Jamie Langhoff, the artist behind Seeing in Fabric, creates textured works of art with meticulous cut fabric and careful freehand applique stitching using a 1968 Singer sewing machine. Her pieces are sky- and nature-filled masterpieces, primarily focusing on the urban landscapes within Washington DC. With pieces that highlight birds on a wire, rowhouses, cherry blossoms, and the phenomenal sunrises and sunsets over the District, Seeing in Fabric’s work is evocative and magical. Check out Jamie’s interview below!
Describe your ideal day of making. What do you have for breakfast? What jams do you listen to? Do you wear fuzzy slippers? Get specific!
I was raised to have a really strict work ethic. I’m not really a morning person but I like to get up early enough to start work by 8:30 or 9. I have a home studio but I always get fully dressed. I’m nerdy so I listen to a lot of NPR and podcasts while I work. When I listen to music it’s instrumental stuff that helps me feel productive. I often get completely lost in my work and forget to take a break for lunch until I’m totally starving! When I have time, I cook a fresh lunch and take an hour break. I try to keep a weekday schedule similar to my friends with “regular” jobs, so I’m done by 6 so I’m free to socialize with my pals.
Who is your maker-inspiration? What did this person say or do to inspire you to create?
My Grammy was the first female to graduate from her arts academy. She painted throughout her life, but not professionally–she had 9 children! But later in life (when I was growing up) she taught after-school art classes to kids for 35 years. Since she was artistic, my parents encouraged me to explore my creativity in a variety of ways. I took every art class I could and even paid for my own private lessons as a teenager. My mom used to sew when I was little–she made our clothes–so she taught me how to sew and inspired me to work with fabric as a medium.
What is your favorite market/craft show story?
Recently, I was working late one Friday night, which totally sucks. I received an email from a couple who used my artwork (a rainbow pride flag with the phrase Love is Love) in their engagement photo shoot, and wanted to give me a shout out. It was really sweet and nice to see, especially because for a long time I was afraid to be out/political in my artwork.
Are you working on any special merchandise for/inspired by GRUMP? Tell us about it!
I’m planning on making a yeti ornament! Stay tuned!
If you could have lunch with three artists/makers, alive or dead, who would they be and why?
I’d definitely want Frida Kahlo there (I was lucky enough to visit her house in Mexico City this year), because she is also largely self-taught (like me), has her own style and incorporated storytelling and politics into her work and life. I’d also love to invite someone who creates Persian rugs because they are so intricate and exact and take so long to create! I’d also like to invite someone who painted/carved hieroglyphics in the Egyptian pyramids. The second two guests interest me because of their anonymity, and I’ve always been fascinated with how starkly that contrasts with our current cultural obsession with the individual artistic genius. And magically everyone would be able to speak to each other clearly despite language and historical barriers.
GNOME–little red hat
NARWHAL–awkward unicorn of the sea