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Dragon Skin Ensemble Headshot.png

Dragon skin ensemble


Patti Barker


"Mama Mia" Leslie


Fibers, Sheer Fabric, Dyes, Beads, Felt, Glitter.

Artist Statement

Early fascination with fabric and fashion came from my seamstress mother. You might say fiber art is bound into my DNA.

A unique medium, fibers have the ability to be sculptural in form, applied painterly, and to become wearable. My journey began with a study of skin. Skin as a protective covering, as camouflage, as an identifier. I began creating simulated animal skins, then magnified human skin, leading to hybrids. I am fascinated with the way donning wearable art changes its wearer. Movement of the human body offers an exciting dimension to the design process, allowing art that transforms. The body breathes life, shape and movement into the art, while the art alters the wearer’s emotions, perceptions and attitude.

Through the slow, laborious process of coaxing fibers to join sheer fabric with nothing but soapy water and my hands, I created five Nuno-felted, seamless garments. I created my ensemble using techniques like hand-painting and dyeing double-faced Nuno felt, as well as embroidering beads into fabrics.

My Dragon Skin, a 5-piece ensemble, was created to promote female empowerment. Its wearer emits the power to slay a dragon and fashion the spoils. Her warrior spirit message is “YOU are stronger than you even know.”

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