Vibrant Prairie
Vibrant Prairie
Shorelines
Shorelines
Shorelines, detail
Shorelines, detail
November Skies
November Skies
November Skies, detail
November Skies, detail
Current Issues
Current Issues
Current Issues, detail
Current Issues, detail
Organic
Organic
Latitude Longitude, detail
Latitude Longitude, detail
Latitude Longitude
Latitude Longitude
Vibrant Prairie, detail
Vibrant Prairie, detail
In the Mood
In the Mood
Smoky Mountain Mist
Smoky Mountain Mist
Smoky Mountain Mist, detail
Smoky Mountain Mist, detail
Kaleidoscopic Magnificence
Kaleidoscopic Magnificence
Heaven's Echoes
Heaven's Echoes
Heaven's Echoes, detail
Heaven's Echoes, detail
L' Amore di Vini
L' Amore di Vini
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
Lilies of the Field
Lilies of the Field
Fall Vest
Fall Vest
Fall Vest
Fall Vest
Romance
Romance
From Our Hands to Yours
From Our Hands to Yours
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
Fields of Enchantment
Fields of Enchantment
Past Presence
Past Presence
Past Presence, detail
Past Presence, detail
Autumnal Glory
Autumnal Glory
Autumnal Glory, detail
Autumnal Glory, detail
Radiantly Glorious
Radiantly Glorious
Autumnal Glory, detail
Autumnal Glory, detail
Radiantly Glorious, detail
Radiantly Glorious, detail
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask (inside)
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask (inside)
Silver Lining
Silver Lining
Silver Lining, detail
Silver Lining, detail
Twilight Haze
Twilight Haze
Twilight Haze, detail
Twilight Haze, detail
Photo Credits: Jan Lewis, Donnell Collins, Jimi Allen, Natasha Lehrer Lewis
Photo Credits: Jan Lewis, Donnell Collins, Jimi Allen, Natasha Lehrer Lewis
Vibrant Prairie
Vibrant Prairie2013Private CommissionCustom designed commissioned piece for a home here in Chicagoland suburbs. Each piece measures 52" x 28". Silk and wool and embellishment fibers make this abstract landscape a bold, colorful addition to their home. A wonderfully inspiring project to conceive, construct and present. 
Shorelines
Shorelines2012Nuno skirt, hand beading, hand dyed habotai silk and merino wool Inspired by the wildflowers, waves, sand and water and the sparkles of shells and sunshine. If I close my eyes and think of Prince Edward Island and Anne of Green Gables this is what comes to mind. Lighthouses, meadows and carefree innocence. And the back view.... the skirt is made with nuno felting the wool into habotai silk material. Beaded detail on front and back with over 8 hrs of beading involved! A completely reversible skirt with a wool and silk sides. It was made as one piece, all the seams fused with wet felting
Shorelines, detail
Shorelines, detail 2012Nuno felt, hand beading, hand dyed habotai silk and merino wool 
November Skies
November Skies 2014Nuno Felt with hand dyed silk gauze and merino wool, bamboo, silk and firestarSz. MediumWon 1st Place Vest and Judge's Choice, MidAtlantic Quilt Festival's Wearable Art Show 2015 Shown in the  2014 FIne Art of Fiber Fashion Show, Chicago Botanic Gardens Inspired by the subdued yet colorful skies in late fall, this vest is a blend of taupe, rusts, purples and beige in the softest shades. A base of silk with wool and other fibers fused in, it's unique fabric and design make it exquisite to wear.
November Skies, detail
November Skies, detail
Current Issues
Current Issues20122' x 36'Nuno felt with hand dyed silk gauze and merino wool, vintage lace, cheesecloth, silk gauze, mica and sequins Inspired by the Pacific, as well as the figurative and literal impact of currents in the world, our lives and nature. There’s bits of the past woven into the felted surface yet the piece feels very contemporary. The back of the piece gives the viewer the perspective of being swept into the current, while the front view is that of an observer, cautious of the currents. The tides change, the colors reflecting this turnover of the current to new ideas, perspectives and approaches. Current issues… there’s more than what meets the eye.  The base has Illinois rocks, beach glass and even a lucky penny. It’s a reflection of our many natural resources and the ways we enjoy and add to it. The ever changing landscape, the imprint we leave on it is all a part of life’s currents. The penny is a representative of currency, another testimony to how contemporary issues are all a part of our current day interactions. But that penny, lucky and optimistic, is a tribute to the fact that there is always hope. A shiny penny reflecting on the surface brings a smile to our face. We search the penny, finding a date that reminds us of special occasions, events and current issues. It’s a memory, a moment, a lingering thought.This piece has a lot of dimension, depth and meaning. I hope you can find your inspiration your own perspective.    
Current Issues, detail
Current Issues, detail
Organic
Organic2014Nuno Felted Fabric and Handwoven YardageExhibited in the Fine Art of Fiber Fashion Show Chicago One often gets captivated by one beautiful piece of fabric, and that is where the composition for this piece starts. From there it evolved naturally into the design inspired by bringing together the best of both hand woven fabric and nuno felted whimsy. The cotton and silk fabrics could not be more different, nor more homogenous as they come together, almost like a grafting of one branch to another. In nature, we see a lot of things that come together organically and that concept is what gave birth to this piece. Lehrer’s surroundings in rural Illinois have led by example, teaching her to meld together two different worlds in one fusion and the result is this piece, “Organic”
Latitude Longitude, detail
Latitude Longitude, detail
Latitude Longitude
Latitude Longitude 20125' x 5'Fiber Art Mixed MediaOur lives are on a constant grid of interaction, an invisible world of latitude and longitude lines it forms. Sometimes we travel by ourselves, but life's richest moments occur at the intersections of two lives.
Vibrant Prairie, detail
Vibrant Prairie, detail2013Private Commission
In the Mood
In the Mood2008Needle and Wet Felted, overlay of vintage mohair lace, needle felting embellishmentInspired by a vintage 1940's crochet patternWhen I first started working on this project, several things came to mind. Women in the forties were strong, confident and hard working, and at the same time, feminine. The materials I used symbolized this- coarser cheviot and Romney, softened with fine merino wool. The patterning comes from a vintage lace mohair shawl from my Grandmother that I felted onto the surface. Once the bag was felted, I designed the front to replicate the original crochet design. My color choices included war-era themes- khakis, rusts and cranberry. Shaping was done with steaming and handles constructed and attached. The finished bag I see being used in the life of a 1940’s girl-next-door, the kind who built engines by day, knitted socks for her boys and danced by night to the sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. They’re the kind that many of our grandmothers and mothers were- and still their character rings true to this day. 
Smoky Mountain Mist
Smoky Mountain Mist2014Nuno felt with hand dyed silk wool, habotai silk scarf and merino woolAwarded 2nd Place Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival Wearable Art CompetitionAwarded Judge’s ChoiceExhibited in the Fine Art of Fiber Fashion Show Chicago The early morning mist rolling through the hills of the Smoky Mountains spurred on the inspiration for this exquisite, reversible jacket. The jacket, made of hand dyed habotai and silk gauze, with layers of merino wool and embellishment fibers as accents, recalls the hazy colors of that breathtaking range. One is surprised however, at the inside- an stunning, more vivid version of the same landscape, made brilliant by the wool fused into the silk fabric. Lightweight and airy, it feels like the clouds floating through the valleys. In her work, Lehrer strives to reflect the surroundings and the moments that capture her heart, and it’s plainly evident in looking at the design and inspiration for this piece. 
Smoky Mountain Mist, detail
Smoky Mountain Mist, detail
Kaleidoscopic Magnificence
Kaleidoscopic Magnificence 2012Nuno felt, hand dyed silk gauze and merino wool, bamboo, angelina and silk threads. Reversible vest, size mediumA nuno felted vest that is altogether reversible....  inspired by hand crafted kaleidoscopes I saw at the One Of a Kind Show in Chicago. Amazing to see the ordinary morphed into colors and shapes beyond our imagination. Kind of what God does to our situations. What we see in ourselves, God mirrors for His Glory into magnificence so beautiful it is hard to imagine. And the back view.... I designed the entire pattern out of a piece of nuno felt yardage I created. I then cut out the pieces of felt into the pieces of the vest, and sewed it all together. Habotai silk, prefelts, angelina sheets and bamboo make it really interesting! Back of the reversible side... with sequins under the wool to add a little bit of bling! The entire thing is reversible so the seams are finished with a raw, deconstructed feel. I love that kind of look!  
Heaven's Echoes
Heaven's Echoes201330" x 30"Shown at Verona Tessile, Verona Italy Hand dyed wool, felted and sculpted, chimes, beadsMusic. To me, sound is more than an audible perception. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a place where the notes can take you soaring. It is colors dancing on the wind. It is a landscape of undulating hills, climbing and descending into horizons unending.The colors in this piece work on a scale- just like the notes in a song. The bold, passionate red flows into a sunny, contented yellow, which spills into calming, serene greens and then opens into the broad sky of blues and purples. The colors signify emotion and intensity and the moments we experience when we hear the song and see the colors. Sometimes we see colors in our minds, other times, it with our eyes. The color we see strikes a chord within us and a note rings out- a note, pure, true and expressive.  Colors here also represent the hills of a landscape that forms in our hearts when we hear music. We create a world all within ourselves that exists from the tone of the music, the pitch and the intensity. Sometimes that world is bright, or at times it might be dark, but the music takes us to that special place. Memories and moments belong to that special place.Texture within the hills represent the sound waves that travel; waves that permeate different realms of our reality, our emotions, our physical world and our spiritual connections. Copper threads run alongside, creating highlights, like a soloist singing alongside a choir.The sky. The vastness, the splendor, the glory, and the infinity that exists in a night sky cannot help but evoke a feeling of awe. Stars light up the sky like glistening beacons. How many people have looked upon the stars? Questioned life and love whilst gazing upon their splendor? The constellations tell stories. Stories that ancient cultures created, passing them down to the next generation. Not only stories of bravery and heroism, but stories of great love and tragedy.  So when one gazed into the heavens, the stories spread throughout the skies echoed back.I wanted this piece to have its’ own music and for viewers to be able to create sounds. The copper chimes were placed to echo back the music that we feel and hear. I encourage viewers to pick up the striker and run it across the span, creating their own sounds.Music is what you hear as well as what you perceive. For me, I see color in harmonizing with the notes dancing through the air. I hear the sounds coming forth from this piece- echoing, chiming, twinkling notes ringing out. I see the stars shining in the midst of the darkest night. I hear stories of life being told in the notes. Are you listening?  
Heaven's Echoes, detail
Heaven's Echoes, detail
L' Amore di Vini
L' Amore di Vini 2014Nuno felted with hand dyed silk gauze and merino wool, yarns, threads, firestar and Italian velvet, hand beaded Sz. 6 Won 1st Place Dress, Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival's Wearable Art Show  Shown in the  2014 FIne Art of Fiber Fashion Show, Chicago Botanic Gardens A design challenge to blend nuno felt techniques with a small piece of velvet yardage purchased in Rome, this dress is perfect for an evening opera in the park. Hand beading adds to the threads of color and shimmer running through the skirt. Perfectly alluring and romantic, it evokes a dusky sunset in Tuscan vineyard.
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
L' Amore di Vini, detail
Lilies of the Field
Lilies of the Field 2008Nuno Felt, hand dyed silk gauze, habotai silk and cotton, hand beading, nuno felt shawlNuno felt and wet felting, beading and more make this fairy princess dress a dream! Lilies of the Field (Matthew 6:28) Like the lilies which are here today and gone tomorrow, this dress was inspired by the sunsets and sunrises, the flowers and fields, their fleeting beauty and the enjoyment we get from these brief moments in our life.
Fall Vest
Fall Vest 2009Nuno Felt with hand dyed habotai silk and merino wool
Fall Vest
Fall Vest2009Nuno Felt with hand dyed habotai silk and merino wool  
Romance
Romance2014Wool felt with vintage, dyed lace and fabricExhibited in the Fine Art of Fiber Fashion Show Chicago Two of Lehrer’s greatest passions are fiber and history. Here tradition blends with modern with a nod to the romanticism of  handmade lace. Dyeing lace has become an interest in the last year, and she wanted to combine it in a piece with her beautiful hand dyed fibers. Lace is the ultimate icon of femininity, it combines tradition, skill, practicality, allure and grace. Drawing these things together, this piece is devoted to the love of lace and the romance with vintage fabrics Lehrer has and will continue to pursue.  
From Our Hands to Yours
From Our Hands to Yours 2008Commissioned by the Local and Organic Governor's Task Force This piece reflects many of the passions of my heart. Growing up on a farm and learning to spin, knit, felt and weave at an early stage taught me to treasure this way of life, the sanctity of the agrarian culture I wanted to capture through my favorite medium.When I first started gathering ideas for this piece, I knew I wanted to capture as much of the locally produced farm products as possible within the piece itself. This presented challenges and joys in the process! All of the fibers I hand dyed to achieve the blend of colors as my mind and eye has captured in the sights all around me.The yarns were spun on drop spindle and wheel, and felting began. As the piece evolved, so did my ideas and thoughts, a few which I would like to impart to you.From Our Hands to Yours was born out of the need to conceptualize in art form the depth and meaning of connecting the producer and consumer worlds. Figurines at the base of the piece represent the world as a whole, our differences richly enhancing and uniting one another. The reflective quality of the mirror also subconsciously mirrors our own faces as we join the circle.Three distinct yarns represent the agricultural community in three unique aspects…The yarn with the synthetic components symbolizes a different type of fiber- fiber optics which through technology connect us together with a wealth of information, knowledge and wisdom to be shared with all.The yarn with the vegetables represents a more refined farm product that meets consumers on the level of their need. In kitchens across the nation, people enjoy the fruits of the fields and this connection is vital and important for all involved.The last yarn has many different raw products from the barns and fields, signifying the beginning. It is the start- the birth of all we depend on as consumers on a day to day basis.The hand symbolizes the giving nature of God, who bountifully blesses the earth with all things. He is the creator of all things beautiful, and He cares for and nurtures the earth. We are chosen to be stewards of the soil, of the resources and of the bounty. The hands of those who toil hold, with every work-worn crease, line and wrinkle, a privilege indeed. 
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail
From Our Hands to Yours, detail  
Fields of Enchantment
Fields of Enchantment 201024" x 126"Wet Felted with wool and embellishment fibers including cotton, yarns, silk fabric, angelina, bamboo and sequins, hand beaded Shown at the Handweaver Guild of America's Convergence Yardage Exhibit, Albuquerque 2010 From the very start of this concept, I knew I wanted to focus on the beautiful, sweeping vistas for which the Southwest is prized. My father grew up in Colorado, and spent much time in the southern part of the state and into New Mexico. Heritages of flavors and traditions have their roots in the culture of that region. Our family enjoys making enchiladas with my grandfather’s special recipe for Christmas every year! My mother worked for a time in the four-corners area with an oil company. In her travels and experiences, she had the privilege to work with natives of the area and has many rich stories to impart. Though I haven’t yet visited that part of the country, their memories play with vividness in my imagination. We’re blessed to live on a farm in heart of America, and raise a flock of Cheviot sheep. Our fiber arts studio, Esther’s Place, focuses on connecting the artist and the producer, with classes, retreats and inspiration. Though a town of only 700 people, it is just an hour west of Chicago. It is such a treasure to be able to be surrounded by open fields, blue skies and the crystal clear sky by night. To not hear the sounds of the city, but the lonely wail of a coyote is a reminder you are in presence of nature. Agriculture is a passion of mine and everywhere I’ve visited, it has been my aspiration to know about the farmers in that area. I’ve learned a lot, but mostly, that all of us are really the same. Whether in Florida, Virginia, Texas, or even half way across the world, we’re all striving to maintain a way of life, a heritage and a beauty in the land around us. That is what challenged me to create this piece. After extensive research, contacting the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau and chatting with locals, I absorbed much about the way of life and culture. This was the foundation for what I felt was a true representation of a mingling of my passion for agriculture, a pleasing combination of pattern, color and texture, as well as an artistic approach to creativity. The fields on the piece each represent crops produced by farms in New Mexico. Some of my finding surprised me…crops such as peanuts thrive in the warm, arid climate and over 350,000 acres of hay are grown! From the bottom of the piece up to the foothills of the mountains are different crops that form patterns in the felt. Undulating peanut, chili pepper and cotton fields give way to neatly planted rows of onions, tall bales of hay drying in the field and the shadowy existence of livestock fences. Each section incorporates unique fibers, textures and techniques as I felted the fabric, bringing to life the crops in a distinctive way. My vision for the yardage would be for draperies, or for high end designer garments. At the top of the piece, is a mountain range quiet in the shadows of night. Their veins are filled with the whispers of gold that first drew settlers from the old world to explore the region. The sky is filled with sparkling celestial beams. Yet the sun, dawning with its glorious light and radiance, is bringing a new day. That new day breaths life into the plants, the soil, the farms and the culture. The new century, the new decade and newness every day presents opportunities and challenges. It pushes us to soar, to fly into areas we haven’t pursued or we want to explore. The birds illuminate when the light shines through, but when night falls again, they form shadows against the skyline. Just like us, everyday we can choose to let the light, warmth and generosity shine through rather than let the darkness overshadow us. Fields of Enchantment…it is the land, the culture and passion for agriculture presenting a beauty that is breathtaking, inspiring and invigorating. 
Past Presence
Past Presence201130" x 30"Nuno Felt with hand dyed silk gauze and merino wool, oil and pastel paints, beadsShown in Verona Tessile, Verona Italy in 2011 and won award for Best Use of Color in the Modern Quilting CategoryThe rich heritage of Italy is the foundation of inspiration for this piece. The layers represent both the past and the contemporary of culture, tradition and passion that exist, mingling and interacting in life.The base layer is comprised of colors that comprise Italy’s countryside, the deep purples of grapes that meander on the hills, the verdant greens of meadows and pastures, and the soil that has cultivated generations of passion. As the layers infuse, it represents the blending of the land and life, the past and the presence of life in the moment.The top layer tells a story….a story of well worn paths, traversed by lives of all kinds. The silk paths have both the footprints and remnants of trade items carried by the early caravans. Glass, ceramics, gold, silk and metal goods made the ancient world globalized. This exchange of culture differs not from our current world quest for globalization.There nestled amidst the hills is glorious Verona. The river winding, full of motion and life, the age worn architecture that has golden glows of civilizations past, and the green of vine and leaf. Fibers, paint and structure come together to create a town that shines in the presence of a rich past.Together, through fabric and fiber, this piece tells the story of an ancient industry that created wealth, beauty and a lasting legacy. The silk road ends in Verona, where the past’s presence mingles in the moment. 
Past Presence, detail
Past Presence, detail
Autumnal Glory
Autumnal Glory2014Nuno Felted with hand dyed habotai silk and merino wool, bamboo, silk threads, angelina, polyester lining Sz. 6Shown in the  2014 FIne Art of Fiber Fashion Show, Chicago Botanic Gardens  
Autumnal Glory, detail
Autumnal Glory, detail
Radiantly Glorious
Radiantly Glorious 201520" x 40"Shown at Verona Tessile, Verona Italy Hand Dyed Silk Fabric and mixed media painting, thread painting, wire spun yarn, needle feltingColors are largely reflected by the amount of light that in which they are viewed. Colors are fluid, perceived by every person in a different way. Colors of the vine, colors of the land, colors of the sky; these are all subject to the ever-changing, brilliantly glorious nature of light.Light touches everything doesn’t it? It lights up the smallest details, such as the veins on a leaf. It spreads a radiating warmth, like the first rays over a dewy field. It brings to life colors from the bleakness of the dark, as a sunrise does to a cold night sky.It does all of these things for the world around us. Yet light does more than alter the surroundings in which we live, it changes us. A smile. An embrace. A beacon of hope. Watch the darkness melt as we offer that small gift. Watch the lines of worry and fear turn into a radiant smile that is reflecting back to you. Feel the warmth of an embrace and the relief of a burden lifted. Be the light at the end of the tunnel for someone. Light, come down from Heaven, illuminates our path from day to day with hope we can impart to each other.In this piece, the details are captured in preciseness, with wool, stitching and wire forming the leaves, fruit, and branches of the grapevines. The idea of how light catches the details is highlighted here, where the viewer is introduced to the vines as though they were taking a walk through the field themselves.As the eye moves to the sun, it brings its light to the world each and every day. It makes colors change, it brings warmth and it marks time. The beams spread and with each of the stitched rays, it stretches further and further into the lives of the people it warms. The sky, awakening from the night, is an array of hand painted colors on habotai silk.The clouds, high in the heavens, are angelic and majestic. Silk gauze, painted with iridescent watercolors, captures the sparkle of night sky disappearing in the dawn. It also symbolizes the presence of Heaven in our lives, of how He watches over us and oversees the rising and setting of the sun.The piece serves as a radiant reminder of how colors and light play such a beautiful role in making so many things lovely in the world surround us. 
Autumnal Glory, detail
Autumnal Glory, detail
Radiantly Glorious, detail
Radiantly Glorious, detail
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask (inside)
Women's Journey in Fiber, 2014: Sophie's Mask (inside)
Silver Lining
Silver Lining
Silver Lining, detail
Silver Lining, detail
Twilight Haze
Twilight Haze
Twilight Haze, detail
Twilight Haze, detail
Photo Credits: Jan Lewis, Donnell Collins, Jimi Allen, Natasha Lehrer Lewis
Photo Credits: Jan Lewis, Donnell Collins, Jimi Allen, Natasha Lehrer Lewis
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