Mesmerizing Mandalas

Have you seen these marvelous tapestry crocheted mandalas on Yahoo Tapestry Crochet and Ravelry by Sriyana? The more I see and read about this talented woman, the more I want to see and know!

Stacey Glasgow
Stacey Glasgow, aka Sriyana, with her prize-winning Woodland and Star Mandalas.

When I asked Stacey if I could blog about her work, she not only agreed, but helped by emailing me the following:

“Originally from Michigan, I grew up on the northern edge of Detroit. As a young girl I was drawn to old-timey handcrafts, and all forms of art. My grandmother knew how to crochet, and at my request, taught me the basics when I was about eight years old. Soon afterward, I enthusiastically improvised my first original crochet project –- a simple pastel-striped baby blanket with ruffled edge for my newborn cousin. I continued to crochet on and off over the years, and although I found I was actually good at reading patterns, I often experimented with crocheting my own basic designs.”

“In 2002, after an eleven-month adventure in a small RV, my husband and I settled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Over the next few years, I did some drawing and painting, something I’ve always loved to do. I began work on a painted mandala. ‘Mandala’ is an ancient Sanskrit term, loosely translated to mean ‘circle.’ The creation of mandalas is an ancient art form, the process of which is said to open communication between the conscious and subconscious mind. Mandalas are used in many religious traditions, and were studied and used by Carl Jung in his work. Jung said, ‘Drawing mandalas expands one’s thinking, exercises integrity, exposes unconscious traits, focuses attention and brings self-knowledge. It calms and relaxes the psyche.’ ”

Hawaiian and Helios Mandalas by Stacey Glasgow
Hawaiian dates to 2006 and Helios to 2007.

“During this time, I attempted some crocheted color-work designs using standard graph paper, but was dissatisfied with the results, due to the many loose ends and floats, and the distortion of the motifs. I began searching the Internet for ‘crocheted tapestries,’ and found Carol Ventura’s books. I was elated, and placed my order for More Tapestry Crochet. As soon as it arrived at my door, I ravenously scanned Carol’s tutorial of the tapestry crochet technique. A light went on, and the floodgates were open! I immediately began designing my own tapestry crochet projects.”

“In 2005, I decided to improvise a tapestry-crocheted mandala. It became the first of many, and in 2007, I devoted much of my time to this newfound passion.”

“Many things give me inspiration for my mandala designs, including the beautiful natural surroundings here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I live. Stars, trees, flowers and plants, and other symbols of nature all find their way into my work.”

Knight and Bloom Mandalas by Stacey Glasgow
These Knight and Bloom Mandalas date to 2007.

“Music and dance also inspire me. My husband has a talent for writing songs, and is often sitting alongside me, playing and singing as I work. Music is one of the things that brought us together, and continues to nurture the bond between us. I sing harmony with him, and offer suggestions when he’s stuck on a lyric. I also love to dance, and have a great little circle of friends here in Asheville who share that passion. We get together as regularly as possible, often with their new babies in tow, to practice fusion-style bellydance. Gathering with these goddess-women is always inspiring to me. The spiral is a basic form of movement, as inherent in dance as it is in other forms of nature. My dancing and my mandalas, with their basic spiral form, feel closely connected.”

“I also enjoy reading about the folk arts of widely varying, fascinating cultures, such as the Pennsylvania Dutch, Native American, Scandinavian, Middle Eastern and Indonesian traditions. It is inspiring and humbling to find parallels and connections between my work and the work of artists from all over the world, who may have lived hundreds, or even thousands of years ago, all the way up to the present. My little collection of well-loved books on the subject is always growing, and I visit museums whenever I have the opportunity. Although my traveling experience has been relatively limited, I do love to travel, and hope to do more of it in the future. There are so many places I read about that I would like to visit. Ravelry.com has been a windfall, providing the opportunity to virtually ‘meet’ fiber artists from all over the world.”

Earth Mandala by Stacey Glasgow
This Earth Mandala dates to 2007.

“My mandalas have, thus far, been crocheted out of wool. Much of the yarn I use is spun from fleeces produced locally by Bovidae Farm in Mars Hill, NC, where I can stop and pet the sheep while visiting their wonderful on-site yarn shop. Their fleeces are sent out to Bartlett Yarns, Inc. in Maine, to be processed into yarn in one of the last ‘spinning mule‘ mills in existence in the US, and are then returned to be sold on the farm where they originated.”

“My mandalas are worked in a continuous spiral, often carrying five to eight colors simultaneously. I also end-off colors and add in new ones as I go, so that a completed mandala may end up with as many as seventeen colors and shades, like my Star Flower Mandala Tapestry . . . or more!”

Star Flower Mandala by Stacey Glasgow
This Star Flower Mandala dates to 2007.

“Once I’ve reached the desired size for a particular mandala, I crochet the last row around a brass-coated steel wire macramé hoop [what a GREAT idea!!!]. This allows me to easily display them, nice and flat, on a wall.”

“Each mandala I create is one-of-a-kind, an improvised design that reveals itself gradually as it develops outward from its center. This unfolding process is meditative, but also exciting. The journey of their creation is therapeutic work, and the final result is always something of a surprise. My mandalas are intended to be enjoyed as wall-hanging tapestries in sacred spaces.”

Stacey explained her technique and added these encouraging words on Ravelry:

“I am not a math person, by nature. So I calculate as little as possible! Making flat circular designs is something you will just get the hang of with some trial and error. I know it can be frustrating, but don’t give up, the ‘AHA!’ moment is just around the corner!”

“I use the increases to branch my designs out, and/or start new motifs right on the increases. Sometimes I do just slip in increases wherever they work, regardless of rules, but I do try to stagger them around from row to row to avoid creating any points on my circle. If you have Carol’s book, More Tapestry Crochet, check out the pattern for the blanket on page 85. I have used the first 19 Rounds of that as an increase guide for getting a flat circle started.”

“Just remember, your design has to accommodate expansion as the circle gets larger . . . so you must either add a new motif when you increase, or make your original motif or background color triangulate out like a slice of pie. If you think of it as a circle made of pie slices, you might get the ‘aha’ moment…or you might just get hungry. Get a slice of pie, (I like coconut cream . . . mmm . . . coconut cream . . . sorry, Homer Simpson moment, there), and keep practicing!”

Stacey Glasgow’s Scarf
“This was worked using the back-loop tapestry crochet technique. The design is my own, based on traditional Scandinavian-style motifs. I incorporated a pass-through slot into the scarf, at my sister’s request.”

Stacey also designs tapestry crochet clothing and accessories – but mandalas are her passion. I’m really looking forward to seeing her new work – which I find calming and exhilarating at the same time!

48 Responses to “Mesmerizing Mandalas”

  1. myra Says:

    When I first saw Sriyana’s work on Ravelry I was thrilled to see the level she has taken crochet to as art. I didn’t realize until I saw her holding them in these pictures how big they were! Now that I’ve read her process of letting them evolve and grow I’m even more inspired by her visions. Carol, thank you for this wonderful entry. You must be so moved to see what you started!!

  2. Noreen Crone-Findlay Says:

    Thank you so much for this introduction to Stacey’s work! It’s exquisite and enthralling. And, of course, thank you for sharing your passion for tapestry crochet with us!
    This is just so wonderful!

  3. Anu Says:

    Thank you for this, wonderful creations, so inspiring.

    I’ll link it here thru the Tapestry Crochet group site
    http://tapestrycrochet.blogspot.com/ as it deserves to be shown to as many tapestry crochet artists as possible.

  4. Steve Barnes Says:

    I first met Stacey about 6 years ago and thought from the beginning she was an amazing person capable of anyting she sought…this is the first I’ve seen of this work and she continues to confirm my first impression.

  5. tutu Says:

    I’ve known Stacey for many years. Not only is she a talented artist but she is also a beautiful dancer. Her art, crochet, and dancing all reveal different facets of her creative energy. She continues to amaze and delight me.

  6. Marianne Says:

    such beautiful work..it is truly mesmerising!

  7. April Says:

    What amazingly beautiful work! I am truly impressed. I especially enjoyed reading about your journey as an artist.

  8. firewalkergallery Says:

    Stacey…

    I am so impressed. I had no Idea what you have been up to in your corner of the mountains.
    The Earth Mandala, Helios and Woodland are my favorites… all are quite impressive.
    I am glad to discover another part of your creativity, you and Mick have a lot to bring to our community and I am glad y’all are here in Marshall. I love to think about the two of you out there supporting each others art and making harmony together… thanks for sharing that part of your story.

    Proud to know you… great work.

    Wow… another look at the pictures above and… Knight and Star are just amazing also.Not to mention the scarf… good greif!

  9. Susan Yosemiteelp Says:

    A wonderful article, Stacey! I look forward to seeing more of your work.

  10. Betanya Says:

    Stacey is such a beautiful person, I think it’s obviously reflected in her gorgeous work! Wow, the mandalas are so beautiful! I Want to see more!!

  11. Barbara Says:

    Thank you for this feature, Carol. I had noticed Sriyana’s work on Ravelry and very much wanted to know more. Now I do! Amazing work, really…

  12. Mike Payton Says:

    Stacey is as beautiful and as exotically mesmerizing as her mandalas. I have had the absolute pleasure of being acquainted with her multiple special talents
    for many years. Stace exudes serenity and spirit which is portrayed in her
    exquisite art

  13. Vera Says:

    Sriyana’s work is absolutely breathtaking. Thanks for such beautiful things in your blog.

  14. macati Says:

    wow!
    her work is amazing! loved all of them!

  15. jimbo Says:

    knockout work!! I’d really enjoy seeing how that’s done!
    Great article!
    Jimbo

  16. Alison Says:

    I remember seeing Stacey’s work on Ravelry a couple of months ago, and was just stunned at how beautiful her mandalas were. Thanks so much for providing the story behind these gorgeous designs!

  17. Ellen Says:

    Stacey, you are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for so generously sharing your story and art with the world. Your work is simply stunning. I look forward to seeing more of it and wish you the very best in life.

  18. Jude Says:

    Beautiful work by a beautiful person. I really enjoyed this article. Looking at your work gives me a feeling of peacefullness. Thank you!

  19. Kelly Says:

    All that I can say is that I am completely in awe of your talent! Wow! I so want to learn how to do this. Trust me those books are in my cart already. Now I’m just waiting for my husband to stop pestering me about purchasing all of these beautiful books!!!

    Wonderful work! Great article… once again WOW!!!

  20. Doe Says:

    Your work is just beautiful stacey. Seeing the actual size of the pieces
    and the body of work altogether is stunning.
    Crocheting the last round over a metal ring is a great way of displaying
    your artwork. fantastic.

  21. Laurie Wheeler Says:

    WOW! Stacey you ask for CLF representation, here it is! Wow! Your work is so amazing! You are so talented, and creative, mind blowing in fact.

    Thank you for show casing her work Carol! The little pics on Ravelry just don’t do it like this! WOW!

    Inspiring.

  22. Aunt Laura Says:

    I have been waiting to see Stacey bloom for many years because I have seen some of her previous work. Stacey’s art demonstrates her creative genious. These astounding mandalas are the results of her desire to learn, blending mind and spirit into each creation. May Stacey continue to share her story as it evolves to teach and inspire others. Terrific job!!!

  23. Wyndfire Says:

    Simply amazing work. Stunning! Very talented and a great eye for colour.

  24. taoknitter Says:

    Amazing and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!

  25. Melisa Says:

    Those are beautiful! I love making mandalas on the computer with my graphic programs but never would have thought of trying to crochet one. This is so inspirational. Thank you for introducing us to Stacey and her art.

  26. debraann Says:

    These are extraordinary. Found this through ravelry and thrilled that I have. Beautiful work.

  27. Mary Says:

    Truly awesome work. It really interests me and inspires me…being half
    japanese, I could really see this application used on the family crests. Just may have to take up crocheting and give it a whirl! Thanks for the article!

  28. Pallas Says:

    Beautiful, inspiring work! They remind me of looking into a kaleidoscope. My favorites are the “Hawaiian” and the “Bloom.”

  29. Fran Says:

    The only thing I can add is WOW!

  30. Rachana Thakur Says:

    these are mind blowing.I am from India,the country full of amazing handicrafts.But I never knew that there so much to learn in the art in which iwas suppose to be expert. Ihave learnt tapestry crochet some days back through net. But this is wonderful I CAN’T FIND WORDS.

  31. Laura Orabone Says:

    Found this through Ravelry, so excited and inspired I can hardly breathe! We just moved back east after spending many years in the southwest, and these mandalas remind me so much of Tohono O’odham baskets and Huichol bead and yarn mandalas. I’ve just started dabbling in tapestry crochet but think I’m getting the hang of it. I can’t imagine what I’m about to create! :)))

  32. Jeanette Says:

    Wow! I am so impressed! All your work is amazingly beautiful!
    It is so inspiring that I think I will try to learn this technique.

  33. Niina Says:

    Oh my god these are amazing!

  34. Lee Ann Brown Says:

    You never cease to amaze me! What a multidimensional person you are! Love Lee Ann

  35. Felicia M. Morales Says:

    Other than to say her designs and work are incredible, I wonder if there is a site where one can access a copy of her patterns/designs. Thank you.

  36. Linda Says:

    absolutely spectactular!!!! *love* the idea of using the metal rings!!! i thought the back was blocked with starch or some other stiffener

  37. Alin Says:

    Estan geniales¡¡¡ Nunca habia visto tejidos tan llenos de energía. Tu vida debe estar llena de vibra positiva¡¡ Espero sea así.

  38. Paulette Perez Says:

    Wow, these are just beautiful…….do you sell the directions or patterns? Hope so.

  39. RONIT SEMANN Says:

    hi my name is ronit i love so much yuor mandala and I CANT MAKE . I DONT ANDERSTAND HOW TO PAINTING THE PATTERN. I HAVE THE BOOKMORE TAPESTRY I LOOK AT PAGE 85 BUT IN 19 TUO THER IS MANY eyes but yuo start the mandala at the 3 round so how can i paint the pattern on graf paper? thank ronit

  40. patricia maria acosta Says:

    PRECIOSAS MANDALAS. !!!!

  41. sany Says:

    me encantan tus trabajos,soy de argentina y me gustaria saber si tenes algunos patrones para poder hacer estos maravillosos mandalas.saludos,Sany

  42. olga Says:

    I like this very much!!!!I think Stacey is an especial artist!!!I put a link of this in my blog. But I wont to ask you when I can bay her tapestry? I don’t find her contact in internet…thanks and good work (sorry for my English, I’m Italian:-)

  43. gloria Says:

    Hello and congratulations for your work!

    Could you tell me how did you do it?

  44. Laurie Gillis Says:

    Do you have a pattern for these mandalas? They are beautiful.

  45. Carol Ventura Says:

    I don’t think Stacy has patterns for her mandalas. I haven’t designed any mandalas, but some of my projects have mandala like motifs. For instance, the Sunrise Afghan at http://www.tapestrycrochet.com/blog/?p=842 could be crocheted with a tighter stitch and turned into a mandala.

  46. carol Says:

    I live in Western NC too. Would love to meet up. Perhaps at SAFF? Send me your email info. Carol Parsons. carol@originalartworx.com

  47. Diane S Says:

    Where on Ravelry can I find Sriyana’s designs?

  48. Carol Ventura Says:

    You can see her wonderful work at http://www.ravelry.com/projects/sriyana

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