Barbara Whitehorse Volk

Lewis County


BFA, Maryland institute of Art


Life is art and art is life. There is no separation for me. I have been creating since I was a child. I have a curious nature and am always learning new things. I am inspired by everything! For me, it is about the process. Although I do like to have a beautiful final product, the process of creating is what fascinates me. I lose myself in the act of joining threads (horse hair, beads, fibers), and I sit back and often say “WOW, that came through me!” I love useful things and wearable things. Most of my work takes the form of jewelry and bags. I have always been inspired by the traditional cultures of the world. Everything they wore, every tool they used was a work of art. Art is life and life is art.


I am a fiber artist. I found fibers while in college at the Maryland Institute of Art. Although I do many things, I draw, paint, work in leather, fibers are my true love. For many years I wove fabric, beadwork encompassed me for 25 years. Primarily, I know work with horse hair. I braid using the Japanese method of Kumihimo, I weave, and I hitch. Of all of the techniques I have had the pleasure of learning, horse hair hitching is by far the most fascinating, the most difficult and the most time intensive. It is the humble half hitch, used in a profoundly complex way. Historically, hitching was almost a lost art, but there recently has been a resurgence in its popularity.

Other Creative Skills

Drawing, Jewelry-making, Leather Crafting, Textile Design & Artistry

Barbara Whitehorse Volk's Work

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