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Friday, December 3, 2021

Colton Fabrics draws inspiration from artist family’s creativity

Amber Calderilla grew up surrounded by creativity. All the women in his family were fiber and cloth artisans while the men were all woodworkers.

“The family friends were artists and musicians,” said the Colton resident. “Creativity was always there.”

When young Calderilla told her parents that she wanted to be involved in the arts, they were very supportive.

“We went to local art festivals where I could see different types of art,” she said. “When we could we went to local performances of music and dance. I started drawing. I took dance and music lessons. I wrote out my thoughts and ideas. Most importantly, I have done this work with the support and encouragement of my family.”

Examples of clothing and textile artist Amber Calderilla. (Courtesy of Amber Calderilla)

Calderilla said that he found theater to be his biggest influence.

“Costume, direction, choreography, set design,” she said. “Everything I make now is because of my theater background. He and my early influence of the women in the family. ,

Watching these women make blankets, as well as pieces both functional and decorative, played a big part in Calderilla becoming a fiber and textile artist today. However, theater would play a direct role in his career as well.

“My theater background has given me the opportunity to do a comedy show for an international audience as a headliner act on cruise ships,” she said. “I wrote the act, created a character, created the prop costume, and rehearsed it with my partner. It’s all very nerve-wracking, but when you get that pay-off of standing ovations and cry-laughs, it’s worth it.” Is. “

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Calderilla, who goes by the artistic name Crafty Mantis, considers her current artistic style to be an evolution of the traditional work done by the women in my family.

“I take the foundation that they started and lead them in a new direction of functional art,” she said.

He believes that art can be a lifeline for people.

“I’ve noticed that art gives people a sense of purpose when they’ve felt a loss,” she said. “I see art as a community builder, giving people a place to gather and share their creativity. In my travels in the United States and around the world, I have seen art as a cultural identity. Art is so much more than what you put on the wall. It’s a story told in physical form.”

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