Amber Coppings

Resident Artist
Textile Artist

I see the world best…intuitively and explicitly… through creative moments with color, texture and textiles. This understanding has manifested itself in my artwork through textural sewing, Japanese shibori fabric creations and surface pattern design.

Surface Pattern Design can be defined as: image, colour, texture and pattern applied to surfaces within the human-made environment. This may include quilting and fashion fabrics, wallpaper, home décor items such as printed plastic plates, or special occasion napkins, etc…

My work attempts to create a visual dialogue between art, craft and design. Recent work ranges from a site-specific installation at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory museum that, when taken out of the gallery, became wearable art; to one-of-a-kind multi-layered, hand-dyed tapestries; to handmade fashion clothing and accessories sold online to customers around the world.

Since 2002, I’ve facilitated creative experiences with students ranging in age from 6 to 96 that are mindful, colorful and personal.  Past experiences include Japanese shibori tapestries to hang in schools, sewn patchwork creations, mixed media and surface pattern design collage projects, as well as abstract drawing and painting on fabrics and paper.

After attending an Arts Education Forum session that discussed STEM/STEAM projects, it reinvigorated me to develop lessons that incorporate my artwork and skills to bridge the gap between STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) subjects.

This has led me to create lesson plans for 1-day workshops to 10+ day Residencies that include surface pattern design as it relates to entrepreneurship, art and design.

Typically, schools/community organizations and I can discuss Science, Social Studies, or or other curricular tie-ins to create a cohesive theme such as Unknown Galaxies, Underwater Life, or Japanese Culture.

iPads, printers, scanners and other technology can be incorporated as  artistic learning tools while math skills are emphasized using geometry, measuring and tessellations. Final art products can include wallpaper, decoupage mixed media tiles (or other 3D objects), fashion accessories using digitally printed fabrics and more. Many of these projects could be permanently installed in a school, or community building.

Amber Coppings
Resident Artist Amber Coppings