Radio Chipstone: The Therapy of Silk Screen

Jan 6, 2018

It was a Marimekko quilt that first sparked print artist Lesley Numbers' interest in silk screening, but it's vintage everyday objects that populate her work. Her most successful print features the iconic hair and red lips of Dolly Parton and encourages you to "pour yourself a cup of ambition." Parton's likeness is framed by vintage coffee pots, cups, mugs and carafes.

Credit Gianofer Fields

Numbers says that while she is actually a nostalgic and sentimental person, she wants her work to have greater significance beyond an image – both to her and the buyer.

In this edition of Radio Chipstone, Numbers met with contributor Gianofer Fields in a small cooperative maker-space called Polka! Press on Madison's northside.

As Numbers' almost five-year-old daughter Maisie sipped hot cocoa and played in the background, Numbers had some time to reflect on her 2017 accomplishments.

"The work I was selling I started creating after my daughter was born," she says. "Life circumstances have been challenging, so a lot of my work feels like wishful thinking... Art to me feels like medicine, but it's always been a projection of what I want rather than a releasing of what I have."

"But through the act of printing, it is an emotional release for me, but the work isn't showing the heartache and the anxiety," Numbers laughs. 

Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.