Pattiy Torno

Pattiy Torno

Fotopiecing: Observation as Meditation


The glint of sunlight colors a rusty manhole cover to purples and turquoise at the end of the day in Asheville, North Carolina. One frigid January morning, underneath the town dock in Castine, Maine, finds the light bouncing off Penobscot Bay, casting my ethereal shadow on a barnacled sea wall.


The imagery found in fotopiecings is a record of the colors, textures and patterns that catch my eye. Committing to making this work requires me to pay attention… to take no glance for granted… a willingness to stop what I am doing and respond in the present… the making of images often taking place first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, when the light alters the everyday and makes it extraordinary… fulfilling the meditative aspect necessary for a creative life.


I do very little, if any, adjustments to form or colors of the subject matter in my images… preferring to use them as they come out of my camera or iphone, as I see them on my computer screen and as they emerge from my printer.


Dying the edges of the substrate bass wood or tong wood boxes with colors that compliment the imagery I seek to employ begins the process. After a series of sandings & layers of lacquer, I move on to my stash of images… making digital archival pigment inkjet fotoprints… then precisely cutting the chosen images, piecing together the final arrangement and adhering the fotos to the chosen box. Several more layers of lacquer seal the fotopieicing.


There exists a constant collaboration between human made and nature made… some new, some weathered, in varieties of color, repetition and form, seeking the appropriate balance. Fotopiecings play with quantity (how much) and relationship (juxtaposition) to find harmony.


Transplanted to Asheville from NYC in 1984, artist & designer Pattiy Torno, hand cuts & sews fabrics collected from around the world, creating her signature “eclectic interplay” of color & pattern. Always productive, Pattiy’s various bodies of work include extraordinary, contemporary, machine pieced/hand quilted quilts, eclectic few-of-a-kind, smart, comfortable, knit clothing, fun fleece hats & scarves, baby blankets & hats, couch throws, shawls, queen spreads & warm, fashion, pullovers as well as a new body of work called photopiecings… a marriage of the quilt & photography work Pattiy has been creating for close to 30 years.

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Pattiy Torno