A Life of Art
I have always loved art and design, and grew up surrounded by both primitive and modern art. The idea that one form of art was “better” or more worthy than another was not something I learned until I entered school. Thankfully it’s an idea I rejected. As a result, I embrace all art, particularly contemporary art, outsider art, art that is the unedited response to life.
As a child, my mother taught me to knit, embroider and sew. My father introduced me to tapestry. I sold my first painting when I was 16 and later that same year filled my first order for embroidered Christmas tree ornaments that I designed and made.
I graduated from Parson’s School of Design and began a career in fashion, freelancing for design houses in London and New York. I began designing knits for Elle Magazine, where I was the editor of the Hand Knit Page.
Ariane Zurcher Designs has been featured in leading fashion publications and blogs including, Italian Vogue, W Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, In Style, L.A. Times Magazine, Modern Jeweler, StyleCaster and many more. I’ve also been involved in many charitable projects including benefit events for The Aspen Institute and The World Gold Council’s Leaves of Gold.
Art, fiber, fabric and yarn are the common threads that have been a constant in my life. Several years ago, I rediscovered hand stitching, embroidery and fabric art and began designing representational and abstract pieces. I couldn’t believe I’d been missing out on something I learned to do as a child but had forgotten about. Within a short period of time stitching became a full-on obsession. I began stitching free form and fell in love with the freedom of taking a piece of fabric and transforming it into a piece of art. I call this process “Improvisational Stitching.”
I began dyeing my own fabrics. Another pool to dive into. I dyed, painted, stenciled and mono-printed fabric, cut them up and stitched art quilts, but hand stitching remains my siren song. It’s in my blood.
As a artist, I’m always searching, learning, experimenting and trying new things. I’m left-handed and had a hard time finding instructional videos for left-handed stitchers. I decided to change that, and launched my YouTube Channel, On the Other Hand. The channel began as a series of tutorials for left-handers, but quickly evolved into so much more: Tutorials and explorations into the creative process, use of color, shape, layering, adding line and how all these elements are considered when creating a piece, whether representational or abstract.
I’ve created a number of stitching projects: needle rolls, pouches, bags, pillows, eyeglass/phone cases, scissor cases. Previously, the patterns and instructions were featured exclusively on Etsy as digital downloads, but now they’re all available here, along with my workshops, stitch-along Zoom Series as well as live-streaming videos so we can all create together.
But first and foremost I’m an artist.
I love teaching almost as much as learning. I’ve always been a great supporter and cheerleader for friends and family. Now I get to do that with a whole new group of friends from every corner of the world, all of us sharing the same wonderful obsession – art and creating!
Writing and More
I was the voice of Barb for the audiobook – I Might Be You by Barb Rentenbach and Lois Prislovsky, wrote the foreword to Judy Endow’s book: Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated and have given presentations with my daughter at autism conferences and schools around the country.
Regardless of the medium, I always come back to designing. It’s my first love and remains so to this day.