In 2001 I began returning to my roots, working in 3D and rediscovering clay. I continued to promote my architectural textiles and worked on this new body of work in my spare time.  I gave myself 5 years to experiment before putting this new body of work out into the public or commercial realm.  That 5 years became 8 as I continued to explore this next chapter in my creative life. A long time journaler, visual journaling became my creative companion as I explored new territory.  I worked in clay, wire, gut, collage and combinations of these media.  In 2009 this exploratory work and my textile work came together in two exhibitions (see heatherallenswarttouw.blogspot.com for exhibition images), the first, a solo exhibition at the Steeple of Light Gallery in Kansas City coincided with the Surface Design Conference.  That venue prompted me to explore the new vessel/journey imagery in my textiles. Change can be intimidating and scary. I had been working with colorful architecturally inspired textiles for 19 years! The second exhibition at Blue Spiral 1 here in Asheville allowed me to combine everything; textiles, ceramics, wire, gut, collage, and prints. These exhibitions reinforced that I am comfortable working in a wide variety of media. It is the idea or theme that has always been the constant in my work.  My artist statement explores some of the reasons behind this shift. It has coincided with many changes in my personal life. The idea of life as a journey has been an ongoing theme in my architectural work and now that journey has met the water's edge, one must leave behind the safety of land for the mercurial depths of open water.