A Native of England, Anne came to the US when she was 10. Around that time her mother taught her to sew on a hand-crank machine, which she used till she was 21! Anne has won many awards including first-place in the wearables division of the 1999 IQA show in Houston. Never able to settle on one favorite technique, Anne currently enjoys working with leather, hand-made felt, and shrink-textured silk. She admits to being a collect-aholic of all things textile related, including yarn, vintage fabrics, and buttons, buttons, buttons! This member of the Southern California Wearable Art Connection draws inspiration from her husband's native Pakistan, as well as vintage European and American designers.
Her coats and jackets all incorporate felted wool. Felting is the oldest from of man-made fabric. It's made when wool fibers are compressed with alkali and heat, they bond together through a friction process to form felt. Sheikh enjoys felting because of its basic techniques that come out with extraordinary results. Blending the components by hand which brings a tangible bond to her textiles. She enjoys mixing her felted-fabrics with other fabrics such as leather and silk.
Sheikh has been working with felting wool and angora into silk for some time. The combination of these materials and the technique produces a very organic looking fabric or garment. Wanting to do a larger scale garment than usual, she pictured Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus” and imagined Venus ascending from the sea draped in a coat of seaweed with a feminine bias cut charmeuse dress beneath. Her current fascination is with all things wool, specifically how to incorporate felting and fulling techniques into garments and jewelry. She calls her technique “controlled random” as the outcome and where it will lead is never quite known. Both pieces are first needle felted and then re-felted using the traditional “wet” method. After the felting segment of the garment is complete, it is then over-dyed, sometimes several times, to get the desired color and then washed in the washing machine to further shrink and full the felted fibers. The garments are then assembled. The Life Aquatic” was voted Best of Show in the 2006 Palos Verdes Art Center Wearable Expressions International Juried Exhibition of wearable art.
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