Wearable Art Transformed

March 4, 2016
by Mary Hertert
  • Children of the Wasp Bride Back Color Creek Fiber Art Carbondale Runway Fashion Art Show


Wearable Art Transformed Into Runway Fashion Art.


I'm excited that the nine garments I set out to create into runway fashion art for Carbondale's fashion show – Transformation are finished and ready to walk. The name of the collection is What Was – Isn't Anymore. My goal – take completely apart most of the garments that walked the runway last year and free a whole new set of designs from the same fabrics and cut pieces. Can't tell you how satisfying it is to take a beautiful piece and shred it with a pair of scissors and watch it magically change into something else entirely. You can view some of the pieces in their previous forms in my portfolio of show garments.

Poor tired Wasp Bride. She has had so many new repairs done that her fabric was starting to look like the wasp nests that had been abandoned to the elements. She deserved a decent burial before someone else said they wanted her to walk the catwalk again.

wearable art, fused silk fibers, color creek fiber art

Wasp in her heyday.

From Wasp bride come The Children of Wasp Bride – a daughter and a son. Modern children who like to shop, eat good food and generally are not into that "sting-y thing" that drove their mother.  They have attitude but don't share their mother's anger. Wasp's jacket is now a skirt, her skirt now a jacket and a vest. Neither children wanted the wings anymore preferring to walk where ever they go.  Daughter of wasp is sold so she will stay the way she is. Son might want more adornment. There is enough fiber left in the Wasp Bride to clothe at least two more children.

wasp bride's children fused silk fiber at Sergio's

wasp bride's children fused silk fiber at Sergio's

Wearable Art Sergio's Restaurant

Out for lunch at Sergio's Restaurant Grand Junction

Ice has more transformations than any other garment. She's on her 5th reincarnation and probably has a few more lives left in her. Ice walked as Tango on Ice in Carbondale's Green is the New Black 2015

Wearable art, color creek fiber art, dyed, fiber

Tango on Ice Carbondale 2015

Before Tango, there were two wall hangings, a short coat and a long coat.

wearable art garment hand dyed rayon fiber

wearable garment Glacier Bay hand dyed rayon velvet

wearable art color creek fiber art

Wearable art hand dyed silk rayon

So from a lineage of several incarnations comes Ice with her consort Fire.


Ice made from hand dyed rayon silk velvet


Ice back view


Ice hand dyed rayon silk velvet hand stitched and beaded


Also on the runway at Carbondale's Green is the New Black 2016 show Transformation is the transformed Tongass National Forest. Created in 2014 for the Alaska Fiber Festival, Tongass is now three garments.

wearable art Carbondale

Tongass National Forest transformed dyed velvet and felted wool

From Tongass comes three garments. Fire from the outer coat shell. dyed and hand stitched rayon silk velvet rouched (straight stitches pulled tight to create puckers and texture). The vest was sculpted on a mannequin. Complete with rakish cap.


Fire – hand dyed rayon silk velvet with a shibori discharged silk organza collar.

wearable art color creek fiber art

Fire back view. Rayon silk velvet hand dyed

From Tongass National Forest (a mushroom with lots of moss) comes Fungal and Funguy.  A stylish and organic pair. He sports a jacket made from a pair of Thai Wrap Pants split down the front with the legs as sleeves tucked up at the shoulder. Add the felted wool collar and the harem pants made from Tongass' jacket lining and voila – a marvelous, comfortable and ageless garment.

Fungal's top is also made from a separate pair of Thai wrap pants. Her accessories are the bling bag are made of Tongass' hood and lining. Finish her look with a fused silk fiber flower


Thai wrap pants become jacket and top, hood becomes hat and bling bag, jacket lining converts to pants.


Definitely wearable art in felted wool and raw silk

Wearable art doesn't get any more fun than taking apart a loved piece to make multiple loved pieces. Introducing "Patchwork Winter Coat" transformed to "At the Cowboy Poetry Reading Semifinals".  I love my rayon silk velvet. There is nothing like it for siren colors. Hand dyed and stitched – the colors vibrate like no other fabric.

2014 Patchwork Winter Coat - Grand Junction

Patchwork Winter Coat is made from hand dyed silk/rayon velvet. It has been put together and taken apart so many times that it earned its name. Patchwork was featured on the cover of GV Magazine in Grand Junction, CO for January 2014.

Patchwork went from elegant to dude western. Who knew that one coat could produce two pairs of chaps and two tunic tops.


Flashy pair of chaps and tunic tops in rayon silk velvet hand dyed and stitched.


front view of At the Cowboy Poetry Semifinals

The last garment added to the Carbondale Green is the New Black show is Surf & Sand. This garment was transformed from Athena Rising from the Bag – a garment completely created through deconstructing rather than constructing. Athena was created from a knitted bag used to ship a sea kayak.

Unraveled Walking small-2

Athena Rising from the Bag a deconstructed knitted bag used to ship sea kayaks

From Athena comes Surf & Sand. I dyed the white fabric to blues and greens, covered it with the brown tunic and sewed it to a silk undergarment for easy on and off.


Surf & Sand a hand dyed and deconstructed shipping bag used to protect sea kayaks.


Surf & Sand back view Hand dyed cotton jersey knit shipping bag


Mary Hertert has owned and operated Color Creek Fiber Art since 1997 in Anchorage, Alaska before moving it to Grand Junction. She is an all-around outdoors gal hiking, boating, or just plain looking at everything from rocks to trees to water. Mary has traveled the world and lived in some pretty exotic places before coming back to the U.S.