Garden of Chaos

A show by Jennifer Rutherford

Artist’s Statement:

This is my third show at the Craft Center (previous ones in 2010 and 2014), and there’s always a theme of chaos to them. This year’s theme is “Garden of Chaos,” because well, chaos has gotta bloom somewhere fertile. 

I do a lot of work in which I take a lot of different things and put them together--that’s the joy of mosaic making. In this show, I’ve been working on combining collages and mosaics by doing collages and then selecting colored clear glass (not normally an advantage in mosaic work) that layers over the pictures for effect. 

I’ve also become very interested in creating large pieces made up of different things in yarn--possibly a yarn mosaic, if you will? I’ve been spending time in Santa Cruz and getting inspired by pieces I saw there, as well as different museum exhibits, which led me to want to make my own garden of flowers and undersea garden. I’ve become rather obsessed with those ideas, which is kind of funny since I have a brown thumb most of the time--but hey, the yarn doesn’t die! I’m really pleased that those gardens have finally come together, especially since I’ve spent the last two summers working on the flower shawl and have been pondering whether or not I could do an undersea-themed piece for the last few years. I hope to continue adding to the octopus’s garden throughout the month, and if anyone else also likes making sea creatures, you can pin yours to the boards as well and join in. 

The ceramic dolls in the window also reside in a garden most of the time, and if you catch me here in person, ask about the angel with the word “Release” written on the plate it’s stuck to--it’s had an interesting story happen to it. 

The one thing in this show that doesn’t justifiably fit the theme is well, the holiday sweaters. (It’s fall, right? Holidays will be coming....) After my last show, I got the bright idea to not only bring back the idea of “ugly” holiday sweaters, but to make my own insanity and create my own. This is incredibly fun and also gives you something really memorable to tell stories about (read about the goat!), wear at parties and enter in fairs. Alas, this year’s interchanging sweater is less crazy, but I’ve been doing things like sewing flowers together all summer and have been occupied. Maybe it'll get crazier later. 

I would like to thank Meg Brown, Jamie Lund and Melinda Morris for helping me with and/or contributing pieces to this show. Without them, this show would be far less awesome.

Artist’s Biography

Jennifer Rutherford is a longtime Craft Center volunteer and instructor, who has taught T-shirt reconstruction and beginning sewing. She currently specializes in teaching stained glass mosaic courses at the Craft Center and teaching knitting and crochet for UC Davis staff and pretty much anyone else who wants to drop in and learn elsewhere. She is a co-founder of the Yarn Club (, a drop-in crafting group for everyone who wants to come that meets in the basement of the UC Davis bookstore at noon every Friday, and co-runs a mailing list for the group for which she compiles local photos of crafts, silly link roundups relating to yarn, and the occasional yarn-related book review. She specializes in textiles and glass but dabbles in other areas such as ceramics, flameworking, and jewelrymaking. She also writes and does storytelling on stage, and has been performing in various areas of the Sacramento region. She’s that girl wearing those colorful outfits and reading that you see walking down the street, and she believes that yarn is the original fidget spinner and brings it everywhere. 

For more information, call the Craft Center at 530-752-1475.