Georgia O'Neal

Up-cycled Fibers
Geomade
40105 Main Street, Waterford, VA 20197
Waterford Cluster, Stop #10

About the Artist

Market bags made from up-cycled wool and canvas. 2014.
Market bags made from up-cycled wool and canvas. 2014.

I have been making things with my hands for most of my life, having always been drawn to textiles and fibers as a medium. Early on, knitting and crocheting appealed to my on the go sensibility, always having a project with me when sitting in the New York subway, at a café with friends or alone at home. I was taught to knit by my grandmother and my aunt taught me to crochet. The intergenerational connection in traditional woman’s crafts and lore has always intrigued me; the passing down from one generation to another creates stronger bonds and weaves together our lives. I like the intimacy of fiber arts; making something that is personally satisfying, making it for some one else in mind. My current quilted works are made from recycled clothing collected at thrift shops or from family and friends. I love to bring new life to discarded objects allowing the fabrics to speak again with a new voice. It is exciting to me to imagine the history of the clothing I use — the story it might tell about the person who originally owned it. I believe that as a culture we are losing our sense of history and place because so much of what we surround ourselves with is disposable and this leads to the loss of the sacred in our every day lives. I believe that beauty can be found from a smile, the texture and color of your favorite sweater, and the sunset. It is important to sight inspiration that one gets from the familiar. As a culture we are always looking for the "next thing" overlooking what is in front of us. My work also explores the roles of high and low art. I blur the line between functional craft and fine arts as well the idea that crafts have been traditionally considered women's work, and not a part of the art establishment. When studying art in college, I told people that I was an artist studying sculpture and inevitably it would be followed up with the question of whether I worked in stone or clay. When I said I crocheted there was often confusion or a raised eyebrow; was that "art"? Now that was many years ago, and there have been many artists pushing the envelope of what is to be thought of as fine art. I still enjoy playing around in the area of what is considered art and functional art or craft. Is it fine art if it can be worn as a hat or a scarf? Are the hand crocheted slippers that your great aunt lovingly made you to be considered fine art? Or is this craft from a talented hobbyist? I would like to consider elevating the numerous lives of multi-generation crafters to that of the life of an artist.

Carrot baby sweater, made of up-cycled cashmere and wool. 2014.
Carrot baby sweater, made of up-cycled cashmere and wool. 2014.
Echinacea hat 2, made of up-cycled cashmere. 2015.
Echinacea hat 2, made of up-cycled cashmere. 2015.
Red garden tunic made of up-cycled wool and fabric. 2015.
Red garden tunic made of up-cycled wool and fabric. 2015.
Swiss chard, 10x10, made of up-cycled wool.
Swiss chard, 10x10, made of up-cycled wool.
Swiss chard patch on baseball cap, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Swiss chard patch on baseball cap, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Blue garden tunic detail, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Blue garden tunic detail, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Zinnia potholder, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Zinnia potholder, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Carrot potholder, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Carrot potholder, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
French- market radish hat, made of up-cycled wool. 2016.
French- market radish hat, made of up-cycled wool. 2016.
Swiss chard market bag, made of up-cycled wool and recycled feed bag. 2014.
Swiss chard market bag, made of up-cycled wool and recycled feed bag. 2014.
Nasturtium, 10x10, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Nasturtium, 10x10, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Wool Garden patches for bags, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Wool Garden patches for bags, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Four Swiss chard patches, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Four Swiss chard patches, made of up-cycled wool. 2015.
Red garden tunic detail, made of up-cycled wool and fabric. 2015.
Red garden tunic detail, made of up-cycled wool and fabric. 2015.
Inside studio while moving in.
Inside studio while moving in.
Outside of Studio in Waterford.
Outside of Studio in Waterford.

Offering on tour: Selling up-cycled clothing such as hats, and dresses. Quilting demo. Visitor sewing participation.

Waterford Cluster Stop #10

Directions to Geomade:

From Route 7, exit onto Route 9 north, then turn right onto Clarks Gap Road. In Waterford, turn left onto Factory Street, curve right, and then after three blocks turn left onto Main Street. Studio is on the right across from the Mill.

Also at this Stop: