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: