“I create to tell stories”
Dominique is a self-taught fiber artist. Quilting is her medium to tell her stories. She knows the rules, patterns and techniques. She uses them as a mean to transport, express, touch and reinvent. First, a story emerges and then it starts building up, taking shape and growing in three dimensions. She assembles it in her head, design it to the last detail and once ready, she turns it into a sketch.
Sketches become paper models, who then become patterns. With Stéphan, her husband and accomplice, she pushes back all limits and frontiers.
Her artwork plays with the wind, defies gravity, invites to exploration and interaction.
Dominique’s off trail route
The evolution of 3D quilting by Canadian artist Dominique Ehrmann is quite an extraordinary story.
It began in 2005 with a simple question by Stéphan, Dominique’s husband, : “Will you go camping and fishing with me for a month long trip?” Dominique, who was an accomplished baker and chocolate maker, thought this over and considered what she would be doing while all this fishing was going on. She enjoyed casual sewing, so she agreed to go, but only if Stéphan made her a sewing machine that she could use without electricity. This way, she would sew in the woods while he was off catching dinner.
At this point in her life, she had never been to art school, had never drawn or engaged in an art activity other than creative chocolate and cake endeavors.
Stéphan rose to the occasion and invented a solar-powered sewing machine for Dominique and a propane heater for her iron. With that, she set off on a completely unexpected path as a self-taught quilt-maker-in-the-wild novice to later become a sophisticated fabric sculptor and fiber engineer.
Years go by… Yet they’ve always brought something new to Dominique’s Journey
Dominique's work is now defined as a representative fiber sculptures. Her horizon broaden : not only the doors to museum are now opened, but she's approached by the fashion industry who wishes to apply her techniques to designer clothing.
On May 30th, Dominique Ehrmann becomes the first recipient of Courtepointe Québec Excellence Award. This gratitude underlines Dominique's exceptional contribution in textile art, the cutting-edge which she brings into this ancestral art, the development of multiple new techniques and the brilliance of this art profession. See a clip of the gala.
Highfield Hall & Gardens (Falmouth, MA) receives Dominique Ehrmann for a five months solo exhibition. By their request, Dominique will create the piece Approaching Highfield Hall, representing the exhibition location.
From then, Dominique is known as an accomplished fiber artist outside the quilting world. On top of the proficient press covering, the artist creations are sold to different artwork collectors.
Awards and honors
- MQX Quilt Show New England (Manchester, NH): Second place in the New Tradition in Textiles category for her Serenity installation.
The Shelburne Museum, in Vermont, receive Dominique as a contemporary fiber artist. The exhibition Once Upon a Quilt presents 15 pieces for a 6 months period in the Textile Hat and Fragrance gallery.
In July 2016, HandEye magazine published an article, Magical Quilts, a detailed virtual visit of the Once upon a Quilt exhibition.
Although she uses traditional techniques and fabrics, she has explored the boundaries of contemporary fiber arts, with novel manufacturing structures, multi-dimensional layers, and kinetic elements.
The fiber artist creations are always appreciated by the visitors and win many public choice awards. However, in spite of the fact that Dominique respects the rules in her conceptions, she’s excluded from the majority of the competitions by the judges who do not know how to classify her work anymore.
In the same period, the Shelburne museum approaches Dominique to expose her work in 2016. This invitation marks a big step for the fiber artist and it allows her to have room to create freely. So will be born the Kinetic Quilt and two interactive pieces : Pin Wheel bloc and Luminescent.
Dominique is received as a guest artist of the Sacred Threads biennial in the Virginia, United States. Her trip and her presence (conference, workshop and on the main floor) is funded by a sponsor. The exhibition proposes an artwork series organized by themes. Come and Follow me represents joy.
Awards and honors
- Courtepointe Québec Salon: Traders awards for Serenity
- Vermont Quilt Festival: Public Choice Award for Serenity
While passing at the Not Fade Away Conference in Herndon, Virginia, the fiber artist takes part in the project “Go Tell It at the Quilt Show!”.
Dominique is invited by Katonah Art Museum for a grand North American exhibition for a three months period. The exhibition, titled “Beyond the Bed: The American Quilt Evolution”, presents the quilting world evolution through 32 chosen pieces from the traditional bed quilt to mural artwork. The artwork Come and Follow me concludes the quilts evolutionary route traced by the commissioner. The piece occupies the center of the room, stands and represents the cutting-edge of this art profession.
Dominique’s installation appears in double spread in the catalog of the exhibition.
Dominique continues to teach and participate in different shows and exhibition. She wins the grand prize with Sweet Memories at the Salon Courtepointe Québec. It will be the first time that a fiber sculpture wins a prize normally attributed to traditional quilt. This event creates a controversy in the quilting world.
In Vermont, this same piece is contested by the judges that considers it to be in low relief and not a real 3-dimensional piece. Meanwhile, the piece receive the Public Choice Award.
The installation Come and Follow me continues to please the public and mystifies the community. Listen to Dominique meeting with Bonnie McCaffery.
Dominique’s first extensive 3D installation, Come and Follow me, comes out. This 8 feet x 6 feet x 18 inches installation required approximately 1,000 hours of work from 2008 to 2010. Dominique has developed a variety of new techniques to help her create this cutting-edge installation while using many traditional quilt techniques.
Come and Follow me wins many awards in Québec and in the United States, but she affects the American quilt exhibition world. Follow this creation, many shows changes their inscription rules so that only two dimensions quilt are allowed. This will prevent the fiber artist from accessing these regular diffusion location with her 3-densional pieces.
However, thanks to this recognition, she will be called to give conferences and workshops in Canada and in the United States.
Dominique first participation to the Salon Courtepointe Québec (Montreal).
This biannual event celebrate quilts and textile art.
Awards and honors
- 1st place award in textile art with Lady Gabie.
- 2nd place in the “humor challenge” category with Super Quilter.
- This same piece will win a Whimsical Award in Vermont in June of the same year.
Courtepointe Claire in Laval, a place of ancestral art of quilting and its more contemporary form, hires Dominique to give quilting workshops. She will teach there three days a week up to shop closure in 2015.
Dominique begins her search in fiber art. She explores the traditional methods, works with the paper piecing and develops her own techniques.