Archives for the month of: October, 2010

This post is especially brought to you over the sea from Clara.

The Campaign for Wool is a cross-industry initiative convened by HRH The Prince of Wales in January 2010. As a serious environmentalist, the Prince believes the natural, sustainable origin and highly technical structure of wool can offer fashion, interiors and the built environment many superior benefits. Choosing real wool – as the Prince understands – will also help to care for our planet.

The combined efforts of the leading wool organizations, industry associations and the textile industry across the world has created a campaign to promote the wonderful properties that wool offers to textiles and in doing so, help to support sheep farming as an industry and the textile community internationally.

There are a number of ways to get involved with the campaign including:

-Sign a Letter of Agreement and return to show your support of the campaign.

-Use the campaign logo’s on your website to link through to http://www.campaignforwool.org. We can provide you the logo file and some accompanying text to explain the campaign to your online customers.

-Encourage your retail customers to contact us and become involved.

-Host educational seminars for your customers to update them on the eco-benefits of wool and the campaign. We can provide the presentations you will need.

-Build unique showroom displays to promote the campaign and your use of wool. We can provide you artwork to utilize.


LIVE NATURALLY…CHOOSE WOOL

As an artist I have always been interested, inspired, and conflicted about the Feminist art movement and its relationship to my own practice. I have gone through the stages of making extremely overt feminist work about body image, body violence, and the role of the female, to rejecting the word feminist in my work, to where I am now. In graduate school I struggled a bit with my first wave feminist professors and their rejection of making work about femininity or that revealed the vulnerability of being a woman or exposed the female body.  And as a professor myself when I was teaching undergrads as a new wave feminist with students about 10 years younger than me, I tried to understand and figure out how to give my female students the power to use their bodies and experiences of sexuality without exploiting themselves or serving to the male gaze.  To me feminism is a very complex and personal word and through all the stages of love and hate towards it I am proud to call myself a feminist but also proud to call myself feminine.

Chris Twomey

In this journey as a feminist artist I seek out artists and panels that talk about their relationship to feminism, etc. So I was curious to go see a panel discussion that was recently as  the Soho 20 Gallery, a women’s gallery in Chelsea, What’s old is new again, the legacy of the 1970’s artist movement. The panel was “led” by an older generation feminist Harriet Lyons with 4 younger generation artists speaking. Thought it was an interesting event I have to say I was very disappointed.  The title of the discussion implies it was to be about how the legacy of 1970’s feminist art actually affects current artists working today. Harriet never talked about that simply reminding us of the important figures in the movement and her role, something we all already knew, and beside one of the younger artists none of them directly talked about their relationship to feminism, their influences from the 1970’s, or the role of it in today’s art world- though their work was obviously rooted in the feminist experience or feminist identity. Orly Cogan one of the presenters stated that she felt it was obvious enough in her work- and it is and if it had been just a general lecture or panel that would be enough, but considering the actual advertised subject of the discussion I wanted more of it to be about this in a more direct way.

Orly Cogan

The best moments were definitely when it was opened up for the audience to ask questions and a bit more of a discussion started to happen between the artists.  Some of them discussed their strategies of navigating the art world as a woman, and some of them shared stories to demonstrate how the art world is still significantly biased. But again it got off track when the discussion of making a living and money came up all of a sudden we were talking about percentages and how many male artists make 6-7 figures to how many women do. To me this is an entirely useless conversation I don’t need to make $200,ooo a year to be an artist and very few artists make a wealthy living off their art.  I am interested in discussing the day-to-day reality of being a female artist.  I think instead of focusing on the far off goal or desire of being a Kiki Smith type character it is much more productive to talk about how do you make it into the studio and get your work out there on a daily basis.

Still from a video by Damali Abrams

I think  the feminist discussion too often becomes about looking at what “they” have that “I” don’t. Be that men or more successful female artists.  It should be about how do we continue to rise women up- regardless of if the playing field is even or not. If it is not the only way we can change that is to rise women up and if it is we still want to provide the support and community for women to stay there.

As the discussion went on an audience member implied that the political or activist work was more important or more valid as feminist artist, this shocked and frustrated me.  I completely respect and admire artists that work as activists through their work and think this is an essential art practice but this is not the only way to make a difference in people’s outlooks and opinions. And seriously how many times to we have to hear the infamous ” the personal is political” to accept, honor, and support it. Orly also stated in her speaking that she felt often women where their own worst enemies being cut throat competitive to each other or nor supporting one another as artists in their collecting, running of galleries, or artistic communities. I could not agree with this more and think that if women supported women we would make a huge change in our own success.

Donna Dodson

Whenever I can I go to the AIR round table discussions  a small group of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation feminists talking about their experiences of being a female artist.  I always leave these events feeling supported and confident as a woman and to me that is because we are all honest about our experiences and we do not spend time wishing for things, blaming anyone, or being totally unrealistic.  I mean yeah, I would love to have a career like Louise Bourgeois but I would also  love to have a life that simply lets me continue getting to the studio and making and sharing work until I die.

I think it is unfortunate that some old school feminists seem to often get stuck in their ideas and fears in a way that holds the discussion and themselves back, I think it is unfortunate that many feminists have a bitterness towards their careers, and  I think it is very unfortunate that so many younger artists do not want to allow their work to be connected to or defined as feminist.

I am not really sure what my goal is in writing this other than to express my opinion. I hope you will express yours too.

The artists who spoke as panelist are represented by the images accompanying posts. They were all interesting speakers making work worth researching.

Joetta Maue is a full time artist primarily using photography and fibers. Her most recent work is a series of embroideries and images exploring intimacy. Joetta exhibits her work throughout the United States and internationally, and authors the art and craft blog Little Yellowbird as well as regularly contributes to Mr. X Stitch. Joetta lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, baby son, two cats, a goldfish.

Jrumchai Singalavanij’s new technique transforms waste from the textile industry into a usable material and addresses a very real problem.  More than one million tons of textiles are thrown away in the UK every year, and only a small proportion is recycled – the rest makes up a large proportion of current landfill sites.

“His project started from a commitment to peaceful happiness which led him to a belief that a non-violent attitude to the entire ecosystem is fundamental to life and design. I chose to recycle scrap from the textile industry. Jrumchai worked with the ragged selvedge of woven woollen cloth, which is cut off at the loom and generally discarded. He then developed a unique process to transform the waste into new kind of material, then let the unusual quality of the new material inspire suitable woven structures.”

“The methodology used in the practice was based on the principle of sustainability. For instance, with an awareness of energy and water consumption, He chose to use the original colours of the waste instead of  changing their colours by dyeing or printing on top. In recognition of waste management, natural and synthetic materials were not mixed together. The process is environmentally friendly: only bio-degradable substances, like starch, were used.

Jrumchai seriously thought about how my design can convey the notion of long-term contentment in a simple life. I decided to avoid unnecessary decoration and chose designs that show the intrinsic characteristics of the materials. Therapeutic quality was another important value added through my work, which invites one to touch and feel, and brings a smile to one’s face.”

 

 

Hudson Furniture

Within the confines of my own bedroom in my parents apartment I have dreamed of the amazing apartment I know will surely be mine one day.  Of course, it helps when you have visuals to keep the excitement alive.  Especially when it comes to these beautifully crafted, reclaimed wooden furniture.

All of these companies respect the natural grain and movement of wood and try to enhance the individual look through slight manipulation and tons of polishing.  (Like how women opt for natural looking makeup.)

Hudson Furniture INC.

 

 

 

 

In the United States of America, wood once functioned as the primary building material because it was strong, relatively inexpensive and abundant. Today many of these woods that were once plentiful are only available in large qualities through reclamation.

Reclaimed wood is popular for many reasons: the wood’s unique appearance, its contribution to green building, the history of the wood’s origins and the wood’s physical characteristics such as strength, stability and durability. Reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks than the harvested lumber and many companies purport that their products are more stable than newly cut wood because reclaimed wood has been exposed to changes in humidity for far longer and therefore more stable, allowing them to be used with radiant heating systems.

–Information provided by Wikipedia

Clayton Oxford

 

 

 

Rosten Furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

environment Furniture

 

 

 

 


“I want to make clothes that I love, with lots of character.  I want to make timeless pieces with reference to me, where I come from and what I represent as a designer.” –Florencia Kozuch

 

 

Originating from Argentine, Florencia Kozuch’s designs draw inspiration from her native home in Buenos Aires.  She fuses indigenous craft from South American Aborigines with innovative textile application and shape making.  Her recent collections feature a combination of traditional crafts, innovative knitwear design with a modern aesthetic.  Florencia’s work is intriguingly detailed and alluring wearable.  Her bold imaginative creations have led her to become tipped as “One to Watch” by Vauxhall Fashion Scout.  Her designs offer something for the forward thinking, strong, unafraid woman.

This week’s blog post comes from an idea from reader Amy.

Zoe Bradley creates oversize, highly crafted headpieces, dresses, and sets for advertising campaigns, editorials, catwalk shows, and window displays.  She uses traditional tailoring techniques but uses more conventional fabrics mixed in with luxury papers.

Primarily Zoe collaborates with luxury brands to create jaw-dropping installations to compliment the designer products and brand identity.  Her highly crafted fashion sculptures have been used in advertising and editorial worldwide.  Her signature material is Luxury paper, though she has been known to use fabric, wood, and recycled plastics.

 

 

 

Kids Company and The Bryan Adams Foundation are delighted to host “Shoebox Art“, a unique auction and exhibition of work by leading artists this past March.  Each shoebox was a recreated room from each of the artist’s childhood to relate to the work of the Kids Company.

Damien Hurst — “When we are no longer children, we are already dead.”

David Bailey — “My childhood was spent mostly in a shelter, because of the Blitz in the East End.”

Dawn Howley — “Living with domestic violence isn’t a one-off experience, it’s a way of life, the fear is always present.  Growing up Dad would constantly attack Mum, and sometimes us kids if we got in the way.  We lived in constant fear.  At night we would lay in bed anticipating his arrival.  There was a certain way he slammed the door and we would al know what was in store.”

Jeremy Deller — “This is my bedroom from age seven or so  My two biggest obsessions at this time in my life were outer space and Glam Rock which were conveniently combined in the persona of David Bowie.  Now of course I am more grown up and have ditched the obsession with outer space…”

Don Brown — “Well, it’s not any specific room but it could represent a corner of a room from my childhood.  I was thinking about a place where I used to keep collections of things that I found, and where I used to make things.  As a child I was fascinated by the mystery of preserving and copying things, so my room was always full of feathers and stones and fur and materials for making things like plaster and clay and paint.  Thinking about how to give an impression of my childhood room and starting to gather things together, I was irresistibly drawn by the beauty of these eggs that were sitting in my studio — I held birds eggs in very high esteem as a child — also the different sizes and the way they fitted together brought back to me a sensation, an odd intimation of infinity that I believe most children feel and that I called ‘The Big Little Feeling’.”

Grayson Perry — “This is an approximation of my childhood bedroom in which I slept between the ages of eight and fifteen.  It was the scene of many dramas real and imagined.  In my mind it was a steep-sided valley where the rebels, lead by my teddy bear, Alan Measles, were based.  The candlewick bed-spread served as a fieldscape for guerrilla warfare against the invading Germans who were a thinly veiled metaphor for my stepfather.  Every available horizontal surface would have been crammed with model airplanes ready for dogfights and every square inch of the walls covered with pictures of planes and cars.  Alan was an invincible race car driver and fighter pilot and many of his greatest victories were played out on the windowsill, me kneeling on the bed, narrating and supplying the soundtrack.  This room was also where I discovered I was a transvestite, trying on my sister’s and my mother’s clothes.  Under the bed I kept the comic strips I drew in which a secret agent type called Rif Raff got involved in adventures that usually ended with him having to dress as a woman and be tied up.  In many ways this room was the workshop in which my artistic imagination was forged.”

Chapman Brothers — “We had a nightmare that everything was going to turn out alright.”

Ronnie Wood — “This is the room in my first council house when I was about eight years old — full of musical instruments, art materials, and art school students…friends of my two older brothers.”

Natasha Chambers — “I was running to get away.  The witch and the darkness on my heels.  They can’t have me or my box.”

Daisy de Villeneuve — “I wanted to recreate my teenage bedroom, growing up in the late 1980s-early ’90s.  I recreated almost exactly Laura Ashley wallpaper with yellow curtains and miniature posters of teen idols such as Michael J. Fox and Matt Dillon.  PLus, I added personal details, such as tiny copies of family photos, with me and friends.”

Mat Collishaw — “I grew up without a TV so I made a lot of collages when I was young of what I thought the world was like.  Naturally my views were somewhat distorted as my material was mainly derived from comics and magazines.  The world I imagined out there was on hallucinogens and steroids.  Not dissimilar to the classic Richard Hamilton collage.”

Tim Braden — “My bedroom was very small (I don’t think there would have been enough space for these playground toys), but I liked climbing up the ladder into my bed.  My Mum painted the walls with murals of Snoopy on his kennel and the Mr. Men — I was Mr. Greedy.”

Remember that movie “The Secret Garden” where a young British girl born and reared in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is then returned to England to live at her uncle’s castle, and discovers the castle’s secret garden and all its magical powers.

With all the eco-friendly interior designs it is possible for you to have your own secret garden, even if you live in the city.  What?

I know that after living in a small town for the majority of my life, living and playing in the woods, I constantly yearn for outdoor space.  However, now I live in trendy New York City where outdoor space is few and far between. Without a small backyard or rooftop deck it is difficult to find a breath of fresh air in the midst of all that comes with the crazy-awesomeness of city life.  But thankfully there is a way to bring a little green into your own home.


AYODHYA is a leading home decorative brand from Thailand. 

Founded in 1994, they started our home decorative merchandise business with our flagship store at Gaysorn Plaza. Their founder M.L. Pawinee Sukhasvasti tried to find   to get rid of water hyacinth, which clogged up many of Thailand’s waterways and caused hazardous impact to the local eco-system. She brought with her the passion to turn the natural fiber into contemporary crafts.

Created from water hyacinth (shown above), hemp and cotton, most AYODHYA designs are based on natural fibers, sourced from network of grassroots and hill tribes. Water hyacinth are a free-floating perennial aquatic plant native to tropical and sub-tropical South America.

AYODHYA is the creator of the “Secret Garden Collection” which features furniture that has growing, or dried greenery as its main feature.

Help us with our own Natural Dye garden on Kickstarter!

We hope you got to check out the Cutting Edge: Celebrating Fiber show that recently came down.  It really was a stunning show, that drew in wanderers off the street with the massive and delicate textile installations visible from the street. Textile installation artists are vital to textile’s “Fine Art” status.  For the Textile Arts Center, we are dedicated to this stance on textile arts and it will open the doors for textile artists to become internationally recognized just like Picasso and Monet.

Rowland Ricketts is interested in the science of color and how it affects our sensations when we view art.  Contemporary science tells us that color is a sensation experienced because of the differing wavelengths of light waves. To Rowland this is only part of the story. As an artist, her sensation of color is also informed by that color’s material substance and the process that gives color form for her to reflect upon.

“This takes the form of both functional textiles and textiles intended solely as artwork. I see the two practices as symbiotic equals. My artwork challenges me to better define for myself the substantive meaning of the plants and processes I use. My functional work allows me to apply this vision of color in the context of a socially and environmentally responsible design practice. Still, in both my functional textiles and artwork, my intention is the same: Through simple forms and a straight-forward presentation I strive to present the viewer with a color so rich that they see beyond the dyed material to examine all that lies within a color’s substance.” — Rowland’s Statement

My other favorite textile installation artist is Eva Schjolberg.  She has a background in textile projects with regard to space, body and clothing. In recent years she has moved in the direction of textile sculptures and installations. In this exhibition, she shows three-dimensional columns of folded fabric. The starting point for geometry shapes are based on squares. Work The basic structure consists of strips of textile ribbons that are folded in a zigzag pattern. In the distance, the precise fold the edges smoothed out and seemingly melt together into a rhythmic spiral pattern around an axis. The installation items will be experienced as parts of circles.

You probably can tell by now that I favor minimalist installations.  If you have any other textile installations you favor please email me at blog@textileartscenter.com.  I want to encompass the entire range of textile arts.

If you’ve got installation art you want to share, consider submitting to our Call for Entries for our Jan/Feb Gallery show: Missing/Missed, curated by Scott Henstrand.

This post was suggested  by Kelly.

I would like to take a moment to point out a brilliant project that brings style, art, and breast cancer together — The Pink Wishbone Project.

“Breast cancer research is an undeniably worthy endeavor, but the container-loads of pink objects that have been sold to help pay for it aren’t always what you’d call high design. Which is why the arrival of the Pink Wishbone Project is welcome news. Thanks to Suite New York, a Manhattan furniture showroom, Hans Wegner’s famous Wishbone Chair, made in Denmark by Carl Hansen & Son, will be available in pink for the next year, with 20 percent of its sales going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And to draw attention to the program, Barneys New York will exhibit chairs that were customized by 20 leading women designers. (A kickoff cocktail party takes place on Thursday evening at Barneys.)” — NY Times


Designer: Sara Rotman

 

Designer: Tori Golub

 

Designer: Lulu deKwiatowski

 

Designer: Laura Kirar

 

Designer: Kelly Wearstler

 

Designer: Kelly Behun

 

Designer: Alexandra Champalimaud

 

Designer: Allegra Hicks

 

Designer: Amy Lau

 

Designer: Bunny Williams

 

Designer: Emma Jane

 

All of these beautiful chairs and more are currently for auction on charitybuzz.com.