Lou Herring Webster
As a native of North Carolina, my love of texture and materials stems from a fascination of the dilapidated farmhouses and barns that dot the rural landscape. Structures long abandoned fall slowly to the earth. Broken and twisted they evolve into mixed media sculptures of rusted metal, weathered planks, and untamed vegetation. I am drawn to the quiet beauty of these ragged forms and worn surfaces and most important, to the individuality they exude.
In the South there exists a stubborn frugality—that use what you have mentality—that drives creativity in many ways. Like those rural “sculptures” I admire in the landscape the items that comprise my art have been discarded too. Most were once useful household articles, now upcycled and reimagined. Found objects are evaluated for form, symmetry and balance in relationship to each other. Having a green perspective allows me to reap double satisfaction from my work. Each finished piece becomes something greater than merely the sum of its parts; it has character, whimsy and a new story to tell.
A native of rural North Carolina, Lou earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design at NC State University in Raleigh. Her studio focus was Surface Design with a minor in Apparel and Textile Management. While at NC State she received the Louis Cramer Award for Textile Design, a scholarship that provided for a semester’s study abroad at the prestigious Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, Scotland. Her independent studies drew upon Scotland’s rich history and ancient landscapes in developing patterns for knitted and woven fabrics.
After graduating from NC State she attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in Fibers. Her thesis “Shelter Remnants” explored the similarities between architectural ruins and the draping quality of textiles. These large wall sculptures were constructed of metal and screen printed fabrics.
Her career spans over 19 years of designing textiles and floorcoverings for the home furnishings, commercial and hospitality markets. Her designs and color development work have earned several industry awards and technology-related patents. In addition to her industry experience she has led craft workshops, taught design seminars and undergraduate textile classes, and provided mentoring opportunities to young designers.
The layering and mixing of materials with textiles continues to be an influence that binds Lou’s professional and studio work. Currently she is exploring the use of recycled and upcycled materials in her sculptural character studies.
Lou is employed with Milliken & Company as a Senior Designer in their Floorcovering Division and specializes in hospitality carpet design. She splits her time between South Carolina and North Carolina, where she shares a home with her husband, two sons, and one thoroughly silly dog.
- Upcycled Assemblage Art and Jewelry
- Commission Work
- Textile Design
- Color Trends
- New Product Development