Fiber artist Joy Stocksdale was greeted with a warm reception on Saturday April 1 and she reciprocated by sharing with us her warmest memories while growing up. Joy began her presentation by showing us images of her as a child and of the home she grew up in. She explained how it was her father, mother and stepmother who influenced her to pursue a fiber career because of their own involvement in the arts and crafts; she knew from an early age that it was and still is possible to make a living by making things with your hands. Joy’s father, Bob Stocksdale, passed away 15 years ago and was a very successful and well-known wood turner. Joy wishes to continue his legacy and spirit in the crafts.
Joy Stocksdale’s textile interest came while in high school in 1965 with machine embroidery. After college she continued to work with and teach stitching, quilting and weaving. After returning to London in the 1980s, Joy began screen printing and dyeing. During her presentation the audience was enthralled with her specific process of polychromatic screen-printing. She had an image for every step of her dyeing and printing process, which allowed for us to view the outcomes and differences in the runs. As Joy’s talk continued, her work became much more elaborate. Joy showed us her fashionable tops and scarves, as well as her beautiful wall hangings.
After her talk, visitors were invited to chat with the artist as well as go next door to Freehand to view more of her work on display. To understand the depth of Joy Stocksdale’s virtuosic ability is to understand that Joy’s skill was refined and transformed as each year, even decades, passed. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.