Wrapping the body with my painting imagery, fine wearable silk becomes my canvas. The fluidity of applying color with dyes continues to captivate me as I continue to push the limits of dyeing. This medium provides a perfect process for interpreting the beauty and mystery of nature, and the body allows the colors and imagery to flow.
For me the design process is a blend of planning, spontaneity, and experimentation with a great interest in inter-relationship of edges of shapes within the designs. Frequently the process begins with drawing on the silk, and progresses and changes with ideas that occur while working. During the dyeing process, the colors are constantly evolving and changing as layering of transparent color over other colors creates new shades making this a dynamic and exciting way to work.
Leigh started dyeing fabrics while working o her BFA at the University of Montana. Her training included printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics etc.. There were no courses offered in fibers so a professor let her do an independent study. She ordered dyes from a catalog and taught herself the ancient art of batik. Later she taught what she had learned to many students of all ages at art centers and special workshops.
She pursued her MFA in Fibers at Southern Illinois University. During that time her work included large dye-painted quilts which were exhibited in several national juried shows. Much later she had a chance meeting with a rozome artist who had just returned from Japan where she studied with the kimono artists for many years. Leigh then studied the art of rozome from her at the New Hampshire Institute of Art which changed the way she worked.