Artist Statement

My favorite aunt asked me once why I took the trouble to make art.  Was it for glory or gain? After pondering that query. I had to tell her that it was neither.  I made art because I had to, just as I have to cough when I feel a tickle in my throat.  To "makers" that sounds very logical and familiar.  To others, it may make no sense.

Until I started making real efforts at creating original work, I thought I had no creativity.  Slowly, as I focused on a particular design challenge, ideas came to me from somewhere I did not recognize.  Delighted with this new discovery, I continued to delve into more techniques and found the same thing happening.  All kinds of answers presented themselves in the most opportune times.  This was really turning out to be fun.

Then it started happening when I was looking at other artist's work.  Their energy seemed to jump off the page, spark with mine and deliver ever more new inspirations.  The impact of devouring visual treats in museums, galleries, books and even the computer, gives me a surge of energy that cannot be ignored.  It carries me along a tide of buoyant excitement and insists that I go upstairs to my studio and get to work. 

The most fun of all is when this muse visits in the middle of the night.   After one very loud and wild evening outside my window in NYC, a brand new whole piece, including title, materials and technique, popped into my brain, all details still in place the next morning.   That was a special gift. And the piece I made didn't vary at all from the original version.  It went all the way to Istanbul, Turkey with me.

With all this inspiration, I explore multiple media, most using textile techniques on paper, acrylic rods, silks and cottons.  Embroidering, shibori dyeing, off loom weaving, machine quilting, copying my work on the copy machine and transferring it to other media, making jewelry from crazy things like hair pins and rubber bands, and painting and melting new materials like Tyvek, give me the most joy I could ever want.  And its all free, well, kind of, if you don't add in all the supplies that line my shelves.

The best part of enthusiasm like this is that it doesn't give you a hangover, usually.  Sometimes, after working until 3AM on a special project in the studio, I do feel a little dull in the morning but that can happen even on the more sensible days.

My mother and I had a favorite expression.  "Interest creates energy."  She would tell me about the night she and her sister were all ready for day's end when they decided to make a quilt.  At 10:30PM, they jumped out of their beds, ran to the quilt room. and made most of a quilt that evening, none the worse the next morning.  Yes, interest does create energy.  So watch out what ideas you allow to penetrate into your inner space.  Once they are there, they insist on being brought into reality, and its your job to do it. 

About Ivy

As a genetically predisposed to fabric and thread person, Ivy Jensen expanded the traits inherited to include surface design, marbling, machine quilting, creating art to wear and jewelry. She uses techniques and materials in new and different ways.

An early class in creative stitchery at the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, crystallized a generalized vision of fiber arts into a fine obsession to do everything that could be done with a needle and thread.  Continued classes and workshops in multiple techniques and design themes educated her urge to create and rounded out a constant motivation to see what would happen if……

Membership in the Houston Area Fiber Artists, the Golden Needle's Quilt Guild of Conroe, the Woodland's Quilt Guild,  the Woodlands Art League, the International Marbler's Association, Friends of Fiber Art International, Studio Arts Quilt Associates, Surface Design Association and the International Quilt Association, provides much motivation to create by their rich and varied calls for entry. They also reward good work by sponsoring beautiful venues that bring great textiles to the public.

In the past decade, Ivy exhibited work at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California, the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Highland Craft Center in Asheville, North Carolina, the Craft Texas Show at the Houston Center of Contemporary Craft, Materials Hard and Soft, in Denton, Texas and at the Texas Museum of Fiber Arts in Austin, Texas and several other galleries in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. 

She also showed textile work at the River Oaks Center in Alexandrea, Louisiana,  3 dimensional marbling  at a Sultan's Palace in Istanbul, Turkey and her garments and art quilts at the  Houston International Quilt Festival. .

Ivy has taught classes in Creativity, Marbling, Needlelace and Alcohol Ink Techniques.  Her B.S. in English from the University of Houston manifests itself in the use of poetry in many pieces, including the inside of several garments, most from other writers and some of her own.           

 Ivy Jensen

Ivy Jensen