Niche Magazine, Spring 1994
by: Sara Harwin
Feature artist, fiber
"I think I was very fortunate to have had so much direction at such a young age," says Sara Harwin. "Ever since I sold my first painting in junior high school, I have known that I wanted to be an artist."
Sara fulfilled that goal when she established Harwin Studios in 1970 with the purchase of an antique Washington Proof Press. Sara then expanded the studio two years later with a new press that allowed her to print lithographs up to 42" x 40".
Although Sara has recently switched her medium from print to fabric, her focus remains the same. Sara's passion lies in the celebration of life, whether it is a life cycle event-birth or marriage-or simply reveling in the vitality that people possess when celebrating. Even the name of her outer-wear line, Konfetti, reflects this. "To me, confetti is little bits of fun," says Sara. "I wanted to communi-cate that feeling through my pullovers and tops."
Sara attributes her move away from print-making and into fabric partially to a realization that occurred at a show several years ago. "One day I noticed a friend who sold clothing. She was able to carry her goods right into the show-no shipping and no heavy boxes-unlike myself, who was lug-ging around these huge framed lithographs, as well as dealing with shipping," Sara recalls laughingly. "It was then that I realized that clothing was what I needed to be doing."
While that event may have planted the seed that it was time for a change, Sara was excited about the idea of creating art that could actually be worn, and therefore making people feel good on an everyday basis. Her clothes are designed for peo-ple who enjoy "dressing with flair."
But fun isn't the only feeling Sara hopes to convey with her jackets. Each pullover is designed with a decorative panel that resembles a quilting square. "Quilts are a labor of love. Each panel on a quilt is handmade and symbolic of something." And with Sara, it is symbolic of how much work goes into each piece. She is the sole designer and seamstress for Harwin Studios. Every top, pullover, and hat are handmade by Sara in the studio/gallery attached to her Oregon home.
Sara credits her ability to make a living as a hands-on craftsperson to the fact that she has grown slowly. She sees her work in fabric as progress, and will approach the future continuing the pace she has set for herself.
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