born 1964, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Katrinka has been sewing her whole life for her family and as a professional seamstress. However, it wasn’t until she turned 50 and stopped following sewing patterns that she began to consider herself an artist. The change was motivated by an urgent need to stop a recurring dream about stitching a wallflower on her simple, domestic sewing machine. Once she started stitching in a free motion style, the relentless wallflower dream stopped. But Katrinka hasn’t. Whenever she’s stitching her detailed, elaborate creations, she experiences a feeling of elation and freedom. Each of her pieces teaches her something about the next one.
Katrinka gets ideas from everything, especially nature. Currently, she is most fascinated with the universality and history behind bricks. In 2021, after making 2,000 commissioned masks, she started using a new method of embroidery using yarn as though it were paint on a canvas. She calls this process “Neo-Embroidery.” Her hope is that viewers of her work will be transported to another place, where time is suspended and they can be “free in their wildness.”
As a self-taught artist, Katrinka firmly believes in “learning by doing.” In fact, she reports being told by many artists that having an art degree inhibits them and they wish they didn’t have one. After spending three semesters at the University of Arkansas studying Russian Language, she apprenticed as a pastry chef and worked for 13-years in a chicken processing plant. Being an artist is now her full-time job.