"The way we feel on the inside should be reflected by the layer we choose to wear on the outside."
Making clothes is Carol Lee Shanks's passion. She was taught to sew by her mother and her aunt at the age of ten. She could, and still does, spend most of her time exploring her imagination through her hands as she sews.
Shanks is compelled by the way shapes and layers of cloth move on the body. Cloth is the foundation of her inspiration, and it is for this reason that the artist tends to work with geometric, architectural elements. Most recently Shanks has become fascinated with piecing and patching smaller shapes onto the clothing to create more surface interest. The selvage edges have become a trademark element in her work.
While attending the University of California-Davis in the mid-seventies, Shanks was fortunate to have been taught by some of the leaders in the costume and textile field. The artist attributes the expansion of her imagination to her studies at Davis and the exposure to a broader picture of the world. Through the window of textiles, Shanks learned of cultures far and wide, and the exposure to diverse people and places still plays a part in the way Shanks creates her engaging silhouettes.