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Showcasing the talent and skill of textile artist and sTRing Improvisations founder Nancy Garniez

Tonal Refraction (TR) is Nancy Garniez's original method of offering individuals a means using colors and a grid to visualize the way they hear specific tones.   Once made, an image enables dialogue about the otherwise invisible, deeply private act of hearing.  Unlike printed notes, in the realm of color there is no right or wrong, only play.  Thus, a person may become aware of powerful, unconsciously perceived elements of musical sound.

sTRing Improvisations: colorful art crafted of recycled fibers for lovers of distinctive garments and painterly wall hangings. What started as a hobby using leftovers turned into an art in which Nancy Garniez let colors come alive as tones do in her music.

The sTRing Improvisations Winter Boutique Show and Sale raised over $2,000 for the purposes of Tonal Refraction, through the fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas.  Many thanks to all who came, who tried, who gave so generously, and who will be wearing one-of-a-kind never-again creations.


These colorful and vibrant works of art are inspired by African and Mayan design, combined with European needle-craft technique, and a painterly eye. From wearable garments such as tops, scarfs, shawls, and dresses, to wall art, throws and rugs, each piece is improvised in response to the textures and colors of the recycled fibers.

Recycling is second nature to Nancy Garniez, dating from her wartime childhood when everything was used twice, from cooking grease returned to the butcher, to her father's old shirts which her mother fashioned into infant clothing.

There will be no more of these one-of-a-kind creations:  Nancy's fascination with color and texture has given way to renewed concentration on the piano.  A succession of miracles has permitted her, since the age of 82, to play as never before, now in the company of Artie Dibble, violin/viola; and Dave Eggar, cello: The Tonal Refraction Ensemble.

Please feel free to scroll down to see the full catalog of wearable art: kente-cloth- and huipil-inspired  tops, vibrant and colorful shawls and scarves, coverlets, wall hangings, and rugs.  Purchases are tax-deductible (less the cost of materials) through the fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas.  Prices range from $100 to $1,000.       Photos: Albie Mitchell   Thanks to models: Grace Tei & Rachelle Garniez

Mozart TR example.jpg

Curiously, patterns revealed in a finished Tonal Refraction bear uncanny resemblance to some tradintional Kente designs (at right).

Mozart G minor Piano Quartet:

Tonal Refraction 1, p. 15

sTRing Improvisations Gallery: A few of the many available items

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Shawl-white, reds, purple, diagonal and straight.

Short Scarves

Candy cane

Red Purple White


Winter Sky

Winter Evening

Icy Blue


Long Scarves

Olive and Light Blue long scarf diagonal

Long scarf White

Purple diagonals

Long Scarf
Purple & Silver

Tops Medium

red and white fancy

kente pullover
sea green pinks

Grey & Mauve wool sleeveless

darker sea-green-and-overtone

red on pink

blue diagonal top

red kente with bows

mauve wool cardigan

Brown chenille vest 


K 11 cardigan grey reds

H orange-purple

Short sleeve wool and cotton stripe

Tops Small

Pastel diagonals

Kente pastel

Kente light sea-blues

California and back

Large Throws


Full Spectrum

Miss Twiggy



Blue silk dress

Beaded silk dress-detail

Beaded silk dress

Purple white stripe tunic


Shawl Oranges Browns

Shawl Oranges Browns-as Skirt

Shawl White Reds Purple diag and straight

Shawl Purple Green Blue diag stripe

Shawl Orange Diagonal & Straight

Shawl Purple Red

Shawl Reds Pinks stripe straight

Shawl Tan Orange straight stripe

Shawl/Pullover Reds strips

Shawl Large light Purple White multiple-stitch

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