“I’ve finally come to the end of the tunnel. It has been a fascinating adventure but I don’t think I can say I would do it again”. Over 2 decades ago, Laura Hopkins found herself in a very unique predicament. “My professional organization told me that I am not the first to be in a situation like this; our degree makes us see things differently. I had to leave the world of engineering and become an artist if I was ever going to get to the bottom of this.” Laura found herself immersed in a journey that allowed her, as an engineer, to define new territory in mathematics. “Over the years, it became clear that this was a journey my right brain would have to take the lead on; the left would just have to sit back and hope that eventually everything would work out”.
In the late 2000’s, with a small grant from the state of Iowa, Laura established her textile arts studio called The Sable Sabot. “I needed a place to study design (architecture) and construction (engineering). I knew I was stuck somewhere between them. It led to my discovery of an irrational number, a relative of the Golden Mean”. A sabot is a wooden clog, the name being a tribute to the Dutch architect whose work she studied over the years. Her groundbreaking work was achieved in a piece called Athena-Pallas; Her Father’s Daughter, a six year journey. “Creating that quilt was like pulling the cork off a bottle of champagne. There was a lot of pressure behind it. Many more quilts were housed within it; I am still working on them”. Her collection of textile artwork is an extraordinary example of creativity, initiative and a pioneering female spirit.
Beginning in 2007, Laura became a fixture at Venus Envy, "a celebration of women in the arts" that ran annually from 2005 to 2014 in the Quad Cities at Bucktown Center. In 2011, from her quilts and her decades of study, she wrote and published her first book. Laura’s work has been displayed at the MidCoast Center for the Arts in Davenport and Moline. Her textile artwork is an extraordinary example of creativity, initiative and a pioneering female spirit.
120 N. Dubuque St.,
Iowa City, IA 52240