- The objectives of this study were:
1. To identify factors which contribute to the success of a
fiber artist in Oregon, including skills or knowledge gained from
training or experience.
2. To draw up recommendations for use by colleges and universities
to facilitate the evaluation of programs designed to train successful
3. To provide fiber artists with a summary of general information
regarding their Oregon peers.
The investigator interviewed ninety-five fiber artists from twentysix
cities and towns in Oregon; eighty-eight artists were females and
seven were males. A measure of success was devised and used to rate
the artists. The Investigator's Rating of Success and the artists' own
ratings of success were compared and correlated with several other
No significant relationship was found between scores on the
Investigator's Rating of Success and the Self Rating of Success. Significant
relationships were found between the Investigator's Rating of
Success scores and the number of years doing work, the hobbyist/
professional self rating, and the number of hours doing work each week.
The Self Rating of Success scores were significantly related with the
hobbyist/professional self ratings.
T-tests were used to assess differences in the Investigator's
Rating of Success scores and in the Self Rating of Success scores of
artists divided according to techniques used, articles produced, sales
outlets, source of commissions, training, and sex. Significant differences
were found in the Investigator's Rating of Success scores of
artists who do/do not (a) use weaving techniques, (b) use techniques
other than weaving, and (c) use construction techniques. Significant
differences were found in the Self Rating of Success scores of artists
who do/do not use surface embellishment techniques.
The artists were asked to rate a list of skills or knowledge
according to the extent to which they contributed to success as an
artist, and to indicate where each could best be learned. The skills
which were rated the highest were design ability and expertise in
technique(s). Other skills which were rated very high were related to
exhibiting work. Income and money management skills were rated
relatively high. How to obtain grants, and how to set up a studio were
skills whose high, medium, and low ratings were almost equally distributed.
Skills which were rated relatively low in contribution to
success were: ability to teach, ability to write, and ability to lecture.
Skills which the artists indicated could best be learned through
training or mostly through training were use of contracts, how to
obtain grants, how to put portfolio together and getting good photos of
your work. Skills which the artists indicated could best be learned
through both training and experience were ability to write, expertise
in technique(s), design ability, ability to teach, ability to lecture, and
management of income. Skills which the artists indicated could best
be learned through experience, or mostly through experience, include
how to exhibit, how to price artwork, how to obtain commissions,
organization of work, how to set up a studio, where to exhibit and
obtaining of materials at reasonable cost. Keeping good records of
income and expenses was the only skill whose ratings were evenly
divided among the five categories of where each skill could best be
Several recommendations, based upon the artists ratings of the
factors which contribute to success, were drawn up for the use of
colleges and universities to facilitate the evaluation of programs
designed to train fiber artists. Suggestions for further study were
made. A summary of the thesis was prepared and sent to the participating