Santa Fe, NM
Barbara Woods was born in New Mexico and moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid 1960’s. In 1975 she returned to New Mexico where she raised 3 children with her husband, H. Tom Thomas. Currently her time is spent working in her studio in the foothills of Santa Fe.
Barbara’s experience in textiles dates back over 30 years and includes a strong background in tailoring and pattern drafting, design and construction. She has built everything from ski parkas and large tents to a clothing line and functional fabric art. In 1988 she began studying the eastern techniques of Shibori, Katazome and Batik. The Gutta Serti technique is her preferred choice for silk painting.
Between 1990 and 1996 Barbara owned and operated the Woodsilks Clothing Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The gallery, serving a worldwide clientele, represented her work as well as works by textile artists from around the USA. It specialized in custom hand-painted silk clothing; loomed knits and hand-weavings. In 1996 she closed the gallery to concentrate on her art.
Wishing to appeal to a broader audience Barbara began designing a silk & ceramic sculptural light. She begins in slab-constructed clay carving bases and bodies. After firing the ceramics she adds patinas and paint. Finally she creates a silk painting to finish the piece often using winged creature and landscape motifs. Her creations become free standing lighted sculptures and sconces.
Besides the hand sculpted bases built by Barbara she utilizes turned ceramic bases by Mike Walsh to fill out her line. In 2010 she introduced a line of limited edition lamps printed on silk. Using a large format printer and archival inks they are produced in her studio.
In addition to her sculptural lighting Barbara collaborates with her husband, H. Tom Thomas, to create more traditional lamps. Tom builds intricate turned hardwood bases to which Barbara adds complementary hand-painted silk shades.