitching. I have a longarm quilting machine, and really enjoy dense machine quilting. I also like large, embroidery-type hand stitching that really stands out. For the past few years I have been experimenting with using both machine and hand stitching on my pieces.
Bonnie Bucknam has been sewing since early childhood. In high school she launched a successful mail order business manufacturing fabric purses. Since then she has always made art to enjoy and market. Bonnie grew up in Long Beach, California and graduated from California State University Long Beach with a degree in Anthropology and Geology. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Alaska. She worked as an archaeologist and warehouseman building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. She remained in Alaska for 31 years, spending most of those working as a legal assistant at the Alaska Attorney General’s Office in Anchorage. She always used every “spare” minute to create fiber art. In 1997 she started a business, Handwerk, to market her quilts and hand-dyed fabrics. In 2006, Bonnie retired from legal work and relocated to Vancouver, Washington, where she now makes art full-time.
Bonnie's abstract compositions are inspired by the colors and shapes of the natural world. Bonnie’s quilt “Crater” won Best of Show at Quilt National 2011. She has also exhibited in Visions San Diego, Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth, and numerous times in the biennial Earth, Fire, and Fibre exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Bonnie was part of the solo artist series at the Anchorage Museum in 1995, in Quilts: Stitching a New Tradition. Internationally, Bonnie’s work has appeared in the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart, Germany, the Museum of Modern Art in Verona, Italy, and other venues in Germany, France, Japan, England, Ireland, Brazil, and the Netherlands. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Tuch + Technik Textile Museum in Neumunster, Germany, the Patchwork Design Collection in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the State of Alaska Art Bank.