Debrah Block Krol shares her fiber portfolio and talks about inspiration, technique and business.
ABI: Considering your background as a fine artist, how did you start working with fiber?
DBK: It feels like I have been around fiber and textiles my entire life. My mother, an artist herself, studied fashion design and was an avid seamstress—she taught me to sew at age 4. I had one of those miniature hand cranked singer sewing machines. I have loved textiles ever since.
Fiber, in all it’s incarnations is very seductive to me. My projects have included embroidery, knitting, sewing and other traditional needle art forms. Having earned a BFA in painting, I have worked with oil and acrylic paints, metals , fabric and yarn.
ABI: What do you love most about your collections?
DBK: I have a lifelong love and passion for color, form and texture, and I incorporate them in all my pieces. The texture of silk is magical in the way it flows and drapes.
I love when my customers try on my work, it adds a fantastic dimension to the piece and brings it to life.
Wool roving, a basic material in felting is a textural wonderland. There are so many varieties of wool with different shapes. I have been fortunate enough to connect with small independent dyers who create gorgeous colors combinations as well.
ABI: How did you start wholesaling, and what are your plans now?
DBK: I have really just been dipping my toe into wholesaling, and I would like to jump in completely. I am doing the acre northeast show as an emerging artist in August 2014, and I am very excited about it. As a perk of being accepted into the show I am on wholesalecrafts.com, and hope to reach out to retailers through that. Ideally I would like to hire a rep for my work at some point in the future.
ABI: What are your retail goals this year?
DBK: I have applied to a bunch of shows, and have been accepted into a few so far – Lincoln Center in NYC in October, 2014 is one that I am really excited about. Although they are labor intensive I enjoy doing shows and talking to my customers and other artisans.
Obviously I want to grow my business—doing shows is a pipeline to reach more customers and make a personal connection that can grow into a relationship.