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Cindy Friedman: Reflection posted: 8/23/2004
by Carolyn Lee Vehslage Printable Page
Category: Art Method: All Series: In the Studio
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Cindy Friedman with author Carolyn Lee Vehslage at reception of
“Fiber Revolution: A Survey of Styles” at the LBI Foundation in Loveladies, NJ

When fiber artist Cindy Friedman felt a bit stagnant in her career last year, she sign up for a drawing class at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, PA. She didn’t know it was about to open a whole new world for her.

“I have a passion for textiles – for touching them, for collecting them, for manipulating them and combining them. Currently, the focus of the passion interpreting my drawings in a format known as a studio art quilt. My quilts are a combination of fibers including silk, rayon, cotton, and the blending of those fibers.”

Cindy honed her graphic design talents at the Philadelphia College of Art and received a Bachelors Degree of Science in Industrial Design. While working on her Master’s in Fashion Design at the Drexel University, she became a faculty member for eleven years before she decided to pursue her artwork full time.

She still participates in the annual international Bernina Fashion Show creating stunning, one-of-a-kind playful ensembles with names such as “Queens are Wild”, “Masquerade Unzipped”, and “Queen of the Hill goes Clubbing”. Several of these multi-layered, multi-purpose outfits were featured in “Fantasy Garments” at the Philadelphia’s City Hall from March through September 2003.

After Reflection 16”w x 20”h
© 2003 Cindy Friedman

Linear Reflections 16"w x 19"h
© 2004 Cindy Friedman

For Cindy, who had always worked out her complex designs on grid paper with precision line drawing, the professor’s approach to figure drawing through shading and cylindrical form pushed her in a new direction.

At the same time, Cindy experienced one of those magical ‘Ah-Ha’ moments that most artists’ only dream of. She realized that instead of drawing the portraits directly on paper, she could place a layer or two of her beloved silks between the pencil and pad.

What she has achieved through this new method has to be seen in person to truly appreciate. As the viewer walks in front of one of her portraits, the multiple layers of silks produce a Moiré effect. The figure takes on additional dimension beyond the shaded curves, shadows, and highlights.

To add interest and texture, Cindy places shapes of additional opaque and transparent silks between the two- layered drawing and hand stitches them with embroidered details.

Even though these works of art are finished by being stretched on a frame, Cindy still considers them studio art quilts due to the multiple layers of cloth that are stitched together.

“The imagery in my quilts reflects my fascination with the human bodies in terms of their construction, form and function. Other design inspirations include architectural details and geometric shapes, grids and patterns.”

Sea Reflections 17"w x 21"h
© 2004 Cindy Friedman

Sea Reflections detail
© 2004 Cindy Friedman

Cindy says of her new artwork, “I am fascinated by the light reflections that happen in the Moiré patterns of the overlaid fabrics and the drawing. It is a technique that offers an enormous range of options to explore from the variety of embroidery and finish stitches to the color and shape transitions. I have been using fine silk thread for the embroidery and enjoying the Zen of the creation of stitch patterns on the panel, which add texture and visual interest.”

The Reflections series along with Cindy’s own family portrait “In the Presence” will be in “Fiber Revolution: Harvest of Color” at the Slater Memorial Museum, 108 Crescent Road, Norwich, CT, (860) 887- 2506 from September 19 to November 28.

“In The Presence”
© 2002 Cindy Friedman

To see other art quilts or wearable art by Cindy, visit or

©2004 Carolyn Lee Vehslage
Carolyn Lee Vehslage’s artwork is in private, corporate, gallery and museum collections around the world. Her artwork is viewable online at

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