Meet Heather JW Hopcraft
Comfort & Joy Fiber Designs
"Creating Joyful Images in Fiber"
Fiber Artist and Art Quilter, Heather JW Hopcraft, has been an artist since childhood and a quilter since 1986. Her English grandmother taught her knitting, crocheting, and sewing at age 6, passing on a love of creating with thread and yarn. Heather is the daughter of a chemistry professor at Wesleyan University. through the university and travel, she was exposed to creative and innovative art. As a teenager, she continued to expand her artistic knowledge as an apprentice at Wesleyan Potters learning pottery, weaving, batik and silk-screening.
After studying art, anthropology and computer science in college. Heather moved first to Arizona then to California to pursue a career in graphic arts. During the 1990's, Heather won three Addy Awards for her graphic design of marketing materials and point of sale displays. It was in CA that she began to pursue quiltmaking and found a creative and encouraging environment. In 1994 Heather was involved in a near-fatal car accident and suffered a severe brain injury. It was fiber art and quilting that helped her recover.
In 2004, she moved to Florida and eventually to Mount Dora. In the last few years, Heather has made the transition from traditional quilter to art quilter and fiber artist. Her recent work includes "Threaded Jewels" organic baby knits, fine art quilts ("Falling Pins", "All Pinned In, Stressed Out & Letting Go", "Pins in Flight"), fiber journal covers and crocheted beaded cuffs.
Her "Threaded Jewels" (earrings made of woven thread and beads), were accepted into the 2007 Holiday Boutique at Mount Dora Center for the Arts and were singled out in an article in the Orlando Sentinel. "Threaded Jewels" are carried at several stores in Mount Dora and Sanford.
In Fall 2007, Heather began knitting again concentrating on using organic materials. Her organic cotton infant booties were featured in Playground Magazine's June 2008 issue and are carried at Daisy's Boutique in Winter Garden and Artisans on fifth. Heather also hosts an Open Studio for knitters of all levels at Mount Dora Center for the Arts.
Heather's first art quilt and original design, "Falling Pins" won Viewer's Choice Award at Lake County Quilt Guild Show in 2008. "Falling Pins" was then juried into National Quilting Assoc. Show (Columbus, OH), and Quilt Odyssey (Hershey, PA). It was also a semi-finalist in American Quilters Assoc. Show (Nashville, TN) in August 2008. Heather's work including all of her fine art quilts and fiber journals were featured in the Mount Dora Center for the Arts "Fiber Invitational", (Sept. - Oct. 2008). The Orlando Sentinel singled out Heather's work in the Fiber Invitational with a photograph of "Falling Pins" and an interview with her. Her work was also mentioned in the Oct. issue of "Focus Magazine". In 2009 "All Pinned In, Stressed Out & Letting Go" won Viewer's Choice and Honorable Mention at Lake County Quilt Guild Show. Both "Falling Pins" and "All Pinned In, Stressed OUt & Letting Go" were juried into the 2009 Road to CA Quilt Contest in the Art/Innovative category.
Heather's fine art quilts, such as "Falling Pins:, "All Pinned In, Stressed Out & Letting Go" and "Pins in Flight" concentrate on creating the feeling and sense of movement in fabric through the use of graduated colors, a repetitive image (safety pins) and surface texture. These quilts demonstrate Heather's positive and joyful outlook on life.
Heather was a participant in the "Art in the Air" project for 2008 where she designed and painted a canvas banner based on the "Falling Pins" art quilt. The banners were displayed on lamposts throughout Mount Dora and auctioned to benefit summer art camp scholarships. She was the featured "Art in the Air" artist in the September 2008 issue of Lake & Sumter Style Magazine.
Today Heather is grateful for each day and enjoys being mother to two and "Nana" to three grandchildren. Heather is a founding member of Artisans on fifth and a member of Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Lake County Quilter's Guild, National Quilters Association, Museum of American Quilters Society, American Quilter's Society and a involved in the Linus Project.