October 20, 2017
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Seeking Serenity

New Harmony artist finds peace through designing textiles
Laura Foster Nicholson works at one of her looms in her New Harmony, Indiana, art studio.

One glance around textile artist Laura Foster Nicholson’s studio reveals her love for fabrics. Pieces of cloth, thread, and draperies occupy every corner. As she apologizes for the mess of her creative workspace, the Chicago native says she finds her peace at the loom.

“I like the pace of weaving,” says the New Harmony, Indiana, artist who has been weaving since 1973. “It allows me to meditate and visualize what I’m doing. It calms me. It is very clear. You see that I live in a big mess, but when I get to the loom, it has to be orderly, or you can’t weave. It is a truly creative space for me. I just love textiles and I love threads.”

Nicholson, who works with both corporate and private clients through her business LFN Textiles, is a longtime home textiles designer for Crate & Barrel and Land of Nod and creates home décor such as rugs, pillows, doormats, dish towels, and more. She also sells her designs in the local shops around New Harmony such as The Mews, the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and New Harmony’s Atheneum. She was recently commissioned to create two tapestries this year for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The majority of fabric furnishings in her studio at 508 Main St., and her home, a few doors down on Main, are a product of what she’s created herself. 

“That is bliss — having complete control over your environment,” says Nicholson of her custom interior textile design work. She continuously works with interior designers. “I’m honored when people bring me into their lives to do that for them.”

Nicholson says she knew she wanted to be an artist at age 6. She obtained her bachelor of fine arts degree at Kansas City Art Institute and her master of fine arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She moved to New Harmony in 2006 and says the modern landscape has inspired her latest collection of tapestries.

“I’m getting very interested in how oil has affected the landscape here,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of rural work like that and the fact that the oil tanks (and wells) are there, while we pretend they are not. I love how the industrial colors filter into the landscape.”

Her collection of rural landscape tapestries is being shown at the By Hand Gallery on Feb. 6 in Bloomington, Indiana, and remains there until March 30.

For more information about Laura Foster Nicholson and LFN Textiles, call 812-682-3733 or visit lfntextiles.com.

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