Ashley Wernher-Collins is a fiber artist living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She grew up in Michigan and spent much of her childhood helping her father with his work as a bronze sculptor. She learned to weave at Cranbrook Kingswood High School and has maintained an affinity for fiber art ever since. She studied Art History and Fine Arts at Bowdoin College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1993. Early in her career she worked with Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers and Cole-Haan in design development, sales and advertising. In May, 2016 she received a BFA in Textile and Fashion Design with Honors from Maine College of Art. As a student at MECA she participated in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MECAmorphosis Fashion Shows and received an Honorable Mention for the work she exhibited in MECA’s 2015 Merit Show. She has worked on costume design with Portland Stage Company and the Portland Ballet.
In addition to weaving, Ashley’s experience with textile development includes hand and machine knitting, felting, and screen printing. She utilizes textile development to explore relationships of pattern, color and texture. Much of her inspiration comes from natural and architectural environments. It has been a true joy for her to watch her concepts come to life through garments. Textile manipulation in garment design and construction have provided her opportunities to create sculptures in motion.
Her current work focuses on designing garments that are a response to an individual’s emotional and physical identity. Her goal is to help people define and present themselves through garments that are specifically designed for who they are. She believes that surrounding ourselves with thoughtful, well made objects and making choices that are right for each individual, we all have the potential to live proudly within ourselves and our world.