IMeet Kathy and Rob, the couple who are the creative vision and energy behind Fibrations Studio™. Kathy is a fiber artist, Rob is a contemporary designer and digital artist – both are drawn to creating mixed media pieces. Their combined focus drives the studio’s abstract creations. An accomplished weaver, Kathy has mastered a variety of looms.
They call their creative collaboration Fibrations Studio™ to reflect the energy and the positive vibrations they infuse into their mixed media fiber creations – and which they hope to stir within those who view their work.
They create using a plethora of spinning wheels, dye pots, warpping boards, floor/upright/lap looms, hoards of hanging skeins, weighty cones wrapped in yard upon yard of stranded material of cotton/wool/silk/bamboo, drawers and shelves of “found objects”, electric saws, cutting & piecing tables, glue pots, paints and brushes, and multiple semi-cluttered assembly tables with pieces in varying stages of fabrication to completion.
Together they envision the designs, Rob generates the 3D drawings, then Kathy utilizes spinning, dying, weaving, sculpting, braiding, cording, dowel wrapping, other creative fiber techniques to create the core magic. Rob is also involved in dowel wrapping and found object accents, as well as designing and assembling wood accent elements, in addition to fabricating the rigid mounting substructures.
Rob calls Kathy “a fiber wizard, and the Lara Croft of ‘found objects’. She is fascinated by the pursuit of these up-cyclable treasures, and loves incorporating the select of them into our pieces”. Kathy’s keen eye for color and texture, serves her well as an artist.
Having enjoyed a successful career in retail Visual Display, Kathy’s first love is creating art with Rob.
A mixed media and digital artist, as well as a contemporary furniture designer – Rob has several computers and works in Mac OS, employing 3D design applications, in addition to a variety of image manipulation and rendering programs such as Photoshop. He is accomplished at artistic dowel wrapping and cylindrical appliqué. Rob also works in creative wood assemblage. frequently incorporating these skills into the Fibrations Studio pieces.
Kathy explains, “Rob is also a poet, which helps inform his depth of visual expression. His designing contemporary furniture in 3D CAD, gives him a solid-object perspective that clearly influences our creations”.
Invited to some of the top juried US art shows, Kathy and Rob traveled for a time, exhibiting their work. Unfortunately, a decline in Rob’s health put a damper on the traveling. Today they are content to work in their studio, located in their home.
They now make their work available primarily via Internet, and continue to entertain creating commissioned pieces for private clients.
💥 HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The arc of the Kistner’s creative collaboration began in 1987. Rob owned a home theater design company and contemporary European furniture store. He was designing custom cabinetry for mediarooms.
After graduating college, Kathy joined as the company’s residential space planner, and also did the room’s interior design: upholstery, drapes, carpeting, lighting, etc. Two years later they married. Motivated by their passion for design, their mutual love of abstract art, Kathy’s talents for weaving and the fiber crafts, Rob’s skill at 3D design, and his avocation for working with wood; they began their collaborative exploration into mixed media fiberart, which lead to Fibrations Studio.
💥 HOW IT COMES TOGETHER
A Fibrations Studio artwork emerges in one of three ways. In the first, Kathy or Rob has an initial vision of a piece. If it persists for the originator as a good idea, rough sketches are created. The other person is then called to collaborate in a meeting, usually in Rob’s CAD office. Initial sketches are modified until both are ‘on the same page’. Rob then creates a 3D CAD drawing, which they refine together to final agreement.
Rob then generates 3D drawings of sub components, from which Kathy creates the ‘soft elements’ on one of her looms. These finished elements then go to final assembly. Any ‘found object’ embellishment happens there. Rob then creates the mounting substructure for the piece.
The second way is Kathy’s favorite, which she refers to as ‘fiber jazz’, because it is creative improvisation. She will collect a number of yarns, fibers, cords, small branches, colored wires, reeds, wooden dowels, beads, found objects – anything that moves her. She then creates in the moment, calling on real time inspiration, adding, subtracting, creating until she deems the work complete. She often uses her Navajo upright loom in this approach because it is very hands-on and permits immediate manipulation and modification.
Below are three example of Kathy’s ‘fiber jazz’ style. The first is entitled “Bayou”, which was created on her Navajo upright loom.
The second example shows the 28″ wide top section of a 68″ tall piece entitled “Totem”, which was created completely free-hand, using no loom.
The third example shows a NeoClassical piece entitled “Victoria”, which was created finger weaving with the Navajo upright loom. It feature a wonderful Victorian period found object, and tassel handmade by Kathy.
The third way is a custom work commissioned by a client. This third procedure is like the first, except the client is involved in every creative meeting, because it is the client’s vision being served. An example here is “Dual Faces of Magic”.
When their schedules permit, Kathy and Rob love to explore the natural beauty and wonders that surround them in the Pacific Northwest of America, where they make their home. “We are so fortunate to live in this remarkable part of the world”, say the Kistner’s. “We are daily enriched and inspired by our life in this amazing region!”
Located on this site is a link entitled WALL HANGINGS. There you can view additional examples of the creations of Fibrations Studio, and gain some additional insight into the procedures and techniques Kathy and Rob employ in creating their art.
💥 REINTRODUCING OUR CYLINDRICAL WRAP TECHNIQUE
From the early 1990’s, when we first began including creatively wrapped doweling and cylindrical appliqué into our pieces, we have remained captivated by the cylindrical form. It depicts motion, a reaching beyond, a rising up, a moving toward – if unbroken, toward the infinite.
As artists, we find an intriguing element of mystery to art applied to the roundness and length of the cylinder. You realize there is more to the work than the eye can fully perceive from any single perspective. What lies further around, hidden from our view? These elements of movement and mystery this form embodies are fascinating.
We are reontroducing our cylidrical wrap technique under the series name Serenity Totem. Based exclusively on the enticing properties of the cylinder. We envision the Serenity Totem to be, not only a source of mystery, to entice the imagination, but also a source of beauty to energize the spirit, and to kindle an inner warmth and peace of mind. Our wish is they enrich the heart and home.
💥 THE CREATION
Our “Serenity Totems” are elegant, richly colorful, multi-textural, contemporary, 3-D mixed-media cylindrical fiber sculptures. We create them by either up-cycling a broad range of quality recycled and/or abandoned materials, as well as unique ‘found objects’ from our huge treasure trove of such, amassed over a 20-year period – or – we will feature a totally original, handmade element created by Kathy or Rob.
These include couture fabrics, leather, suede, cords, wires, threads, mercerized yarns, metals, woods, glass, and other materials. They can also feature repurposed fascinating ‘found objects’ of a wide variety and vintage.
For many of the final Totems we will feature a wholly original, handwoven, fiber artwork of Kathy’s creation.
Still others will feature Rob’s original digital artwork.
Utilizing a MAC computer, we first CAD design the pieces, inspired by the unique palette of up-cycled, repurposed, and original elements that we carefully select and/or create for each original piece.
Then using spiral-wound coated heavy-duty fiberboard cylinders, we hand-craft each artwork, meticulously executing our original design. Pictures immediately above and below show ‘Found Object’ Serenity Totem entitled “Bali”.
Picture below shows initial measure & cut prep for the ‘Handwoven’ Serenity Totem entitled “Shadowfire”.
Picture below shows the trim & fit prep for the “Handwoven” Serenity Totem entitled “Shadowfire” which occurs just prior to permanent mounting of finished piece.
The pieces can be initially conceived in the vertical or horizontal format, driven either by our personal vision, or conceived on commission to satisfy a client’s particular needs and vision. They can be displayed either as wall art or as tabletop art.
Each Serenity Totem is 37-40″ tall with a 3.25-5.5″ diameter. They’re reasonably lightweight, easy to mount.
💥 THE INVITATION
As you explore this site you will discover a link to our SERENITY TOTEMS, in addition to the link to our WALL HANGINGS. Please visit both areas, and take your time. We hope you enjoy what you find, and thank you for visiting with us today.