Diane Itter, American (1946 - 1989)

Diane Itter

Diane Itter (1946–1989) was an American fiber artist. Her work emerged from the 1960s renaissance of interest in fiber art. While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, she met her future husband, artist William Itter, who encouraged her to experiment with hand-tied knots. Itter used fine threads, small knots, and bright colors, whereas most fiber artists working at the time were producing large sculptural works from undyed fibers tied into large knots.


Itter had limited herself to brightly dyed thread and a single type of knot by 1974. Each work took her about one and one-half weeks of 8 to 10 hour workdays. In 1981, she developed carpal-tunnel syndrome. She slept with splints on her wrists, but continued to produce 20 to 30 intricate pieces annually, while continuing her teaching and lecturing schedule. In 1989, Diane Itter succumbed to a three-year struggle with cancer, at the age of 43.

Artist’s Statement:
"I view my work as studies or fragments, parts of some greater whole as yet undiscovered. For me the excitement evolves as I work on the pieces - there is no planning involved and the pieces are always open to change. The working process is of greater importance than the finished piece…I have the desire to create something so complex that the method of its madness cannot be figured out."

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