Sunday, July 12, 2009

Textile Related Tutorials - Part 4

More tutorials made available through the generosity of textile artists

Needlepoint Lace Tutorial - This tutorial will show you how to create a small piece of needlepoint lace just using a needle and thread (mostly out of buttonhole stitches).

Introduction to Extreme Needle Felting

Faux Stone Effect on Fabric

Photo Transfer with Hand and Brush Cleaner - Beth Wheeler

Foiling Fabric with Bonding Powder

Foiling Fabric with Fusible webbing

Foil with Fusible Vilene

Guide to the Basics of Beading and Embellishment - Betty Blais

Using Adirondack Alcohol Inks on Fabric

A Primer on Gels, Mediums & Pastes - Jessica Rich & Barbara Strembicki

Working with Lazertran - Barbara Strembicki

Experiments with Lutradur - Barbara Strembicki

Image Transfer [rust dyeing] - Lois Jarvis

Mounted on Plexiglass – Lyric Kinard

Mounted on Mat Board – Lyric Kinard

Mounted on Gallery Wrapped Canvas – Lyric Kinard

Matted and Framed - Lyric Kinard

Mounted on Stretcher Bars – Lyric Kinard

Transfering Patterns to Fusible Fabric

Sashiko Tutorial – The Purl Bee

Bobbin Work Tutorial – 1: Cathy Breedyk Law

Bobbin Work Tutorial – 2: Cathy Breedyk Law

Bobbin Work Tutorial – 3: Ribbon - Cathy Breedyk Law

Free Motion Tutorial – 1: Cathy Breedyk Law

Free Motion Tutorial – 2: Cathy Breedyk Law

Free Motion Tutorial – 3 : Cathy Breedyk Law

Free Motion Tutorial – 4: Cathy Breedyk Law

Free Motion Tutorial – 5: Trapping Sequins Under a Sheer Fabric - Cathy Breedyk Law

How to do Free Motion Quilting on a Standard Sewing Machine – Kimbuktu

Fannie's Fabric Paper Tutorial – Fannie Narte

Tyvek and Lumiere Paint Melted Altered Art Technique - Allison Ray - Lots of pictures

Fiber Fusion Technique - Allison Ray

Tyvek Samples - Micki - Using Tyvek with stamps

Quilting by Tacking - Dena Crain

Quilting Backwards - Dena Crain

Fusible Patterns for Art Quilts - Dena Crain

Richard Box: From Drawing to Free Machine Embroidery – 9 minute YouTube video

Designing by Thread – Threads & Settings Part 1

Designing by Thread – Threads & Settings Part 2

Embellishmentality – Part 1

Embellishmentality – Part 2

Curved Checkerboard Tutorial - Linda Matthews

Making Beads from Tyvek - Carolyn Saxby
Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Recap - In case you missed it (July 2008 - June 2009)

Following are some of the topics posted this past year (July 2008 – June 2009)
that you may have missed or want to revisit:

Recap – In case you missed it (June 2007 – June 2008) – posted July 3, 2008

Artist Residencies – Part II – posted July 10, 2008
Shifting Gears: Trust the Spiral – Edward Winkleman – posted July 17, 2008

Textile Related Tutorials – Part 2 – posted July 24, 2008

Business Insurance for Studio Artists – posted July 31, 2008
Pano: Art from the “Inside” Out – posted August 7, 2008
Self-Portraiture - Part II - posted August 14, 2008
Textile and Yarn Shopping: New York & Los Angeles - posted August 21, 2008
Just For Fun – Presidential Campaign – posted August 29, 2008

Updated: Arts Positions of Presidential Candidates – posted October 6, 2008

Petition to Obama for a Secretary of the Arts – posted January 10, 2009

Newsweek Article re New Administration & the Arts – posted January 17, 2009

Artist Residencies – Part III – posted February 7, 2009

Textile Related Podcasts – posted February 14, 2009

Visual Artist Mentor/Mentee Programs – posted February 21, 2009

Textile Sculpture – Part I – posted February 28, 2009

Textile Sculpture – Part 2: El Aantsui, Takashi Horisaki, Loren Schwerd – posted March 4, 2009

Free Museum Admission – posted March 8, 2009

Estate and Legacy Planning for Artists – posted March 12, 2009

Textile Sculpture – Part 3: Nick Cave, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Lisa Lichtenfels – posted March 21, 2009

Writing with Thread Exhibit: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities – posted March 30, 2009

Demystifying Devore DVE – Dionne Swift – posted April 3, 2009

Kimono as Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota – posted April 4, 2009

Tyvek Disintegration??? – posted April 8, 2009

Just for Fun – posted April 13, 2009

Robin Barcus – The Making of Willow Creek Dress – posted April 21, 2009

Textile Sculpture – Part 4: Carolyn Crump, Susan Else, Yoshimi Kihara – posted April 27, 2009

Textile Related Tutorials – Part 3 – posted May 4, 2009

Arts Action Alert – posted May 8, 2009

Public Art Handbooks/Guides – posted May 11, 2009

Artist Residencies – Part IV – posted May 17, 2009

Raoul Dufy: A Celebration of Beauty – posted May 24, 2009

Quotable Quotes – posted May 31, 2009

Textile Related Postage Stamps – posted June 15, 2009

Textile Sculpture – Part 5: Ruth Asawa, Karen Searle, Sarah Hewitt, Olga de Amaral – posted June 22, 2009
Complete Textile Glossary - posted June 28, 2009
Americans for the Arts Arts Action Alert - posted June 29, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Americans for the Arts Arts Action Alert

Arts Action Alert - Take Action Now!

Great news!

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $15 million increase for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for FY 2010. Currently funded at $155 million, this increase would bring both agencies' budgets to $170 million. Please take two minutes to write to your Senators and urge them to support this important funding increase!

Thanks to the arts leadership of House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Congressional Arts Caucus co-chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY), this House-approved funding increase for the NEA exceeds President Obama's budget request by $8.7 million and is the highest proposed appropriation for the NEA since its $176 million peak in FY 1992. On June 25, corresponding legislation in the Senate Appropriations Committee set NEA and NEH funding at only $161.3 million each.

Next Steps:
We must now put pressure on the Senate to match the funding level set in the House of Representatives. Please take two minutes to visit Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center to send a letter to your Senators:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Complete Textile Glossary

Complete Textile Glossary - This free 211 page online book is a pdf file that is downloadable and printable. Compiled by Celanese Acetate LLC, this is the fifth edition and is an incredibly detailed resource with over 2,000 entries and is an illustrated dictionary of fiber and textile technology that includes coverage of advanced materials-composites, aerospace textiles, geotextiles, and new fiberforming polymers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Textile Sculpture - Part 5: Ruth Asawa, Karen Searle, Sarah Hewitt, Olga de Amaral

More stunning work by fiber artists exploring different disciplines

Ruth Asawa - Ruth Asawa is renowned for her
wire and fiber sculptures. Explore all pages of her
website to learn about her creative process.

Oral History Interview – this is the transcript of
a 2002 interview that is archived at the Smithsonian

Ruth Asawa: A Life in Art – an article by Pam RuBert
posted to the Ragged Cloth Café blog

YouTube Video – 8 ½ minute video – Daniell Cornell,
Curator at the San Jose Museum of Art talks about Ruth
Asawa’s exhibit, “Contours in the Air”. It includes an
interview by phone with her oldest daughter.



Karen Searle – knits and crochets into 3-dimensional
form any malleable medium, from linen to wire to hog
gut to telephone cable. Her predominant interest is in
exploration of the feminine form
– click image for large close-up



Sarah Hewitt – “I choose to sculpt using fibers – using a variety of materials from jute twine from the hardware store to bark peeled fresh from a tree, and cloth purposed for commercial fishing. To build an object I use a variety of textile techniques – stitching, knitting, crochet, coiling, weaving – any form of joinery. My forms develop from the materials’ strengths and weakness. They border on the yonic and womb-like, referencing nests, bindings, and scarification.”

In her blog, Sarah goes into detail about her artistic and creative thought process as well as in-depth info about “The Love Armor” project

Olga de Amaral is a Columbian Textile Artist
whose works often “…take the form of large
tapestries covered with gold or silver leaf…” [and]
“…is one of the textile artists who, in the 1960s,
first turned textile arts from a primarily two-
dimensional representational art form into a
three-dimensional, abstract art form.”

The Sun Queen – this is an in-depth 3-page
article about Olga de Amaral in TREND
(art+design+architecture) magazine – wonderful

Landscapes of Imagination – gives details
and images of an installation of her tapestries

More Images – click on images for close-up views

Monday, June 15, 2009

Textile Related Postage Stamps

Embroidery for postage stamps brings national RSA [Royal Society of encouragement of the Arts] award

Textiles has been a popular theme for postage stamps throughout the world. Here are a few of them, arranged by country.

Gallery of Stamps with a Textile Theme

Russian Stamps: Turkmen Picking Cotton

Sewing Equipment for Army

Textile Mill

Lace Maker





Bayeux Tapestry


Spinning Wheels

Hand Looms

Gee's Bend Quilt Stamps

Amish Quilt Stamps

Art of the American Indian Stamps

Knitting on Stamps

A Postage Stamp Commemorates Isfahan as the 'City of Polish Children' - "The stamp commemorates two things: a huge tragedy in Poland's history, and how Iran helped rescue some of the victims. But to understand the whole story – which today is largely forgotten outside Poland – one must go back to the very start of World War II.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quotable Quotes

I don't think artists can avoid being political. Artists are the proverbial canaries in the coalmine. When we stop singing, it's a sure sign of repressive times ahead. (Theresa Bayer)

There is only one art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth. Thus, from the standpoint of the work and its worth it is irrelevant to which political ideas the artist as a citizen claims allegiance, which ideas he would like to serve with his work or whether he holds any such ideas at all. (Vaclav Havel)

Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence. It opens our eyes to see and our brain to imagine.~ Magdalena Abakanowicz

All great art comes from a sense of outrage. ~ Glenn Close

Art hath an enemy called ignorance. ~Ben Jonson

Art is the struggle to understand. ~Audrey Foris

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul - and you answer. ~Star Richés

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. ~ Edgar Degas

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Raoul Dufy: A Celebration of Beauty

“My eyes were made to erase all that is ugly.” Raoul Dufy

"I don't follow any system. All the laws you can lay down
are only so many props to be cast aside when the
hour of creation arrives." Raoul Dufy
"The subject itself is of no account; what matters is the way it is presented." Raoul Duffy

If you are lucky enough to be anywhere near Jackson, MS between now and July 5, make sure you take the time to beat a path to the Mississippi Museum of Art to view the international tour exhibit Raoul Dufy: A Celebration of Beauty, an exhibition that includes 100 antique silk fabrics and fabric designs on loan from the Bianchini-Ferier (Lyon, France) archives.
During his lifetime, Dufy created over 4,000 fabric designs becoming one of the great innovators of 20th century textile design.

From the museum's website:

“Dufy transformed the face of fashion and fabric design,
formulated practically all modern fabric design between
1909 and 1930, and his style radically influenced the
popular arts and the commercial design of the Western
world. Even today, his vision informs the color, design,
texture, and imagery of a wide range of products such
as book covers, perfumes, posters and stage decor,
and textiles for furniture and clothing.”

Raoul Dufy: The Controversial Aesthete

Raoul Dufy: A Celebration of Beauty - Textile and Fashion Design

Raoul Dufy: Créateur d'Étoffes [Raoul Dufy: textile designer; printing on Mulhouse fabrics] - written in French, but has some pictures.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Artist Residencies - Part IV


Expectations for the Artist in School Residencies – Iowa Arts Council

Aritist-in-Residence Guide for Teachers & Artists - Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Education Program - Info for artists starts on page 12

Artists in Residency Handbook: Guide to Planning Successful Artist Residencies – Virginia Commission for the Arts – Note: Info for artists starts on page 10.

Artist Residencies: Evolving Educational Experiences - Lynne B. Silverstein

Handbook for a Successful Residency: For Schools, Community Organizations and Artists - Ohio Arts Council - Table of Contents in left-hand column OR Print Entire Handbook from link at bottom of page

Handbook for a Successful Artist Residency - Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in Education

Artist as Teacher: A Guide for Artists Working in Schools - Mississippi Arts Commission

Keys to a Successful Artist Residency - a performing artist's thoughts - applicable to visual artists

Monday, May 11, 2009

Public Art Handbooks/Guides

Public Art Commissions are an often overlooked area of opportunity - but information about how to enter into this arena and/or how to have one's artwork seriously considered is needed. The following resources provide some very useful and insightful guidance:
Public Art Commissions: An Artist Handbook - North Carolina Arts Council - This handbook offers practical advice to artists seeking a public art commission and includes samples of "calls to artists," proposal letters and what to expect during the interview. Information about budgets and contracts also are included.

Managing Public Art Projects: A Handbook for Artists - Although written for UK artists, a wealth of information and exercises are included which can be very useful for artists interested in pursuing public art commissions anywhere. It notes that: "Public art offers many opportunities for artists, but it also challenges them to develop skills in addition to those required in many other forms of visual arts practice. Public art tends towards working practices which involve co-operation, negotiation and an interface with others, particularly professionals, who are not necessarily used to working closely with artists."
Notes for the Public Artist: What's expected of a public artist? - Douglas MacCash - this is a very short put pointed article about what an artist should consider trying to enter the public art arena

An Artist's Guide to the Phoenix Public Art Program - Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture - "This guide presents general information regarding professional issues that artists may encounter working in public art, as well as specific information how City of Phoenix public art commissions are managed by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's Public Art Program. This guide attempts to address the most frequently asked questions about the program."

Art in Public Places Public Artist Handbook: A Guide to the Commission Process - Washington State Arts Commission

What to Ask Before Applying for a Public Art Commission - This is an article by Regina Chavez Chapman that was published in the New Mexico Art in Public Places Newsletter

NOTE: Public Art 4Culture compiles a list of current public art opportunities available across the country and internationally. The Public Art Calls List provides brief project descriptions, deadline dates and how to receive more information about each opportunity. It is distributed approximately every 2 months. You can sign up to receive the list via e-mail on the following site:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Arts Action Alert

From Americans for the Arts- Arts Action Alert - Take Action Now!
President Obama today released the final details of his FY 2010 budget request to Congress which includes the nation’s cultural agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), and the Department of Education’s Arts in Education program. Write your members of Congress and tell them to support funding for these cultural agencies:
As Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch noted in a press statement, "The president's proposed funding of $161 million would take the NEA to its highest funding level in 15 years and will help continue the upward trend of budgetary growth that Congress established several years ago. In contrast to the previous administration, this year's budget includes funding for the Arts in Education program at the Department of Education at $38.16 million. We hope that Congress will build on these initial budget requests to secure even higher funding levels to address the needs of the arts and arts education community."
On Arts Advocacy Day, artists Wynton Marsalis, Linda Ronstadt and Josh Groban joined Americans for the Arts and over 550 arts advocates from around the country to testify on Capitol Hill and to meet with congressional leaders to request $200 million for the NEA and $53 million for arts education. These requests are just some of the legislative priorities for the nonprofit arts community in 2009:

A breakdown of the President’s budget request is as follows:
Federally Funded Arts Program
FY 2009 Enacted Appropriations (in millions):
National Endowment for the Arts- $155
National Endowment for the Humanities- $155
Institute of Museum and Library Services - $274.8 *
U.S. Dept. of Education’s Arts in Education- $38.1
*includes $11 million in Congressional earmarks
FY 2010 President’s Budget Request(in millions):
National Endowment for the Arts- $161
National Endowment for the Humanities- $161
Institute of Museum and Library Services - $266
U.S. Dept. of Education’s Arts in Education- $38.1

Next Steps
As you know, the President’s budget is the first step in the appropriations process. While it serves as an important framework, Congress has the power to set its own priorities and change these funding levels. That’s where you come in.
Arts advocates can make their voices heard by writing their members of Congress and urging them to support funding for arts and culture through the NEA and increase funding for arts in education programs. We have provided you with a customizable letter, as well as several talking points to help you craft your message. We recommend you add your own thoughts and stories about why the arts are important to you and your community:
Please help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. Play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today -- it's free and simple-

Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Avenue NW
6th Floor
Washington DC . 20005
T 202.371.2830
F 202.371.0424
One East 53rd Street . 2nd Floor
New York NY .
F 212.980.4857

Monday, May 4, 2009

Textile Related Tutorials - Part 3

Another potpourri of available tutorials from basic to advanced techniques

Preparing Substrates for Ink-Jet Printing – Golden Artist Colors Paints

Golden Digital Grounds Product Information Sheet – "GOLDEN Digital Grounds are ink-receptive coatings intended for use with ink-jet printers. They allow the artist to coat and subsequently print over a large variety of substrates including [fabrics], paper, canvas, metal and acrylic paints, using ordinary computer printers and inks."

Hand-Dyed Fabric Trims - Debra Cooper

Dyed Paper Towels for Paper and Fabric Art- Debra Cooper

Three Dimensional Fabric Leaves

Mistyfuse's Work Forward Technique - Sue Bleiweiss - " easy way to create an applique without having to mess about with reversing your design."

Fantasy Beads – Zeborah Loray – Embellished paper beads with OPALS © embossing enamels and Fantasy Film

Flour Paste Batik – Bridget Benton

Tutorial Review: Flour Paste Batik – Fern Treacy

How to Make Paper from Vegetables – Stacy Alexander

Fabric Printing/Stencil Tutorial - Brie

Fabric Thumb Tacks

Fabric Covered Magnets

Embroidered Buttons

Fun with Acrylic Transfers

BERNINA VIDEOS - Nina McVeigh - this is a series of videos on how to use specialized feet for Berninas as well as techniques that can be used with any sewing machine:
Machine Needlepunch

Free Motion Couching

Using a Walking Foot

Going in Circles
Free Motion Machine Beading

Corded Pintucks

A Perfect Bias Binding by Machine

Perfect Echo Quilting

Decorative Stitching

Perfect 1/4" No-Pins Curves

Bernina Stitch Regulator

Circle Stitching - Terri Stegmiller

Faux Chenille - Sue Bleiweiss

Painted Fusible - Sue Bleiweiss

Hot Water Stabilizers 101 - Sue Bleiweiss

Gammill Quilting Systems Instructional Videos - A series of 3 to 16 minute videos

All About Hand Dyeing - Pauline Burch - Instructions and examples for all sorts of dyeing: tie dyeing, batik, hand painting, low water immersion

On the Surface: Using Fibretex - Janice Hay

Natural Surfaces Zine - Surface design techniques using natural dyes, earth pigments, ochers, oxides andrust - Kimberly Baxter Packwood

Mokuba Free Lace Tutorial - Carla

Beginning Angelina Basics - Betty Blais - 16-minute vidcast

Monday, April 27, 2009

Textile Sculpture - Part 4: Carolyn Crump; Susan Else; Yoshimi Kihara

This post highlights the work of Carolyn Crump, Susan Else, and Yoshimi Kihara - two quilters and a knitter - three more outstanding textile artists whose work is redefining what can be accomplished with their preferred mediums...

Carolyn Crump works in a variety of media, but her recent focus on textiles and quilts is bringing a new dimension to sculptural textiles. It has been stated that her art "...defies illusionary boundaries to reflect a unique blend of wildness, freedom, and expression."
Interview of Carolyn Crump - The following is a January 27, 2009 interview of Carolyn by Karen Musgrave for the Alliance for American Quilts Save Our Stories project. Carolyn's interview is part of an interview series focused on artists creating quilts honoring the historic election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States of America
Houstonian Captures Obama Moment in Quilt:

She States: “I treat cloth not as a flat surface but as a wild flexible skin for three-dimensional objects. The graphic surface almost, but not quite, edges out the volumetric forms. Making sculpture from fabric presents unique challenges and creative possibilities - and it makes me approach sculptural problems with an unusual slant.” Note: the home page of her website currently has wonderful images of recent work focused on skeletons
Blog posting about Susan by Leni Werner - includes images:
Yoshimi Kihara knits intricate sculptures using folded strips of newspapers.
She states: “My work explores the theme of ‘information’ and our relationship to it...My pieces build over time and grow in sequence with the days. Newsprint carries on it’s inky surface the imprint of news and trivia that each day throws up. As the structures develop, the sheets of newspaper that I use loose their original function and the objects that emerge begin to transmit new messages of their own.” NOTE: When you click on the "Works" link, a slide show will automatically start after 5 seconds have elapsed

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Robin Barcus - The Making of Willow Creek Dress

Robin Barcus creates art garments from unusual materials - her Willow Creek, Corn, Lily Pad and Pine Cone Dresses in particular have received wide acclaim

The Making of Willow Creek Dress - This is a 3 1/2 minute YouTube video showing how Robin Barcus creeked the Willow Creek Dress during a 2006 artist residency at Jentel - NOTE: you have the option to view it full screen

State of the Dress Blog - This is Robin's blog. Recent posts show her latest work which creates clothes from casino chips, feather dusters, sponges, plastic easter eggs, playing cards, deflated beach balls, and whiffle balls; among others. Unfortunately they are not in the same league nor of the same caliber as her work using natural materials.

However, if you click on the link in the left-hand column for the oldest blog posts, you can follow her posts about the creation of the Willow Creek Dress, the Corn Dress and others in that genre.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just For Fun

More oddities & absurdities to make you smile or just say "Huh???"


London Architectural Bienniel: A Knitted House -
done in public and using a 2-story high scaffold,
the group knitted the outside walls using garbage
bags, old plastic bags and rope.

The life-size fairy tale house made of millions of stitches: Created to raise money for charity, this single story knitted house includes knitted furniture, accessories, and is surrounded by a knitted garden including flowers and 12-foot high trees:


Kay Sorenson's Jigsaw Quilt Puzzles

The Quilts of Gee's Bend Jigsaw Quilt Puzzles


Knitted Fractals and Algorithms - Eleanor Kent

Narrow Vision - Eve Jacobs-Carnahan - "Though the beautiful knitted eyes in this sculpture appear clear and open, they are confined by blinders. Such narrowness prevents them from seeing and understanding. Though the beautiful knitted eyes in this sculpture appear clear and open, they are confined by blinders. Such narrowness prevents them from seeing and understanding. "

WTF?? - just take a look...

World Famous Crochet Museum - somehow I don't think I'll bother making a side trip to Joshua, CA. A visit to the website was more than enough...can you spell "tacky"?

Counterfeit Crochet Project - hand crocheted designer handbags

Sylvia Syjuco - Counterfeit Crochet Project -
YouTube video of her making a presentation
about the project

Help Your Tree Survive Winter with a Tree Sweater

.....Tree Sweater Pattern

Sewing Tattoo - This committed I am not...

What Not to Wear on Stage - Bjork is a performer who definitely has her own sense of style- Click on the 2008 and the 2007 links on the right side of the page

Barcode Textile Pictures

Wicker Motorcycle

Crocheted Fake Fur Fox

Gumball Machine - felt

Blender with Bananas and Strawberries - felt

Knit Your Bit - "On the Home Front during World War II, knitting served as one more way Americans could support the war effort...The National WWII Museum is proud to launch its own Knit Your Bit campaign. You can help the Museum honor WWII veterans by Knitting Your Bit- in this case a simple, but cozy, scarf to be donated to a veteran in a Veterans Center somewhere in the United States."

Old Tyme Stockings Devoted to Sock Machines & Sock Machine Knitting - a virtual museum dedicated to the restoration of antique sock machines and the promotion of sock machine knitting.

Fetus Popple - created for an Embryology class, its a take-off on Popples (stuffed toys that turned inside/out of pouches)

Frightfully Bloody Fairy Tales - Annie Aube - WARNING: Her work may be disturbing from both a violence & sexual perspective - "...creates embroideries of violent images from Mythology and folklore in a cartoon style."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tyvek Disintegration???

Textile artists have found tyvek to be an incredible resource not only for the protection of artwork during shipment as well as storage, but also when used as a "textile" that can be manipulated through the application of heat and paint to produce amazing textural and visual effects.

However, recently on a Bookart list, there was an extensive discussion about tyvek and its archival properties - specifically whether or not there should be concern about the durability and longevity of this material. One person stated that a map printed onto a "tyvek-like" material crumbled into uncountable pieces and fell off his wall less than four years after he'd purchased it. Several others recounted instances of tyvek shredding and disintegrating when used to protect outside plants during the winter as well as contractor accounts of finding it deteriorated when used in home construction in less than 15 or 20 years.

I did a google search and also found accounts about tyvek deterioration posted to several different contractor forums (with crumbling being mentioned specifically). Sailors have found that it shows signs of deterioration within just a few weeks of exposure to weather and is therefore unsuitable for use as sails. Additionally, I found the website of Neda Niaraki, a textile designer who has created a fashion line of disposable garments made from soft structure Tyvek. She states, "My garments can be worn up to 12 times before deteriorating."

Clearly more information is needed, but artists need to at least consider whether continuing to use tyvek as part of the artwork itself is wise. While it is true that it is highly unlikely that the art will be subjected to extreme temperature and weather conditions, nonetheless textile artists do use various degrees of heat and apply paints and other chemical based materials to it.

Just something to think about...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kimono as Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota

An exhibit showcasing 40 of the magnificent and towering (8-foot tall) art kimonos created by Itchiku Kubota is currently on display at the Canton Museum of Art in Canton, OH through April 26, 2009

"Internationally acclaimed artist Itchiku Kubota used silk kimono as his canvas. Kubota had a lifelong fascination with the subtle changes of color and the quality of light achieved through skillful dyeing techniques combined with the reflective properties of silk. He often used nature as the inspiration for his work."

"Itchiku Kubota was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1917. He learned the art of dyeing as an apprentice at age 14. At age 20 Kubota visited the Tokyo National Museum, where he found inspiration in a 350-year old textile silk remnant of the long lost art of tsujigahana (Tsu-jee-ga-ha-na). “In a sudden moment” he said, “I encountered a source of boundless creativity which revealed to me my calling.” World War II intervened and Kubota was taken prisoner and put in a Siberian prisoner-of-war camp. Upon his release in 1951, he devoted himself to fi"nding the secret behind this extraordinary technique. It wasn’t until 1977, when he was 60 years old, that he finally succeeded in his quest and developed his own method, which he called Itchiku Tsujigahana. Kubota used a complex process of layering dyes, inks and embroidery, on eight-foot-tall kimono. A single kimono could take as much as one year to complete."

The process to create a kimono involves the use of many steps and and a variety of techniques to produce the desired colors and patterns. From foundation to finishing, the elements involved include:

You can view a 3-minute video of the exhibit which includes clips of the artist at work:

Additional information can be accessed at the Kimono as Art website including:
The Life of Itchiku Kubota:
The Search for Tsujigahana Textile: Discovering the Art:
A 160 page catalogue with 200 color illustrations is available:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Demystifying Devore DVD - Dionne Swift

Dionne Swift has released a 40 minute DVD which gives detailed instructions on "how to Devore". From her website: "The devoré process was developed on C17th France as a means of creating a poor man’s lace. Devoré – to devour – to eat away/to burn out. The fabric I use is a combination of silk and viscose, the devoré process removes the viscose pile."

To view a 3-minute YouTube snippet from the DVD:

From the Textile Directory Newsletter: "This month we have two copies of Dionne Swift’s fabulous new DVD, Demystifying Devoré, to giveaway. The DVD provides useful information on the basic techniques employed in devoré, and also demonstrates how these techniques can be applied to produce attractive garments. For your chance to win one of these fabulous DVDs simply email your name and address to with ‘devore’ in the subject line."

To learn more about Dionne and view some of her work:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Writing with Thread Exhibit: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities

Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities opens at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM on May, 15, 2009 and runs through August 16, 2009.

"Writing with Thread explores the meanings associated with the production and use of indigenous clothing. In societies without written languages, traditions and customs are orally passed from generation to generation. However, the textile arts, largely practiced by women, provide tangible evidence of a group's history, myths, and legends. The signs and patterns woven or embroidered in their clothing are often replicated in the accompanying silver ornaments made by men. Together, the textiles and silver ornaments, as complements to their oral traditions, record and transmit ideas and concepts that are important for the preservation and reconstruction of the identities of their makers and users. The exhibition, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind to date, will showcase costumes from the Miao, Yi, Dong, Tujia, Shui, Zhuang, Dai, Buyi, Yao, Wa, and Zang. The needlework and silverwork of each ethnic group show variations in their myths of origin and heroic combats, communal memories, and wish fulfillment."

Many of the people whose work is shown did not have a written language and used their embroidery to record important historical events - they serve as visual records.

This is one of the world's most outstanding collections of costumes from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century that were worn by 31 of Southwest China's 56 minority ethnic groups and includes 500 examples of rare and historically significant clothing, jewelry and silver ornaments.

The exhibition is documented and accompanied by a 320-page illustrated catalogue.
For more information, contact the Museum of International Folk Art:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Textile Sculpture - Part 3: Nick Cave, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Lisa Lichtenfels

Our exploration of textile sculpture continues with the art of three more exceptional artists

Nick Cave Art in Motion – Nick Cave is chair of Fashion Design at the School of Art Institute in Chicago. His art has been described as an exploration of “…when textiles meet modern dance…” His creations are transformative in that any indication of the age, gender or ethnicity of the wearer is stripped away, thereby protecting the wearer from prejudice based on any of those characteristics.” Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are fabulous creations made of thrift store finds, twigs, plastic bags, discarded thcotchkes, and just about anything else that strikes his fancy…Often, Cave’s Soundsuits are assembled by a multigenerational, multicultural group of volunteers in his Chicago neighborhood.”
Xenobia Bailey has written an extensive article about Nick Cave and has many pictures of his work on her blog

United States Artists (2006 Toby Devan Lewis Fellow)

a) Nick Cave by Greg Cook
b) Nick Cave by Sasha Lee – Note: scroll down ¼ of page past a lot of blank space

YouTube Videos:
a) Nick Cave Sound Suits – 5 ½ minutes
b) Nick Cave – Art in Motion – 1 minute 49 seconds

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson – “Aminah's artistic vocabulary consists of a combination of the skills she learned in art school and those passed down to her by her family. Her father taught her to make hogmawg, her word for a sculptural material used in both two- and three-dimensional work.

The button and needle work she learned from her mother are evident in her rag paintings and RagGonNons, her word for complex works of art that can come in many forms but often include buttons, men's neckties, and other found objects.”
Xenobia Bailey has written an extensive article about Aminah Robinson and her
work on her blog. Many pictures are included:

Lisa Lichtenfels – Figurative Sculpture-Realism in Fabric – Lisa “…creates startlingly realistic sculptures with a wide variety of subject matter, including fantasy, myth, humor, and portraiture. The individual figures range from less than 5 inches to life-sized figures of over 5 feet tall. She also does large environmental installations with many characters.”
The Art of Lisa Lichtenfels – many images including Lisa’s explanations of the