Archives for posts with tag: textile art

Let’s get back to the basics shall we?

Textile arts is all about using threads and bringing them together to make cloth, thus that thread ultimately becomes a part of a larger object.

I first saw a thread installation at my college, Skidmore, where a student went around campus threading beautiful, orange sculptures in the trees, on the buildings, and winding down stairwells.  Though most students probably just ignored the work that must have gone into imagining and producing that work, I found that my art friends had different opinions on the subject.  Either the work was immature and not worthy to be called art or it was ambitious and added to the aesthetic of the campus.  No matter how you interpreted it though, you could not ignore that it was there.  Thread, a seemingly easily overlooked object was right there, staring me in the face.

Sebastien Preschoux makes these larger threaded installations as well.  Just by threading around the natural surroundings his work begins to take form.  His thread installations are all completed by hand, his belief is that art done by hand is more valuable than work that is easily reproduced.  That the time and effort that goes into a beautifully hand-made object is a priceless quality.  Which, I think most would agree, is a correct statement.

Even though Sebastien describes his work as cocoon, and that he harnesses the essence of a spider when spinning his webs; I see these threads as interpretations of light refractions.

Beautiful illustrations of light.  Though he may not know it, he has a firm grasp of Newton’s most famous experiment to extract the spectrum of color.  Newton knew that he could see the entire spectrum of light by allowing the light to pass through a prism and hitting a screen.

Especially in Sebastien’s nature installations, one can easily picture these threads as bursts of light.  The origin of light at the point that all the threads cross, like a spotlight.

Though I am partial to Sebastien’s outdoor work, I find his concept takes on a different view indoors. The colors are not as distinct, melding together and creating an example of a primary color mixing pool.  Takes you back to kindergarten huh?

**Most of these photos were provided by

If you are interested in learning more about Newton and the Color Spectrum, click here.

For all you textile artists that are itching for a cute video Owyn was sent, then this is the answer to your prayers!  Check this absolutely heart-warming textile video.  I couldn’t even believe it is a commercial for Nokia.

Nokia ‘Dot’ Video

Directed by Sumo Science

On another note, we had three video submissions to Cutting Edge.  They were all shown at our Opening Party but you may have missed them from the crowds of people pouring into the space and crowding around the projector.  I will be attempting to put the videos up on the Textile Arts Center’s website soon.  (Wish me luck.)  Though, I think it is important that you learn a little about these artists as they are an integral part of the show.

Video 1: Metamorphosis by Heidi Field-Alvarez

Is an interesting work in which a white dress seems to constantly be changing its shape to the point where the viewer questions what the white mass even is.  Randomly you will see bursts of human ligaments and you are reminded of the dress.

Additional text was added into the end of the video, putting into perspective what the metamorphosis means.


The metamorphosis of

marriage can feel like

being trapped,

stretching and

transforming a traditional


The wedding dress is a

fixation on the past.


I haven’t decided yet whether or not this video celebrates the change marriage brings to a person or criticizes it.  I feel it is a personal struggle, whether or not you can accept that change will come or if you fight it all the way.

Video 2: On her Birthday, Give her  Drum by Sarah Bahr

Is a beautiful video of the artist embroidering a white dress she is wearing in the park.  The viewer watches and waits as the plain dress is morphed into an extraordinary wearable.  For me it comments on how easily you can change your life to become something beautiful and completely your own.  Taking something as simple as a dress and creating something new.  Which comes to the title, that confused me at first but after viewing the video resonates with the idea of pure creation.   A drum is the perfect instrument, you don’t “have” to take lessons to learn it and there are a million different beats you can create with it.  For me, the celebration is in true creation.

Video 3: The Invisible Woman by Lou Trigg

A movie and work of literature, the Invisible Woman is one woman’s story and how she became invisible.  The movie is a series of illustrations and text done in stitches, which makes the work raw and simple.  The simple stitching whispers the quiet invisibility of the main character drawing the viewer into the story.  You are able to purchase one of these books at the Textile Arts Center or you may read one of them and admire the exquisite work of Lou.

Look for these videos on the website coming to you in the next week.  (Once I work out the kinks!)

Till next week, come in and enjoy the entire Cutting Edge show, and keep on creating.

Today I wanted to share an obsession that started when my cousin began to make kooky looking stuffed creatures during Thanksgivings up in Michigan. Though she is constantly expanding her brain with information of the ages, she still manages to find time to create these odd creatures.

Zen Monster

Big Heart Big Teeth Monster

Sarah Palin Voo Doo Doll

For more of Margaret’s creations you can visit her site  She has bags, shirts, drawings of law school, and definitely more creatures!

Another creature artist I like is Donna Wilson, a London-based textile designer.  Donna Wilson set up her company in 2003 after making odd knitted creatures for her final show at the Royal College of art. The creatures sold out and since then she has built her business designing and making a collection of curious cushions, luxurious lambswool blankets, and variety of products for you and your home.  Her look is cartoonish and teetering on crazy, but they are plush, adorable, and I just want to hug them all.



Ed Red Head

Harry Hairy Head


Peeping Tom





Lightning Cloud Pillow

Rain Cloud Pillow

To see more of her designs visit

–Light and air are invisible existences–

Asako Ishizaki‘s inspiration comes from the drama created by nature’s ecosystem, which penetrates every facet of our lives.  Her work offers to simulate the senses and imagination of invisibility and visibility.  “Therefore the form of my work should devote itself to become minimalist, as if by natural selection, and should catch air and light to make it possible to sneak in the natural beauty.” — Asako’s Artist Statement

Thus all of her works are transparent and airy to allow the light and air to intertwine with the structure.

From the Earth

Field – SUI

Drawing of Light

Field- Crossing

Asako creates three-dimensional, free-standing sculptures created out of silk and linen.  She is a highly skilled weaver and in 1969 created her own way of weaving. This is a mixture of plain weave and allowing the weft threads to cross freely without warp threads at various points. The cloth is then oversewn to increase its density, or pleated to give a further dimension.  The piece ´Drawn From Light´ is woven from linen and silver yarn but involves the use of the light as a key component. The work is lit from above so that the pattern of the threads cast shadows, drawing from the light. In the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, curator Lesley Millar describes the delicate nature of the work: “the horizontal ´weft´ threads have been tie-dyed giving a variation of colour and texture which add to the visual sensation that the work is floating in the air´.

I think it’s incredible that Asako captures the beauty of light and air so perfectly. When I think of beautiful light and air I think of sheer white curtains blowing in the morning wind, and that feeling of peace and awe are reflected in her pieces.  I imagine that her work would perfectly coincide with the quiet sounds of nature that lull adults to sleep.

Beyond the Season

Beyond the Season 2003


SOUKEI – Wrapping


As promised, today we are going to have a little fun.  A little guessing game to get the nerves fired up.

Each one of these pictures is part of a larger work, though not all the works presented are typically “large”.

It is really hard to interpret when you are only given a small part of the art to look at. Remember those birth control commercials where 4 women were touching different parts of a rhino and they all made a guess as to what they were touching….

This is sort of like that.

But I think that the artists is more interested in the details and the painstaking work that goes into creating their pieces.

The Grand Opening Party and Cutting Edge: A Celebration of Fiber being TOMORROW at 8:00pm.  There is food provided by our lovely neighbors Bencotto, drinks by P&H Soda and Fire Island Beer, art provided by 27 amazing artists, music by the Raya Brass Band, and good people provided by the Textile Arts Center.  Enjoy.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about these beautiful sculpture tapestries created by the genius El Anatsui. Every tapestry is made from tops of evaporated milk tins, rusty metal graters and old printing plates, liquor bottle caps, all gathered in and around Nsukka, Nigeria, where the artist has lived and worked for the last 28 years. All of the cutting, manipulating, and reattaching of these different metals culminate into stunning, visual feasts.  The tapestries’ aesthetics are inspired by traditions of Ghana and Nigeria.

Though his work is based in West African societies and practices the commentary of his work transcends to any society.   “Through their associations, his humble metal fragments provide a commentary on globalization, consumerism, waste and the transience of people’s lives in West Africa and beyond. Their re-creation as powerful and transcendent works of art–many of which recall traditional practices and art forms–suggests as well the power of human agency to alter such harmful patterns.” (from National Museum of African Art)

El Anatsui will be hosting a North American Tour beginning this October.  The show When I Last Wrote To You About Africa will consist of 60 El Anastui’s sculptures which were pulled from public and private collections, and will cover over 40 years of El Anastui’s work.

Tour Dates:

October 2, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Winter 2011 – Museum for African Art, in New York

November 12, 2011 – February 5, 2012 – The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor

March 8 – June 17, 2012 – The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

September 2 – December 1, 2012 – The Denver Art Museum

Tonight, after work, I start my beginner weaving class at the Textile Arts Center!  I have never woven anything before but have always been told it is as addicting as chocolate (and I am a woman who loves her chocolate!)  So, today I want to highlight a very talented weaver and knitter.

Machiko Agano, a Japanese master weaver artist, is widely known for her intricate textural structures.  Each structure is tailored to the specific space in which it is exhibited.  The majority of her works use fishing line or natural colored silk and steel wire to allow the space to become part of the exhibit itself.  It gives the installations a light feeling, almost as if they aren’t even there.

Here is Machiko installing another one of her amazing pieces.

As human beings we are always looking for ways to celebrate our lives.  Some take pictures, others paint portraits, few write autobiographies, and a select bunch have embraced immortality through embroidery.  I know, I know, what is all the hullabaloo, what is exciting about embroidery?

A new generation of embroiders are on the rise, exploring the many facets of life through the employment of embroidery that arouse the senses through their depiction of beauty, love, loneliness, sadness, joy, and pride.

Gintare Pasakarnyte embroidered the beautiful photographs of Lithuanian photographer Ausra Osipaviciute. Though the pictures themselves are beautiful, the embroidery adds that punch of the unexpected which makes these pieces breathtaking.

Orly Cogan’s work focuses on the many relationships we have in our lives.  Below are two cracker-jack pieces that both depict strengths of the bachelor-woman, alone and magnificent.  “The character Cogan creates is sort of a 21st-century female Hugh Hefner in much scantier pajamas. The trick here is that she’s Playboy centerfold and playgirl all at once. She gets to keep her cake and eat it too.” – Margaret Hawkins- Chicago Sun Times- January 2, 2004

Busy Barbie


Then we have Ginger Anyhow who has cleverly figured out how to immortalize those timeless text messages of love and loss.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Joetta Maue whose embroidered textiles illustrate our simplest desires. The contrast between the delicate vintage fabrics and the bold statements portray the constant struggle between the drive to achieve our desires and the possibility of failure.

The Textile Arts Center is fortunate enough to have Joetta Maue teach an Autobiographical Embroidery class. Each student will design their own sampler with a water-soluble marker, using their own unique handwriting or provided stencils. We will discuss the creative use of diaristic writing and daily life documentation to create your own art while looking at examples if contemporary fiber artists and learning traditional stitches and embroidery basics. Students are encouraged to work with found, inherited, or vintage linen as their base. Feel free to bring stencils and quotes that you would like to include in your sampler.

Feel free to sign up for this exciting course on our website.

If I have learned anything about living in the Northeast it’s that you need at least one fabulous sweater to get you through winter.  It has to be heavy and warm to ward off the chilly winter winds, but colorful and stylish enough to give you an energy boost when everything is grey and dreary.  This year we are seeing textile artists take sweaters into the realm of posh elegance.  Trust me, you have never seen sweaters like these before.

Unconventional Body Objects by Phuong Thuy Nguyen

Irina Shaposhnikovas Knitted Pieces

Sandra Backlund In Collaboration with Maglificio Miles

The looms are being prepared…

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