Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just for Fun - Patchworkz!

This game is loads of fun and, I must warn you, is absolutely addictive.

Your task is to complete a quilt block pattern using the provided "fabric" triangles, squares and other assorted pieces. All you have to do is to drag each patch and place it in the required spot of the picture. The trick is figuring out exactly where it is that they should be placed, something that is not quite as easy as it sounds.

You have the option of playing online, trying to complete the block before your opponent does - she or he will be trying to complete the same block but will be assigned different colored and patterned pieces:

You also have the option of downloading the game to your computer and just playing against yourself:

Either way, its a hoot - Enjoy!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Art in Architecture and Art in Embassies Programs


"The GSA [General Services Administration] Art in Architecture Program commissions the nation's leading artists to create large-scale works of art for new federal buildings. These artworks enhance the civic meaning of federal architecture and showcase the vibrancy of American visual arts. Together, the art and architecture of federal buildings create a lasting cultural legacy for the people of the United States.

GSA reserves one-half of one percent of the estimated construction cost of each new federal building to commission project artists. A panel comprised of art professionals, civic and community representatives, and the project's lead design architect meets to discuss opportunities for artists to participate in the building project. This panel reviews a diverse pool of artist candidates and nominates finalists for GSA to evaluate. Artists who receive federal commissions work with the project architects and others as members of a design team to ensure that the artworks are meaningfully integrated into the overall project.

GSA maintains a large registry of artists interested in being considered for federal commissions. This registry is the principal resource for the panels that assist GSA in selecting artists for each new project."

NOTE: Region 7 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) and CO:12 are the only ones listed in the Art Work Media Statistics as having textile art.


Established by the United States Department of State in 1964, the ART In Embassies Program is a global museum that exhibits original works of art by U.S. citizens in the public rooms of approximately 180 American diplomatic residences worldwide. These exhibitions, with art loaned from galleries, museums, individual artists, and corporate and private collections, play an important role in our nation's public diplomacy. They provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of American art and culture through the accomplishments of some of our most important citizens, our artists.
  1. Image-based and abstract work in all media are selected.
  2. Length of a loan is approximately two and one-half to three years.
  3. ART in Embassies hires professional fine art handlers to assemble, pack, crate and safely ship works of art to and from each embassy. ART insures each work of art during its transit to and from the embassy and while it is on exhibit at the residence.
  4. Lenders are not compensated financially. Their participation is documented in ART exhibition publications and/or on the ART web site. A wall label accompanies each work of art and identifies both the artist and lender.
  5. Submissions are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
  6. Submissions are archived for future consideration.
  7. Up to 10 images may be submitted only as JPGs or website URL.
  8. Unsolicited mailed submissions are not accepted
  9. An immediate response should not be expected.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Textile Related Publications - 1846 - 1921

The links in the following list will keep you captivated for a while - from a 1904 short story about a boy who made a quilt, to the trials and tribulations of artists' wives, to late 1800 studies of prehistoric textile art in the United States, to mid-1800 books on embroidery, knitting, lace, and history of quilt-making - many of these publications have patterns, instructions, diagrams, illustrations and pictures - all are now in the public domain and are available as free e-books:
Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them - Marie D. Webster, 1915 - includes a lot of quilt history and colored plates

The Dyeing of Woolen Fabrics -Franklin Breech, 1902 - includes many dyeing formulas for large dye lots

The Dyeing of Cotton Fabrics: A Practical Handbook for the Dyer and Student -Franklin Breech, 1901 - includes many dyeing formulas for large dye lots

Beeton's Book of Needlework, 1870 - remarkable

Exercises in Knitting by Cornelia Mee, 1846

The Ladies' Work-Book: Containing Instructions in Knitting, Crochet, Point-Lace, and Etc.

Spool Knitting -Mary A. McCormack, 1909

The Art of Modern Lace Making - Butterick Publishing Company, 1891 (price fifty cents or two shillings)

Make Your Own Hats - Gene Allen Martin, 1921

The Development of Embroidery in America - Candace Wheeler, 1921

Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving - Grace Christie

Encyclopedia of Needlework - Thérèse de Dillmont (1846 - 1890) - detailed instructions

English Embroidered Bookbindings - Cyril James Humphries Davenport - 1899 - has some stunning color plates

Dictionary of Textiles - Louis Harmuth - 1915 - this is the most detailed and extensive textile dictionary or reference source you'll ever find - well over 6,000 terms and definitions are included in its 190 crammed pages and it may take a long time to download.
Jacobean Embroidery: Its Forms and Fillings Including Late Tudor - Ada Wentworth Fitzwilliam and A. F. Morris Hands, 1912

Theory of Silk Weaving: A Treatise on the Construction and Application of Weaves, and the Decomposition and Calculation of Broad and Narrow, Plain, Novelty and Jacquard Silk Fabrics -Arnold Wolfensberger, 1921

A Study of the Textile Art In its relationship to the development of form and ornament: Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884-'85 - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1888, (pages 189-252)

Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United StatesThirteenth Annual Report of the Beaurau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution1891-1892 - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1896, pages 3-46

Prehistoric Textile Fabrics Of The United States, Derived From Impressions On Pottery Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-1882 - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1884, pages 393-425

Textiles: For Commercial, Industrial, and Domestic Arts Schools; Also Adapted to those Engaged in Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods, Wool, Cotton, and Dressmaker's Trades - William H. Dooley, Principal Lowell Industrial School, Lowell, Mass - 1910 textbook

Textiles and Clothing - Kate Heintz Watson, 1906

Navajo Weavers - Dr. Washington Matthews, 1881

Aboriginal American Weaving - Mary Lois Kissell, 1910

Artists' Wives - Alphonse Daudet (1840 - 1897)

The Quilt that Jack Built, - Annie F Johnston, 1904 - Fiction

The Thousand Quilt - Annie Hamilton Donnell - Fiction

Patchwork: A Story of The Plain People - Anna Balmer Myers, 1920 - Fiction

The Patchwork Girl of Oz - L. Frank Baum, 1914 - Fiction

Friday, March 14, 2008

Profile: Tapestry Artist Micala Sidore - by Katherine Duncan Aimone

The following in-depth essay highlights the work of tapestry artist Micala Sidore and explores her “…love of words, dedication to the medium of tapestry, and her fascination with the visual.” It is the first in a series of artist profiles written by Katherine Duncan Aimone that will be published approximately every six weeks from this point forward on the website of Aimone Art Services. - Gwen Magee

Micala Sidore’s series titled Black + White + Red All Over is an engaging exploration of her love of words, her dedication to the medium of tapestry, and her fascination with the visual. Her woven images are simple and clear in design, yet they are more often complex in content than initially meets the eye. When viewed as a group, these pieces are powerful, passionate, and unapologetically entertaining.

"I do want people to be surprised and even charmed
by the idea that art does not have to be serious and
important to work. Art can just move you, and that’s
enough…give you something to think about for longer
than getting it at first glance, even if that ‘longer’ is
just a minute."

Fifteen years ago, Sidore began to explore an idea that has now evolved into a series. She started by simply making the conscious choice to limit the palette of her work to black, white, and red. She found this discretionary restraint surprising freeing, and it eventually opened up a new world to her as an artist. She has since discovered she can navigate deftly within her chosen microcosm.

During 1992, she created two exploratory pieces. When she created a third piece in 1993 (which she later designated as the third in the series), she incorporated lettering, using magazine cutouts of the words black and white as her springboard. At this point, she knew one thing for certain – she found working with words in the context of weaving extremely compelling…

To read in full the remainder of this extensive and in-depth profile of Micala Sidore and to view many examples of her work, please go to:

Author Katherine Duncan Aimone is a writer and independent curator.
The Fiberarts Book of Wearable Art is one of her many publications.
To learn more about Katherine’s art writing and editorial services:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More on Health & Safety in the Arts

A comment about the recent Health & Safety post led me to search for more resources on this topic:

Certified Products List - This is a listing of art materials that have been certified by The Art and Creative Materials Institute, Inc. as "...[containing] no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurius to humans or to cause acute or chronic health problems."

The Healthy Artist Guide to a Less Toxic Studio - developed by Environmental Defence in partnership with CARFAC Ontario for the Toxic Nation project:

The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide - Monona Russell - Chapter 16 on Textile Arts can be accessed (scroll to beginning to see the Table of Contents):
Tiny URL:,M1

Artist Beware: The Hazards of Working with All Art and Craft Materials and the Precautions Every Artist/Craftsperson Should Take - Michael McCann - includes a separate chapter for textile arts (scroll down to page 493):
Tiny URL:,M1

Artists with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) - "Artists with MCS is - first of all - a medium for discussing plans and ideas; a way to share experiences with art materials, or to solve personal or artistic problems or needs. It is a space where artists of all kinds can connect, trusting they will be taken seriously, and where help of all sorts is honored. The network members help each other with trust and loving kindness to continue their work, or find their way back to working as an artist in spite of their limitations. They exchange knowledge about safe, odorless colors or tolerable recording units, or to learn about new techniques that take the illness's consequential damage into consideration."

Organizations for those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Health & Safety in the Arts: Textile & Other Arts

The City of Tucson's Environmental Management Division has provided a comprehensive chart which gives detailed information about 20 hazards to health and safety for textile artists. Information is provided for hazards specific to vegetable, animal and man-made fibers and extensive information is given about dyes and dyeing processes. Chart headings include: Ingestion Hazards; Inhalation Hazards; Skin Contact Hazards; Other Hazards; and Precautions.

Textile Art Hazards:

Textile Art Mordant Hazards:

Painting and Drawing Pigment Hazards:

Painting and Drawing Preservative Hazards:

Painting and Drawing Technique Hazards:

Printmaking Technique Hazards:

Information also is available specific to: Ceramics, Child Art, Child Art Materials to Avoid, Child Art Rules for Safety, Commericial Art, Glass Art, Jewelry, Metalworking, Metalworking Patina Hazards, Modern Technology in Art, Other Art (includes info about papermaking, marbelizing, leathercraft, and feathers - among others), Photography, Photography Chemicals, Sculpture, Woodworking, and Woodworking Toxic Woods.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Splendiferous! No other word can adequately describe the incredible feathered, beaded and sequined costumes of New Orleans' Mardi Gras Indians. Each one of these masterpieces takes countless hours, a full year, and an extraordinary dedication of time and resources to complete.
Standing from 10 to 15 feet tall and almost as wide, hundreds of various-sized pieces of fabric are painstakingly handsewn and covered with thousands of feathers, beads and sequins. Costumes can cost from hundreds of dollars up to $10,000 each to create.
Reporter Parry Gettelman states, "Viewing a photograph of an Indian 'suit' like admiring the Venus de Milo on a postage stamp. You have to see the Indian plumage in life-size 3-D ". He's right.

Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective - scroll down for the pictures

Needle & Thread, Beads and Feathers - 2 1/2 minute News Video

Mardi Gras Garb Isn't Easy to Craft

Mardi Gras Tribes Ready to Suit Up

A Short History of the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans
by Willie W. Clark, Jr.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Peruvian Weavers

Eddie Sulca and Maximo Laura are contemporary Peruvian weavers who live in traditional villages. Their art, however, transcends and defies any boundaries of time or place.

Eddie Sulca is a master weaver who creates extraordinary 3-dimensional work. He controls the entire process from gathering the leaves, berries, branches, roots and insects used to make his dyes, to the spinning and weaving of the yarns. "After the spinning and dyeing process, Eddie begins to weave, developing images that appear to him in his dreams at night. These dream images are woven into subtle creations that reflect the images of ancient Peruvian cultures such as the Inca and Wari."

Maximo Laura: Contemporary Tapestries - "Maximo has taken the tapestry weave to a different level. He is constantly enhancing his unique technique of raising the weft to create incredible depth to his tapestries...[His] tapestries are full of vision, ritual, and Pre-Colombian myth. These pieces are an experience, a collision between the traditional and the contemporary. The iconographic language is authentically Peruvian. These technical pieces are woven with alpaca..."

A Walk with the Weavers – Slideshow – This slideshow about Zapotec weavers in Oaxaca was created "To address the problem of declining sales and tourism to individual weaver homes, is collaborating with artisans and the local community museum to connect travelers and weavers." - Note: the slides advance automatically