TREASURES FROM MALI: Glowing Fabrics & Polished Cotton
ENSHRINING NATURE with Sharon McCartney
Art Quilt Elements THE ART OF
LINDSAY KETTERER GATES
Volume 1, Issue 3
SPRING 2012 • VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3
DEPARTMENTS 2 FROM THE EDITOR 3 VIEWPOINTS What is the most surprising response to your work you’ve ever received?
4 6 PAGE
ON THE BOOKSHELF FIBER HAPPENINGS Textiles Today, Durango Arts Center, Durango, Colorado Fiber in the Present Tense, Rhode Island and Massachusetts Surface Design Association
IN THEIR OWN WORDS Embroidered Leaves by Hillary Fayle Eco-Printing by Wendy Feldberg Protecting, Hiding, and Displaying Ourselves by Ya-chu Kang
A Felted Journey by Charity Musoma van der Meer
Lindsay Ketterer Gates: Transforming the Mundane into the Extraordinary by Leanne Jewett
20 A Woman on a Mission: Preserving Textiles Before It’s too Late Imagine priceless Buddhist thangkas, used for religious ceremonies in Tibet. Now imagine them 300 years and 17,000 miles later. How can they be expected to last much longer? It’s time to call in the experts. BY ERICA HOLTHAUSEN
26 OUR LEGACY: Opposite Coasts, Parallel Goals
Meet two of the groups that first eschewed the ‘guild’ system and embraced the ‘arts’ in fiber arts and textiles. California Fibers and New Images members live and create on opposite coasts; their stories and origins are different too, but their mission is shared. BY TRUDI VAN DYKE
Joyce Melander Dayton: In Perpetual Motion by Cynthia Elyce Rubin
42 44 46
30 Treasures from Mali
Malian damask is known worldwide for its polished finish, textured surface, and most of all, delicious colors. Take a trip to a Malian market and learn how damask is created—and revered—in this remarkable country. BY CYNTHIA LECOUNT SAMAKE
ARTIST PROFILE Sharon McCartney: Enshrining Nature by Leanne Jewett
ON VIEW Art Quilt Elements THIS JUST IN Reader Showcase CONFERENCES, EXHIBITIONS & CALLS FOR ENTRY THE MEDIUM MATTERS Burned in Beeswax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
from the editor
STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS PUBLISHER & EDITOR MARCIA YOUNG
I’m still amazed when, with
ONLINE EDITOR & CONTENT DEVELOPER CAMI SMITH
seemingly divine timing, just the right articles appear for each issue. As those CIRCULATION DIRECTOR bits and pieces made their way to my desk PETER WALSH this time, I happened across a quote that seemed especially fitting: “By believing ART DIRECTOR GLENNA STOCKS passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is PHOTOGRAPHER whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” DEANNA DIMARZIO In Opposite Coasts, Parallel Goals ST WRITERS/EDITORS PUBLISHE (page 28) Trudi Van Dyke shares the stoLEANNE JEWETT MARCIA ries of two pivotal contemporary fiber arts LEAHA DAVIS groups. California Fibers grew from the with ONLINE with rise of the contemporary crafts movement CONTENT SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS seemingly divine timing, just thedivine right timing, just the right seemingly in California during the 1970s. Imagine beCAM CHARITY MUSOMA VAN DER MEER articles appear for eacharticles issue. appear As those for each issue. As those ing one of the first groups of people ever TRUDI VAN DYKE bits and bits and pieces made their waypieces to mymade desktheir way to my desk HILLARY FAYLE CIRCULATIO to organize with the understanding that this time, I happened across a quote that WENDY FELDBERG PETER this time, I happened across a quote that their works in fibers and textiles were just terred, and after leaving behind a career KENDRA FLYNN seemed especially fitting: “By believing seemed especially fi tting: “By believing as gallery worthy as any other respected in nursing and spending years working ERICA HOLTHAUSEN ART D passionately something that still does YA-CHU KANG passionately in something that still in does “high” art of their time. Their counterparts through multiple processes and materials, GLENNA not exist, we create it. The non-existent is MARY PULLER not exist, create it. The on the east coast have made somewe of the she hasnon-existent developed a is clothing line that efCYNTHIA ELYCE RUBIN whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” PHOTO same in-roads in their own ways. we have not fectively expresses those intentions with a CYNTHIA SAMAKE whatever sufficiently desired.” In Opposite Coasts, Parallel Goals PATRICIA BALDWIN SEGGEBRUCH DEANNA Art Quilt Elements, the exhibition marriage of Goals felting and knitting. In Opposite Coasts, Parallel (page 28) Trudi Van Dyke shares the stoADRIENNE SLOANE featured in On View (page 42), 28) gives us Van Dyke All ofshares these examples serve to remind (page Trudi the stoJENNY VIERLING ries of two pivotal contemporary fiber arts WRITERS another example of sheer willofleading the us that what we thinkarts about we bring ries two pivotal contemporary fiber LEANNE groups. California Fibers grew from the way. This annual (now biennial) exhibition, about. Impassioned belief drives new LEAH groups. California Fibers the risegrew of thefrom contemporary crafts movement SPRING ISSUE which began in 1999 with 18 quilts, has ideas and creations. What’s yours? ADVISORY BOARD rise of the contemporary crafts movement in California during the 1970s. Imagine beSP risen to its current status as an influential ANDREA GRAHAM one of the firstbegroups of people ever in California during theing 1970s. Imagine C juried art quilt show that receives national Warmly, BRUCE HOFFMAN to organize withever the understanding that ing one of the fi rst groups of people JOHN HOPPER CHARITY MUSOM and international acclaim. their works in fibers and textiles were just terred, and after PATleaving PAULY behind a career to organize TRUDI V In A Felted Journey: Zambia to thewith the understanding that LINDA WALLACE as textiles gallery worthy as any other respected in nursing and spending years working HILLAR their works in fi bers and were just terred, and after leaving behind a career Netherlands via the United Kingdom “high” art of their time. Their counterparts through multiple processes and materials, WENDY gallery worthy in nursing and spending years working (page 18), Charity van deasMeer knew that as any other respected KENDR on the east coast have made some of the she has developed a clothing line that efOUR MISSION she wanted to interpret “high” the natural world art of their time. Their counterparts through multiple processes and materials, ERICA HO same in-roads in their own ways. fectively expresses those intentions with a We connect and inspire the fiber arts around her in the Netherlands in coast the have made some of the on theand east she has developedand a clothing line that YA-CH textiles of community byeffeaturing the most Art Quilt Elements, the exhibition marriage felting and knitting. forests of her girlhood home Zambia in their Editor-in-Chief MARY compelling work, ideas, and craftsmanship. sameinin-roads own ways. expresses those with a featured in On View (pagefectively 42), gives us All of intentions these examples serve to remind CYNTHIAPE Fiber Art Now serves artists, arts professionals, through art wear. Her passion was undeeditor@fi berartnow.net Art Quilt Elements, another the exhibition ofthe feltingus and knitting. example of sheermarriage will leading that what we thinkWe about we bring learners, and educators. are a worldwide CYNTHIA community in of what we love. featured in On View (page 42), annual gives us All of these examples serve tosupport remind way. This (now biennial) exhibition, about. Impassioned belief drives new PATRICIA BALDW ADRIENN another example of sheer will leading the with us that what about we bring which began in 1999 18 quilts, has we think ideas and What’s yours?quarFiber Art Now creations. (ISSN# 2163-5358) is published terly (April, July, October, January) by Fiber Art Now, JENNY to itsexhibition, current status as an infl uential way. This annual (now risen biennial) about. Impassioned belief drives new
from the editor from the editor
STAFF & CO
I’m still amazed when, I’m still amazed when,
27 Island Road, East Freetown, MA 02717. Periodical Freetown, MA and additional mailing offices. All annual subscriptions are four issues. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Fiber Art Now, PO Box 66, East Freetown, MA 02717-0066. Customer service: 413-222-0720, editor@ ﬁberartnow.net. Contents are copyright 2012 by Fiber Art Now and contributing artists. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the expressed permission of the publisher. Circulation services are handled by Walsh Media Solutions, www. walshmediasolutions.com, Orland Park, IL. Our web address is www.fiberartnow.net and we may be contacted Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Postage Pending at East juried quilthas show that receives national Warmly, which began in 1999 with 18art quilts, ideas and creations. What’s yours? andas international acclaim. risen toI pored its current status an infl uential I love that you are coverover the premier issue (although the writing, In A Felted Journey: to the quilt show that receivesphotography national Zambia Warmly, ing a lot of interestingjuried art issue over winter break— and choice of Netherlands via the United Kingdom acclaim. ground just in the first and two international excellent articles. I just artists and articles were all (page 18), Charity van de Meer knew that issues...plus all the face- In A received the second isthe second one Felted Journey: Zambia tofine)—but the she wanted to interpret the natural world book posts. You’re doing sue—and I am thrilled! really gelled and was an Netherlands via thetruly United Kingdom around her in the Netherlands and in the an outstanding JOB! (page 18), I willCharity be honest that felt knew outstanding van deI Meer that effort—from forests of her girlhood home in Zambia —SHANNON WEBER there were a few visual all points of view! she wanted to interpret the natural world through art wear. Her passion was undedesign glitches in the first —CAROLAN TEBBETS
around her in the Netherlands and in the page u forests of her girlhood home continued in Zambiaon the next Editor-in-Chief through art wear. Her passion was email@example.com
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR I love that you are cover-
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What’s the most surprising response to your work you’ve ever received?
Tapestry Weaver “Once while I was sitting at my spinning wheel, with a display of my handwoven rugs next to me, an elderly man asked if I had spun the rugs on my wheel. I love the image of feeding raw wool into a spinning wheel and a multicolored rug popping out!”
Mixed Media Artist “How do you keep your pieces from rotting?”
Tapestry Weaver “I was at the desk in a gallery with my work. A woman came in, admired the work, then carefully glanced at the price and said, ‘My, I DO have good taste,’ and left without buying.”
Tapestry Weaver “I was showing some of my work to a friend. I knew he wouldn’t buy any. He asked me, “If you were going to sell these woven artworks, what price would you ask?” I thought a minute and told him an amount. He put his hand in his pocket and wrote me a check. I was totally shocked. It was my first time to sell any of my work!”
Letters to the Editor I received and read the winter issue from cover to cover today. I found the content (as well as the look and feel) really exciting. I liked that you mixed the likes of Sandra Sider with the Iranian weaver (wow! great touch!) and Leisa Rich (terrifically interesting content) and the landscape knitter on the cover! Some of the articles could have been
Basket Maker “A common reaction that I love is when people are drawn in to a piece and then a moment later, when they get close, are completely surprised as they realize what the materials are. At the opening for my very first exhibit I was lurking and observing these reactions when a woman picked up one of my ticket bowls. Not knowing who I was, she commented to me on the intricacy of the paint job. I tried to explain that there was no paint, that what she was seeing was the natural colors of the tickets. She argued with me and told me that the bowl was ceramic and the colors and pattern had been painted on! We went back and forth several times. I finally had to pull out my ID and match it to my signature to convince her that I’d made it, and that it was indeed simply paper tickets, coiled and coated.”
Silk Painter “At a show opening I was thoroughly explaining how I had created a landscape painting on silk with dyes. Step by step, I went through the entire process. When I finished explaining, a woman looked at me, pointing her finger at my painting, and said, ‘But this painting is not on silk’.”
Want More? Go to www.fiberartnow.net and click on Share Your Story to read more priceless accounts from fiber and textile artists of surprising reactions to their work. And don’t forget to share your own!
more focused. For example, I thought the landscape knitting was a great topic and so could have had more content on how she viewed the landscape, how she segmented it for colors and form, what materials best worked for her content and other details. —Wendy Feldberg
One of the things that I really enjoy about Fiber Art Now is that the articles actually talk directly with the audience. You actually talk with and poll your readers to find out what they are interested in and you pull in artists and artisans directly from your readership pool as well as the wellknown experts. It is really nice to see less well-known names
along with the well known. Keep up the good work! —Frances Krueger Jackson
Correction In the Winter Issue, Volume 1 Issue 2, page 11, the quilt Vortex by Kate Stiassni was misidentified. The correct information is Inner Space by Catherine Beard.
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
on the bookshelf
Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility
Daniella Woolf, Waxy Buildup Press, 2010 Daniella Woolf has put together a powerhouse of diverse artists working in encaustics, each with a strong personal aesthetic and individual sensibility. And yet, in her own selection, Daniella’s personal vision comes through. I refer to her book over and over again for inspiration. —Jane Davies, Collage Artist
All Things Considered VI National Basketry Association and the Fuller Craft Museum, 2011 This deeply inspirational book has a broad range of styles and techniques, all done to perfection. There are so many nuggets to examine within each piece, and the photographs are quite clear and sharp. It is endlessly fascinating and a great review of the latest work by contemporary American basket makers. —Lily Badour, Basket Maker
Stimulus: art and its inception
Jane Milosch, Rhonda Brown, and Tom Grotta, BrownGrotta Publishers, 2011 This exhibition catalog is beautiful and stimulating! Reading the text while viewing images doubles the pleasure. I liked the photographs and the creative layout of the pages very much. One can enjoy tripping from and to an object and its image. A book like this strongly acknowledges the meaning of craft-based sculpturemaking. It is a good way to go beyond the endless discussion of art-or-craft.
—Hisako Sekijima 4
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
Patrick Dougherty, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010
atrick Dougherty has been called a sculptor’s architect with a fiber-oriented sensibility. Stickwork is a retrospective of Dougherty’s large-scale sculptures accompanied by a personal account of the circumstances and experiences surrounding each one. Some of them are also accompanied by sketches and pre-work drawings, giving readers a greater feel for the thoughtful process involved in erecting these sculptures which have taken up residence both in exterior and interior spaces, over the last 25 years. His pieces range from 14 feet to 50 feet tall and one, Restless by Nature, a series of outdoor rooms, is 300 feet long. Dougherty’s place-based sculptures are created as a response to the places they occupy. Not only do the designs address each setting, such as Bordeaux bottles set in France or a ritualized version of typical temple adornment erected at a temple in Japan, but the materials also are found near the site and a new work crew, drawn from the community, forms for each project, instilling a sense of ownership in the piece as volunteers weave sticks into it or passersby watch it take form. Stickwork is interesting for its images as well as for the human stories that accompany them. Patrick Dougherty’s approach is unique and transferrable. Stickwork provokes the reader to consider the possibility of more place-based fiber work in galleries, museums and public spaces, created from materials gathered in the local community, resulting in work that truly belongs to a place.
www.treenwaysilks.com Treenway Silks • Lakewood, CO • USA • toll-free 1.888.383.silk (7455)
Montano Series “Tangiers” – fine cord silk thread, 3.5mm silk ribbon
Silk Threads and Silk Ribbons 74 hand-dyed variegated colorways – a collaboration between Judith Baker Montano and Treenway Silks Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Roland Ricketts, Stones, indigo dyed felt, installation, 115” x 25”.
Textiles Today Redefining the Medium by Mary Puller
Carol Shinn, Pinon at Sunset, machine stitched fabric.
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
A comprehensive invitational exhibit, Textiles Today: Redefining the Medium, curated by internationally recognized textile artist, Ilze Aviks, will be held in the Barbara Conrad Gallery at the Durango Arts Center, Durango, Colorado, from April 24 - June 2, 2012. Textiles Today: Redefining the Medium, a survey of contemporary textiles, will encompass the works of 19 artists distinguished in the field of textiles. World renowned artists include: Jorie Johnson, Catharine Ellis, Amy Clark, Liz Axford, Carol Shinn, Carol LeBaron, Leesa Zarinelli Gawlik, Vita Plume, Susan Brandeis,
Wendy Huhn, Lisa Klakulak, Clare Verstegen, Tom Lundberg, Bhakti Ziek, Michael James, Jane Dunnewold, Rowland Ricketts, Sally Sellars, and Mark Newport. Several are university educators and lead the field in training and education in art textiles; all are exhibiting studio artists. The artists have taken textile arts into unexpected territory including conceptual, political, and nouveau technology. The works illustrate an exemplary fusion of fiber with various media and techniques. Boundaries are being re-evaluated and crossed. Whether one is examining the subtlety of an embellishment
or woven pattern, or studying a particular coloration achieved by the use of dyes and pigments, the viewer will appreciate the timehonored processes and exquisite refinement visible in these pieces, and long value the innovation and explorations reflected in the work. In addition to bringing together works of contemporary artists and educators that are influencing and redefining the art and education of textile design, the show is designed to educate, enrich, and broaden the knowledge and appreciation of contemporary textile art. In keeping with this purpose, three exhibiting artists will present lectures and offer
fiber happenings workshops: Wendy Huhn, May 4-6, Acrylics for Textiles, Liz Axford, May 18-20, Shibori, by Gum, and Lisa Klakulak, May 24-27, The Versatility of Handmade Partial Felts. These artists have conducted workshops in such prestigious arts and crafts institutions as Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Additional information on the educational programming can be accessed through the Durango Arts Center’s website www. durangoarts.org. This exhibit offers a unique cross section of the best of contemporary textile art. The artworks promise to surprise and delight the visitors.
BELOW: Tom Lundberg, Dormant Season, 4 x 4.5”; cotton, silk, rayon, metallic threads on cotton. BOTTOM: Clare Verstegen, Atmospheric Patterns, 2011, 25h x 18w x 1.5”d, indusrial wool, felt, pigments, clay, wood, heat transfer, Screen printed and burned felt, heat transfer on wood, low fire ceramics, mounted on birch plywood.
The artists have taken textile arts into unexpected territory including conceptual, political, and nouveau technology. SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
Nancy Crasco; Swimming Against the Tide; silk organza, gelatin plate printing, embroidery, stitching; 36 x 36”.
Fiber in the Present Tense Inventive and intriguing works from the SDA
BY ADRIENNE SLOANE
FOLLOWING ON LAST YEAR’S SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT One Passion, Many Voices at ArtWorks! In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the regional chapter of the Surface Design Association has organized its second annual show titled, Fiber in the Present Tense. This exhibit of 25 Massachusetts and Rhode Island textile artists opened on March 1 at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown and 8
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
continues through April 21. “Present Tense is an apt title for an exhibition of these inventive and intriguing works,” states Juror Dr. Alice Zrebiec, Consulting Curator of Textile Art for the Denver Art Museum and an independent curator and consultant residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Zrebiec is also former curator of textiles in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Strong imagery and design, coupled with expressive color, immediately engage the viewer’s attention. Upon closer inspection, the varied techniques used to create these works reflect, not only skill and ingenuity, but also mirror many of the possible avenues of artistic exploration in present day surface design. Pictorial and abstract, playful and provocative, direct and deceptive,
this panorama of contemporary art in fiber invites the viewer to set aside any preconceived notions and enter into the experience of imaginative possibilities.” The artists included in the show use both traditional techniques such as quilting, embroidery, and knitting, as well as a diverse range of other fiber working methods such as encaustic and digital imagery. An array of surface techniques such as shi-
fiber happenings Elin Noble; Conversation; hand-woven hemp, horsehair, clamp-resist patterned with discharge and overdyed several times, hand stitched with horsehair; 33x22”.
ABOVE: Carol Anne Grotrian; Chasm Lake; cotton fabric & batting, indigo, sashiko thread, whole cloth quilt, underpainted with giber reactive dyes, shiboro (stitched resist & capping techniques), dyed in indigo, quilted by hand, 45x34”. BELOW: Paulette Hayes; Hijab Matters; black damask, synthetic wadding, silver thread, machine embroidery threads, printed images, lumiere paint, drawing from photo, manipulated image, computer designed stitches (& pre-set machine stitches), machine embroidery, fabric printing & painting 40x32”.
bori, over dyeing, use of resists, and discharge dyeing are also incorporated. Through a blind jury, fiber artist Nancy Crasco’s work titled Swimming Against the Tide was singled out for the SDA’s Award of Excellence. Crasco, a Brighton, Massachusetts artist whose work is shown nationally, worked with gelatin plate printing, embroidery, and stitching to create this delicate piece that is part of an ongoing series addressing climate concerns. The show was organized by a dedicated committee who man-
aged to accomplish the various tasks in spite of a tight deadline that extended over the holidays. The call went out in December to all members of the MA/RI regional SDA group who were invited to submit. The regional group has become closer over the past two years through quarterly meetings held around the region at which members have an opportunity to show recent work as well as socialize. The intent of the current chairs is to hold meetings in conjunction with fiber exhibits when
possible. Last fall, the group met at the Fuller Museum of Craft and, as part of the meeting, toured All Things Considered VI: National Basketry Organization Biennial Juried Exhibition. For more information on the Surface Design Association and its activities, visit www.surface design.org. To learn more about the Arsenal Center for the Arts,
visit www.arsenalarts.org or call 617-923-0100.
is an artist in the Boston area working in sculptural fiber. She teaches and shows internationally and is current co-chair of the MA/ RI regional group of the SDA. To learn more about her work, visit www.adriennesloane. SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
in their own words
Embroidered Leaves BY HILLARY FAYLE
AS FAR AS I KNOW, I am the only leaf embroiderer around. The path that led me to this type of work began almost four years ago in Manchester, England, where I was studying embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University. I was captured by the tiny, delicate insertion stitch methods and focused my studies on them. Moreover, the lace-like joinery was intriguing, and the way in which it could transform the feeling of a few scraps of fabric from something simple and unremarkable into an intricate and interesting piece was stunning. I began joining rather unconventional materials together, always using fabric scraps, clothing laundry tags, tea bags, or other found treasures.
Hillary Fayle I came home from Manchester, these ideas fresh in my mind, and began working at a remote summer camp for kids, focusing on environmental conservation and education, a message and cause that is close to my heart. This, and being outdoors for much of the time, set the idea in
Clothing tags, some with decorative machine embroidery, bound by traditional insertion stitching as part of the Laundry Quilt.
FIBERARTNOW.NET â€˘ SPRING 2012
my head one day, and Iâ€™ve been working with leaves since then. Not only do I garner my materials from nature, I also receive much of my inspiration there. The tiny, delicate stitches I make are evocative of the incredible intricacies and beauty found in the natural world. I do find traditional needlework and lace making very inspirational as well, and I think that the foundation of my own work is rooted in this tradition. In a sense, I am just taking a very traditional method of joinery, and transforming it to fit my purpose. Some stitches are actual traditional stitches, and others are adaptations and
Knotted/Woven design and blanket stitching on a Magnolia leaf inspired by Indian architecture.
in their own words Magnolia Leaf with cutwork, traditional blanket stitching and insertion/embroidery stitches in the center.
variations of them. Today it seems as though there are more artists trying to work consciously and in a more “green” fashion, and I feel my work relates strongly to that movement. All of my pieces are coated in a non-toxic preservative that helps them to retain color and keeps them from deteriorating. I have pieces that are several years old and are still in good shape, although they are delicate and difficult to handle as they age. They are sensitive to light, and will fade rapidly if placed in direct sunlight. I usually frame them, and if they are behind glass and not exposed to too much air, they hold up well. With experimentation, I have discovered that certain leaves are more durable than others, so I use those leaves more frequently now. This is an evolutionary process, as I am still learning about the method and material as time passes, which tends to keep things interesting. For now, I continue to create these lace-like leaf and thread pieces, and I will probably continue, as long as they continue to charm me and captivate my imagination.
“T he tiny, delicate stitches I make are evocative of the incredible intricacies and beauty found in the natural world.”
Experimenting with the incorporation of needle-tatted pieces stitched into Magnolia leaf.
is a recent graduate of Buffalo State College. She is building her portfolio and looking for venues in which to share her leaf creations with others. firstname.lastname@example.org
Maple leaf with woven thread and border stitching.
in their own words
Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Dyeing BY WENDY FELDBERG
THE LANDSCAPES of the rugged, forest- and water-rich Canadian Shield are enduring inspiration for my fiber art. My typical making process has been to mark a textile with print, paint, rust, etc., then to respond to the marks with spontaneous stitching by hand and machine. India Flint’s inspirational book Eco Colour: botanical dyes for beautiful colour led me to eco printing as a contemporary, nature-based process that offers adventures in coloring and marking art textiles. Eco printing is also about a slow cloth approach to textile art and about plants useful for natural dyeing. Last spring, I began eco printing and natural dyeing for pragmatic reasons and as a short-term project: to spend Ottawa’s short summer doing art outside in the garden and to reduce my stash of vintage linens. Instead, I became enthralled with the whole process and its creative potential for fiber art and for gardening, too. Eco printing, a form of direct or contact printing, coaxes natural dyes out of plant materials (leaves, bark, stems, blossoms,
Pots for steaming and simmering dyes; copper and wood bundling rods. Purple Sandcherry leaves and marigolds bundled for eco printing.
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
Wendy Feldberg berries, seeds, etc.) and onto textiles or paper by means of hot water, steam, sun-heat, composting, freezing, and even pounding with a mallet. At summer’s end, feeling that work had just begun, I moved my dyeing stuff inside to the studio, dried plants for winter use, stored dye liquids, sent away for dye extracts, robbed my houseplants of leaves, intercepted herbs and vegetables intended
“Overall, my aim with eco printing and natural dyeing has been to work in harmony with the seasons, on the principle of using available, found, recycled or saved materials, both plant and textile.” for the crock pot (now a dye pot) and even adopted exotic “plant pets” like eucalyptus from the florist. I began to use my blog as a lab journal, recording my eco printing experiments.
For some eco prints, I used hand woven vintage refectory and kitchen linens obtained from a monastery that had closed. I thought of these humble dishtowels as woven
in their own words
LEFT: Stitched inventory marker and artist stitch layer on handwoven refectory linen. BELOW: Panel—Red cabbage, black tea, madder, logwood, Osage Orange and rust prints on silk.
documents witnessing to a “pots-and-pans spirituality” and as testimony to fragile traditions: hospitality, service, industry, and respect for the hand made. The worn refectory linens offered practical giving and receiving surfaces for dye and print, their well-used fibers favoring attractively uneven dye take-up from apple and cherry bark and sumac leaves, as well as strong eco prints from perennial geranium, roses, tagetes marigold, and Purple Sand cherry. (These prints are less easily obtained on new cottons and linens). Evident in the hand woven documents were years of launderings, mending and stains, now incorporated with the newer layers of eco printing, dyeing and stitching. By summer’s end, I had
eco printed and dyed around a dozen of these prayer cloths and, consistent with slow cloth, so far have stitched only one. Overall, my aim with eco printing and natural dyeing has been to work in harmony with the seasons, on the principle of using available, found, recycled or saved materials, both plant and textile. A virtuous, original intention was to reduce my textile hoard. Alas. Now I feel that eco printing has simply made my stash more beautiful and thus much harder to part with. Even worse, when winter came, I began buying fabrics such as silk, because the eco printing and dyeing results on silk, as on vintage linens, are simply seductive. Surely more adventurous detours are on the horizon!
is a mixed media textile artist based in Canada. Visit her blog www.wendyfe.wordpress.com or website www.wendyfeldberg.ca to find out more about this process.
Sweet Gum, Eucalyptus, Blackberry and Japanese Maple eco leaf prints on silk.
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
in their own words
Protecting, Hiding, and Displaying Ourselves BY YA-CHU KANG
Ya-chu Kang LIKE MANY FIBER OR TEXTILE ARTISTS I collect any manner of materials in my daily life. Sometimes I have a concept that I want to explore and I search for the specific material that will help me carry it out in my work. At other times the material itself will be the inspiration for my next piece. For the most part, I use paper, fabric, clothes, and wool. For example, the translucence that tracing paper offers in my work helps me convey a sense of memory or subconscious feelings that we have, just below the surface. Plastic sheeting is typically used to represent our modern, industrial life. Newspaper represents the reality of our daily lives. I don’t make my own paper because I want to give the recycled paper and materials another new life and help the viewer experience these materials in new ways. In the kimono of the knot tying piece I used
Ya-chu Kang; Heroic Bearing; 2011; wrapping with glue and paper; 9.9 × 9.9” (each).
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
Japanese comic papers as fabric. When I had a solo exhibition in 2010 in Suho Paper Museum in Taipei, I used the handmade paper provided by the museum. Traditionally made Taiwanese paper carries with it the essence of Asian culture beauty in my Show Time series work. Many artists use machine sewing and hand stitching to combine the pieces of fabric and clothes, but in my experience, this method leaves the paper fragile and unstable. While clothes we typically wear keep us warm, wearable sculpture helps people think about materials and meanings in a conscious way. I typically use weaving, felting, and papier-mâché to create wearable sculpture. Working in fibers helps me express my ideas because we all
need to put on clothes or even a piece of fabric to cover our bodies, every day. Depending on the setting, what we choose to cover our bodies in can protect, hide, or display. These roles are intriguing to me and I often explore them in my work. I also want to eliminate the boundary between usable items and sculpture–the functional and the aesthetic. The sculptures often are part of a performance video, or I even invite people to wear or go inside of the work. The fiber scene in Taiwan is quite rich because of its history of natural resources and traditional craft skills, such as bamboo weaving, dyeing with plants and natural materials, and Chinese knot tying. Even more, the various tribal cultures have made their own contributions to textiles in Taiwan. That being
ABOVE: Ya-chu Kang; Comic book Kimono; 2010; sewing, weaving, wrapping; 49.5 x 26.4 x 52.8”. RIGHT: Ya-chu Kang; Beauty and the Hero; 2012; wrapping with glue and paper; 16.2 x 16.2” (each).
in their own words
said, most of our weaving tools are imported from Europe, the United States, and Australia. It is fascinating to create Taiwanese fiber art using the textile tools and weaving machines from Western countries. Nowadays, most artists use fabric in contemporary art but they don’t think of their works as fiber art per se, because it would be categorized as craft by curators and other arts professionals. Generally speaking, more artists are searching for local Taiwanese
“I transform normal daily objects into an impactful installation, helping people experience the materials and how they interact with their environment in an entirely new way.”
natural materials, in an effort to create unique work. Some artists are using fiber materials without skills, abilities and understanding of the medium, whereas others use non-fiber materials and present their work as textile-related. As you can tell, Taiwan is in a transitional period. On a positive note, fiber art education is developing in Taiwan now, and this is helping more artists become interested in fibers while they actually combine that education of contemporary fiber arts with traditional skills and abilities. This is a notable transition because it’s important for people to develop both a contemporary mindset and be able to back that up with
the knowledge of the actual hand skills they need to really utilize fibers and textiles effectively in their work. As for my own work, I like making large sculptures. My works often need to create a space or aura that invites the audience to move through the installation space. The shadows of my sculptures also take on an important role, which requires particular lighting and space around each piece. My installations often look both enormous and graceful at the same time. Many people have told me that they are struck by how I SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
in their own words
Ya-chu Kang; Conductor; 2008; sewing, performance for video documentary; 4 min 46 sec.
transform normal daily objects into an impactful installation, helping them to experience the
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
materials and how they interact with their environment in an entirely new way.
Many of my pieces are sitespecific works or part of artist residency projects. I typically travel to the new environment and search out materials that are reflective of that environment, in order to develop a unique piece or installation for that setting. While it’s a challenge for me to think quickly and make the art in different locations outside of my studio–and even my country–I always feel grateful for the opportunity to see the world through fresh eyes in a new environment. For example, for one artist residency program (ARCUS in Japan, 2008), I used comic book papers to make kimono figures. People were surprised by how I combined their traditional and modern cultures. For them, the
kimono form evoked solemn or reverent feelings, so they typically wouldn’t think of using comic books to represent their culture. Even so, they were open and interested in this interpretation. For the Forgotten series, I developed the concept of the empty identity through empty super heroes. Wherever I work, I am always exploring materials, environment, and how they interact with each other, communicating with the viewer by creating works that include surprising materials, helping them rethink their assumptions and daily experiences.
Ya-chu Kang is a fiber artist who lives and works in Taiwan and various locations around the world. See more of Ya Chu Kang’s work at yachukang. blogspot.com.
FIBERARTS NOW 11_SPRING 3/16/12 5:11 PM Page 1
FIBER ART in the Finger Lakes 2012
Quilting by the Lake 7/15/12–7/27/12
2 day to 5 day workshops Quilt design, techniques & surface design
32nd Annual Juried Exhibit Entry Deadline: Aug 17, 2012
Studio Schweinfurth - NEW
2012 Weekend & 5 day Workshops Quilting·Weaving·Felting Knitting·Dyeing·Basketry
Schweinfurth Art Center 205 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021 315.255.1553 www.myartcenter.org
May 27 – September 1 One- and two-week workshops Instructors: Heather Allen-Swarttaouw, Arlene Burke-Morgan, Natalie Chanin, Marguerite Jay Gignoux, Carmen Grier, Suzanne Halvorson, Pat Hickman, Peggy Hart, Robin Johnston, Charllotte Kwon, Victoria May, Rachel Miller, Michael Radyk, Lisa Sorrell, Hillary Steel, Susie Wilde Topics: surface design, weaving, natural dyes, sculpture, hand sewing, crochet, rug weaving, ikat, shibori, collage, and more Complete information available online or call for a catalog.
Penland School of Crafts Helping people live creative lives
www.penland.org/textiles • 828-765-2359
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
in their own words
A Felted Journey
Zambia to the Netherlands via the United Kingdom BY CHARITY MUSOMA VAN DER MEER
felted lightly in the washing machine. I was looking for something else to combine with the knitwear. That’s why, in 2004, I started to experiment with making light weight felted fabrics, in order to create clothing that was soft to the touch and comfortable to wear. I used Nuno felting techniques and experimented with all types of silk fabrics and wool. Interestingly, every silk fabric gave a different effect. Over time and with much experimentation, I have developed my own methods of felting and gotten to know exactly what I want from the felt. I had no idea that this
“Growing up in Zambia, I had a chance to learn knitting, sewing, and beading from older girls in the village. On the weekends, we would sit together knitting bags or hats and sometimes baby boots. I was always curious so I tried every technique. Little did I know that these activities would inﬂuence my life so strongly today.” controlling the process as far as I can, and is a true celebration of textile techniques. Even after all these years, I don’t follow fashion trends. I work according to my mood and I always allow my mind to wander freely, allowing me to create unique pieces. Initially, I designed and made knitwear only, which I 18
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would be the beginning of a fascination with this fantastic, ancient craft. My one-of-a-kind creations are combinations of natural fabrics, raw materials, and organic fibers. Most of the time I mix silk with wool in the process. My commitment to enhancing the sustainability of wool made me
Charity Musoma van der Meer create the Sharit Ethical Line made with only raw materials and natural fabrics. This collection features a unique interpretation of natural design. I use the wool from local farmers from Drenthe, my countryside (called Drenthe Heide Sheep), in combination with very fine Australian Merino. I recently introduced the Falkland wool into my collection, too. It has almost the same properties as Merino wool, but provides a higher staple count, and is, therefore, coarser than Australian Merino. Wool and silk can be
LEFT: YO PHOTOS, RIGHT: HARRY TILMAN
I WAS BORN IN ZAMBIA, where I was trained as a nurse. It was only in 1995, when I moved to England, that I thought of changing my career, and went on to study fashion and textiles, and later to attend Nottingham Trent University in England. After that, I moved on to the Netherlands, where I developed my own vision for creating wearable art. I have been living here and creating every day since then. Over the past years, my passion for using felting to create garments has grown. Sometimes I combine felting with knitting–the two techniques mix beautifully together. A successful marriage of felting and knitting is a matter of
used together in so many ways. I am always fascinated by the possibilities that nature gives us. I can still remember my excitement as a child, playing hide and seek in the forests of Zambia and the ghostly feeling I had when we were lost. I used to study the shapes, colors, and structures of the bark on the trees, and even today these memories inspire me. I try to interpret nature in my work in my own way by using cables and other techniques in my knitwear. I recreate nature in
in their own words my felt work by creating different layers and structures on the felt surfaces. The possibilities of interpreting nature are endless. I still travel a lot to Africa to gain new inspiration. Even today, nature remains my constant creative companion and inspiration, especially flowers. Flowers often have their own meaning and message for us, and I hope to express that essential beauty and love in my work. I create dresses with silk textures of flowers resembling roses, using their natural shades of color. In my collections I also want to create dresses that look like a sculpture and still can be transformed into a dress when worn. In a way, the flowers come to life again when the wearer slips on the garment. I love to share my knowledge of felting; as one of the oldest fi-
ber techniques in the world, its legacy is important to us all. Through all of my travels, the use of social media, and the opportunities I’ve had to publish articles in various venues, I’ve been able to connect with more people than I ever could have imagined when I was a little girl playing in the forests of Zambia. All of these outlets have given me the opportunity to travel and teach around the world. I am looking forward to summer 2012 when I will be teaching in the US, in four different locations. I remain fascinated by the wide range of possibilities that felt provides. Integrating various methods with my own designs has given me the chance to push this medium further than I could have imagined. I’ve been able to express myself well beyond the conformity of traditional felt making and dress making. There are endless possibilities and I am constantly researching new materials and new techniques. Take, for instance, the combination of colors, texture, and shape that you can put together in one garment. Each piece I create tells its own story, just as I have told you mine today. The process of felting is so fantastic that it has become part of my daily life and perhaps soon it will be part of yours.
Charity Musoma van der Meer, Fairy Tales in Gieten, felted with mixed wool blends.
Charity Musoma van der Meer lives in the
ABOVE: Charity Musoma van der Meer’s Red Rose, felted on silk.
Charity Musoma van der Meer, Yellow Dress Yellow Rose, felted on silk.
Netherlands, but teaches and creates all over the world. Some of her work was featured at the Dutch Design Week (2010) and during the catwalk at the Amsterdam Fashion Week (2011). Sharit is becoming a recognizable brand in the Netherlands and other European countries. To see more of Charity’s work, visit her site at www.sharit. net or her blog at sharit. posterous.com. SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
Preserving Textiles A WOMAN ON A MISSION
BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
AMILLE MYERS BREEZE spends her days conserving textiles, teaching artists about creating fiber art that is preservationworthy, and building a knowledge base to help others do the same. Now she wants to spread her gospel to you. As the Director and head conservator of Museum
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
BY ERICA HOLTHAUSEN
Textile Services in Andover, Massachusetts, Camille has seen it all. Imagine your family’s lovely Christmas tree with its heirloom decorations adorning it. Now imagine it after the tree caught on fire. How about priceless 300-year-old wall hangings that originated in Tibet and depict Buddhist images framed by ornately woven silk? Now imagine those
revered religious icons 300 years and 17,000 miles later. Or how about an early example of an art quilt that represents the burgeoning of a new American art form? Now imagine it after it has been hanging for 20 years in a community art space without regard for sunlight, settling or stretching of the fabric. These are the times when Camille’s phone rings.
Technician Jen Hale surface cleaning a veil with a HEPA vacuum. Spring 2012 â€˘ fiberartnow.net
Camille Breeze stabilizes a thangka after the painting has been removed.
“I strongly believe that just as the works of art pass through our hands, so must we pass along what the objects teach us.” –Cami lle Breeze
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
Museum Textile Services was born out of Camille Breeze’s urgency to care for and preserve world textiles, before they disintegrate into history. Her passion for preservation has taken her to Peru several times. “It’s one of our missions to not only restore and educate, but also to raise the position of textiles within the spectrum and improve the status they have in relation to other art forms, like other cultures. I taught a class for seven years in Peru. Pre-Columbian textiles are the highest form of art in that culture. Basically, textiles are the currency of that
culture. Imagine returning from that kind of experience only to drive past a wedding gown that hangs in a consignment shop for a year and not a thought has been given to the damage that’s been done to it!” How did it all start? “I can still remember how I first learned about the field of art conservation. Early in my freshman year at Oberlin College I asked an art history professor to explain what the Intermuseum Conservation Association was and why it was located in the art building. His explanation of art conservation sounded to me like the perfect trifecta of research, craftsmanship and philanthropy.” As an undergraduate student, Camille interned at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York. “The environment at the Textile Conservation Workshop was like an extension of my liberal arts campus: intimate, historic, beautiful, open, and enriching,” says Camille. “I was mentored by the staff and learned a vast amount in just a few months.” In 1999, Camille started her own textile conservation studio in Andover, Massachusetts. “My decision to go into private practice was in no small part driven by my wish to create an ideal work environment where conservation philosophy and creative problem solving would thrive,” says Camille. “From the outset, my vision for Museum Textile Services has included conservation of museum pieces as well as works from personal collections. My hope is for people to understand that their family heirlooms are just as worthy and important to archive as a confederate uniform we may get from a museum. And we treat them that way.” Over the past decade, Museum Textile Services has worked with more than two dozen interns. Camille is dedicated to using interns in her business, just as she interned during her own undergraduate work. Her goal is to give them the same opportunity that she was given to fall in love with this work while learning the core skills needed to make it a career. One of these interns, Cara Jordan, has been on the staff as a Conservation Assistant since 2007.
Together, Camille and Cara have worked with hundreds of museums and individuals to conserve their textiles. Each tapestry, sampler, quilt, article of clothing, and other work of fiber art provides the conservation studio’s interns an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and an understanding of the specific challenges presented by each type of textile. Three years ago, Museum Textile Services started work on a new project to conserve eighteen Tibetan thangkas from the collections of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. “We have really enjoyed learning about thangkas and Tibetan Buddhism,” says Camille. “From a conservation perspective, this project had a lot of exciting challenges. Thangkas consist of two distinct components—the painting and the textile border—that are conserved in two very different ways. It allowed our team to draw upon all of our skills as conservators.” Thangkas, loosely translated as portable icons, function as objects of Buddhist meditation. A visual recording of history, they are often used as teaching aids in monasteries. The focus of each thangka is a cloth painting depicting the Buddha, bodhisattvas, other deities, or eminent monks. The painting is surrounded by a fabric border, usually made of fine Chinese silk. Many thangkas also have a silk veil that hangs over the image. When the image is on view, the veil is raised and held in place by a silk cord.
When the thangkas first came to Museum Textile Services, they were extremely fragile and dusty from years in storage. The thangkas first needed to be cleaned. “The goal of cleaning is rarely to improve the appearance—it is really to remove deterioration products and improve the preservation of the objects,” says Camille. “Dust acts like little saws. When textile fibers expand and contract with environmental changes, they are expanding and contracting against all of that dirt.” Conservation cleaning always starts with the most conservative method. The thangkas were first cleaned with a gentle hand vacuum designed to remove particulate matter. But the dust was only a part of the problem. “The thangkas were covered in an oily residue,” says Camille, “which is probably soot from the traditional yak butter lamps used throughout Tibet.” To remove some of the residue from the thangkas, the conservators used vulcanized rubber sponges. The sponges were cut into finger-sized pieces and the thangkas were gently surface cleaned section by section. As the residue was removed, the shine started to return to some of the threads. “In one case, we were actually able to get color to
come back to a faded fabric,” says Camille. “The act of cleaning rearranged the fibers to show their non-faded sides. An area that had faded to gray was actually purple. It was quite miraculous.” Once the dust and other harmful materials were removed from the thangkas, the pieces needed to be stabilized to prevent further deterioration. Because the two elements of the thangkas needed to be treated very
ABOVE RIGHT: Special Project Intern Leah Wolf Whitehead sponge cleaning a thangka. RIGHT: Intern Christina Gorky repairing a thangka painting. Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Guru Urgyen Dorje Chang, First Manifestation, Tibetan (18th – 19th century), Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. Gift of Mrs. George L. Hamilton, 1952.29
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
differently, the paintings were removed from their silk borders. “In many cases, the thangkas showed damage from having hung for a long time,” says Camille, “and the paintings
showed damage where they had been rolled to be carried, transported and stored.” After the paintings were lightly brushed to remove dust, they were sprayed with an archival consolidant. This not only stabilizes the cracking paint, but forms a very thin barrier between the original painting and the modern conservation materials. Using water-soluble paints, the conservators decided which areas of paint loss required in-painting to protect the paint layer and improve legibility. In some cases, the thangkas had been splattered with liquid during traditional ceremonies. “That sometimes dissolves the paint,” says Camille. “We chose not to remove evidence of ritual use because it is inherent to the history of the piece.” Once the paint was stabilized, each piece was evaluated to determine whether the back of the painting needed to be lined with fabric to strengthen and preserve the integrity of the piece. But the back of the many of the paintings had handprints of the artist and inscriptions from the consecration ceremony. “Traditional relining methods cover the back of the painting in such a way that all that information would be lost,” says Camille. “We needed a translucent material to back the paintings.” A very thin silk crepeline—a strong, diaphenous, natural material—was used to line the paintings. An archival adhesive mixture was painted onto the crepeline and allowed to dry. It was then reactivated with a solvent and gently pressed to the back of the painting. “Earlier treatments used a lot of heat, pressure, suction or moisture that would disrupt the paint,” says Camille, “so we chose a method that had proven successful with our colleagues and we were very satisfied with the result.” With the paintings stabilized, attention turned to the Chinese silk borders. Silk is friable, and the borders had become damaged over time from repeated rolling, moisture, light exposure, and the weight of the hanging thangka. To stabilize the silk and camouflage areas of a loss, many borders were lined with dyed cotton. A translucent fabric of nylon net was then laid
over the top of many pieces to add further stability. “We took a lot of time reinforcing the silk supports to ensure that the thangkas would not be damaged while on exhibit,” says Camille. “It’s important not to rely on the strength of the original textile at all, so it is sandwiched between modern materials that are hand-stitched to the original piece. It was a painstaking process—just putting a needle through the original fabric could sometimes cause it to rip.” After the paintings were sewn back into the fabric mounts, the thangkas were prepared to be hung for exhibit. “Originally the thangkas were hung by cords of leather,” says Camille. “Those cords will still be displayed, supported by monofilament, but they will not be bearing the weight of the thangkas.” Instead, an elaborate support system was created to ensure that the thangkas could be safely displayed. A hook and loop fastening system attaches the thangka directly to an aluminum Velcro slat on the wall. A piece of cotton fabric hangs between each thangka and the wall for added protection. The wooden rod that many thangkas have at the bottom was suspended and secured to keep the thangka from swaying and to take some of the weight off of the artwork. The staff at Museum Textile Services learned a great deal from this project. When the exhibition, Picturing Enlightenment: Thangka in the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College opened in the fall of 2011, Camille was invited to share what she learned with students, colleagues, and museum-goers at a public program. Camille’s passion extends to building an online knowledge base. The Museum Textile Services website offers downloadable how-to worksheets on caring for textiles, such as vacuuming textiles, properly storing them, retrofitting dress forms for display, disaster response, and many other conservation topics. Visit www.museumtextiles.com to access all of these resources. Camille is a hero to those who value both historical and contemporary textiles and fiber art. She teaches and learns from the fibers she is given the opportunity to work with. As Camille
Practical Fiber Care 101
1. Material preparation is critical. Wash and dry raw materials. Test dye fastness to be totally assured that there is no running dye. Even if you think something will never get washed, it WILL get wet. 2. Choose the highest quality materials. I have a friend who does yarn painting on masonite. It is fundamentally an unsound material, created of adhesives and a composite –basically a wood spam. I’ve never been able to convince him that his foundation must be as high quality as possible—archival—conducive to preservation. 3. Give lighting top priority. Never, ever, display your textiles in sunlight or bright light. UV filtration is available for new windows, but for those of us who are not in the market for installing all new windows in our homes, careful consideration of placement will do the job. The hallways, guest bedrooms or other interior spaces of your home are where textiles should live. 4. Consider display methods as a core component to preservation. How you display the work plays an important role in longevity. No thumbtacks or carpet strips! I find that textiles are given the bottom of the artistic totem pole. Since not everyone thinks of them as an art form, they aren’t treated as such. I’ve found that people don’t even care for textiles as well as they would a piece of garden sculpture that stands up to the elements.
puts it, “I strongly believe that just as the works of art pass through our hands, so must we pass along what the objects teach us.”
is a writer whose work has appeared in Coastal Home magazine, Retro Style, A Seaside Retreat, and other publications. Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Our Legacy the roots of contemporary fiber art
fiberartnow.net â€˘ Spring 2012
Lesly-Claire Greenberg, Thorns II Points of Interest, machine quilted fabrics, 33 x 28”, 2011.
Arts can be a solitary endeavor. Artists whose passion is to create in an under-represented medium can find themselves isolated.
Most artists come to realize
that interaction with other artists can provide support ranging from inspiration to introspection and reinvigoration.
Coasts P ara l l e l G oa l s by Trudi Van Dyke
ecognizing a need to reach out among peers for camaraderie and support was the beginning of two fledgling fiber groups on opposite coasts almost a generation ago. The strength of the goals, the love of their medium, and the success of both the individual members and the groups as a whole, created strong foundations to build on. Both groups have kept founding members actively involved and invigorated as they continue to emerge and evolve into groups that meet regularly. Self-identifying as a “Fiber Artist” implies a restriction of craft, but at the same time, keeps technique, design, and the artistic pursuit completely open-ended. There are no boundaries or limits to the way the artists of New Image Artists and California Fiber Arts interpret their medium. A search of their websites (www.newimagesartists.com and www.californiafibers.com) reveals experi-
menting, creating, and providing platforms for the increasing respect of the “art community” to identify fiber art as fine art. Still perhaps a long way to go in the vernacular of some museums and collectors, it is groups like these two longstanding communities of professional artists that continue to raise the bar. Two art quilters originally started New Image Artists in 1980. Two artists crossing paths in a marketing workshop began to brainstorm about how their artistic expressions in fiber were meant to be exhibited and appreciated as fine art; not as traditional bed covers. Returning home to the Washington DC area, they invited 6 others to join them to move their goals forward. The two founding members are still cornerstones of the organization. Lesly-Claire Greenberg and Sue Pierce have seen growth and recognition of their work as fine art over their years as working artists. It would seem that juggling responsibilities of working, raising children, and being professional artists would Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
New Image Artists
consume all the waking hours, yet these two have helped the fiber arts gain respect by reaching out to galleries, curators, and critics. Dominie Nash, who attended the first group meeting, remains a member (and longtime treasurer) and joined because she was frustrated by her inability to find opportunities to exhibit her work. New Image’s group meetings allow the members to explore, navigate trends, and experiment; and to present their creative challenges, discoveries, and successes to the group. Each member, in turn, displays her work, informally explains the thought processes, and invites reactions from her colleagues. The thoughtful and freely shared comments sometimes enable the quilter to verbalize her intentions more clearly and discover possible directions for a developing idea. There are never any right or wrong opinions or ideas. Candace Edgerley expresses that the comments often help her define her goals and the monthly meetings help her work to meet self-imposed deadlines. The monthly meetings continue informally with light-hearted brown bag lunches and lots of personal connections that strengthen friendships. The group currently numbers 12. This number seems to work logistically to meet in members’ homes. It allows for the crosspollination and integration of both artistic interaction and friendships. There aren’t a lot of rules and artists are invited to join when an artist leaves. New members are juried based on submitting portfolios, but in addition, the potential group dynamic is considered. Any member can veto an invitation. The quality of the work is the main consideration, as the pursuit of group exhibitions is a goal of the artists, and the caliber of the exhibited work must be consistent. New Image found that, as in all groups, some people play leadership roles and others become over-committed to keep the organization working. New Image faces TOP LEFT: Sue Pierce, Garden Wall, machine quilted fabrics, 41 x 29”, 2011. BOTTOM LEFT: Dominie Nash, Stills from a Life Series # 23, multiple surface design processes, machine applique and quilting, 41 x 80”, 2005.
FIBERARTNOW.NET • SPRING 2012
this, and avoids conflict, by paying small hourly stipends to a member who handles minutes and coordination of paperwork for exhibitions and catalogs. Each member is then responsible for group-imposed deadlines, attending meetings, and determining which group themes she will participate in. A professional curator is also retained to develop proposals, seek venues, curate, and coordinate exhibitions. The group periodically brainstorms around a theme in order to produce work that can form the core of an exhibition. One example recently exhibited in three venues is Mirror Image. Each artist interpreted her personal identity in fiber with no limits of scale, materials, or methods. Also evolving from this exhibition, each of the artists created an 8 x 8” interpretation of an “eye.” The works are incorporated into a collaborative piece that represents the exhibit, as well as the members. This collage continues to travel with each exhibition as a cohesive and identifying representation of New Image Artists. In addition to collaborating on group themes and shows, each member of New Image Artists follows her own muse, creating new work for solo exhibitions and competitions. Their respective portfolios cite such prestigious juried exhibitions as Quilt National and representation in highly respected fiber galleries and shows in and beyond the metropolitan area. Several of the group members share their skills by teaching throughout the nation and exhibiting in Europe and as far away as Korea and Japan. Members’ work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Syracuse University, as well as numerous private collections. The current exhibition being prepared for a 2013 venue is titled Collaborations and Collisions. Ten of the artists have chosen to participate by designing their own fabric and having it printed in two one-yard pieces. The artist will incorporate the fabric into a new work. Each artist will also be given a yard of another member’s fabric to include into a new original work of her own. The group’s curator chose how the work will be distributed. The goal of the exhibition is to broaden and stretch the use of design and technique within the parameter of an assigned fabric. As the work emerges and is shared along the way to creation, the artists are journaling their processes. Samples of the original fabrics will be exhibited with the work.
Ten years earlier (1970) California Fibers was founded by a group of contemporary southern California fiber artists to support artistic growth and professional advancement for artists and the media of fiber. The idea of highlighting fiber artists an outgrowth from a stitchery guild. There were no guild style guidelines for the fiber group and it flourished immediately on it own with around 12 members. Currently 20, with active members, the group does an annual call for entry in the spring. Members are juried from these open calls for entry and chosen for the excellence of their work. Fiber art is broadly defined by this group to include creative expression with weaving, basketry, quilting, felting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, wearables, and mixed media. Both two- and three-dimensional work is well represented in an array of fibers. California Fibers grew out of the contemporary craft movement that gained momentum in California in the late 60’s and 70’s. This movement pushed the boundaries between art and craft media, and is largely responsible for bringing fiber arts and textiles into the realm of “fine art” that it is in today. California Fibers is one of the first groups of its kind to unleash itself from the guild concept and self-identify as a group of artists who were working in fibers at a level that could be shown in exhibitions. Member Kathryn Harris shares that she appreciates that it is a group of colleagues who understand the vocabulary and breadth of the fiber field. Gail Fraser, another member, values the group as helping to keep the artists inspired and produces a bond within the membership as they learn and share with each other. “There is a healthy positive energy from just being around other artists.” Educating the public about the variety of the fiber art field is part of the mission of California Fiber. Exhibition chairperson Polly Jacobs Giacchina explained that the current project that members are working on for a San Diego exhibition will include both storyboards and techniques books to educate the viewers about both the methods and the ideas behind the displayed works. This exhibition, like all of their annual group exhibitions, is open to all members and juried by an outside expert for inclusion. California Fiber meets quarterly and members travel from all over southern California to hear a speaker and participate in a business meeting. President Peggy Weide-
TOP RIGHT: Cameron TaylorBrown, Offering #1, Walking Monk, mixed media collage, 12 x 12”. BOTTOM RIGHT: Michael Rohde, Sustainability, tapestry: wool, silk, alpaca, mohair, llama, camel; indigo, madder, walnut, cutch, weld.
mann insures that announcements are found in the newsletter so that the well-organized meetings can move along smoothly. Each member of the group is expected to be an integral and involved member of the group structure so that responsibility is shared. Social time is shared over snacks between the business meeting and the speaker. The strength and influence of the group is enhanced by members’ reputations as nationally recognized technique teachers. Their individual works are diverse and reflect exceptional skill and mastery of their medium. The artists’ works are widely collected, show in solo and group exhibitions, and often win awards. Each of these groups is its own unique patchwork of membership. The reality is thinking of each iteration of the group at any given time as a growing and changing piece of living art. Fiber techniques and media are added and subtracted. Artists grow and stretch, inspired and encouraged by colleagues and the communal cooperative element of the groups. East coast to west coast– it’s clear that these groups have both done service to raising the respect for fiber as a medium. There are more commonalities than differences, and each provides a rich and fertile platform for the appreciation of fiber art. Both groups have active websites and can be explored for links to the individual artist’s work as well as group portfolios. In these days of constantly shrinking borders, Facebook, and social connections, perhaps the next step is a joint exhibition of these two groups. The response to this suggestion from both groups…“Count us in!” Let’s hope it happens.
Trudi Van Dyke is an independent curator and fine art consultant. email@example.com. SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
BY CYNTHIA LACOUNT SAMAKE
PHOTO BY SETH LAZAR
GLOWING FABRICS AND POLISHED COTTON
EAVING BETWEEN overloaded handcarts and women balancing huge bundles on their heads, I pass endless rows of overflowing market stalls in the chaotic Grand Marché of Bamako. I finally come to my favorite part: the huge open-air section of cloth sellers. It’s early and the market women are still stacking cellophane-wrapped packets of bright, hand-dyed fabric into tall, precarious towers. Several vendors recognize me and call out, “Madame, joli bazin pour toi!” Yes indeed, they have gorgeous cloth for me—but I always have such trouble choosing from among the thousands of color combinations and patterns! SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
I SEE PURPLES AND TURQUOISE, ORANGE BANDS ON YELLOW, CRIMSON WITH BLACK TIE-DYE—OH, AND COULD I PLEASE LOOK AT THAT BRIGHT BLUE ONE NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE PILE?! With a laugh, a vendor friend named Fanta pulls out the blue, making the stack of slippery packages even more precarious. Malian fiber artists—the stitchers and the dyers—begin these glowing fabrics with imported, factory-woven damask called bazin or basin. This fine, polished cotton cloth has white-on-white patterning made by warp and weft variations on huge Jacquard-style looms. Merchants import the silkiest and most expensive bazin (called bazin riche) from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia; the less expensive versions come from China. The white bazin patterns all have names, a short fashion longevity, and different motif versions annually. The market women selling the neatly stacked packages of colorful bazin either mix the stunning colors in their own dye pots, or distribute the work of others. Clothing made of bazin became fashionable over forty years ago. Then the dyers trained as professionals, but for the past twenty or so years, enterprising Malian women have popularized and contemporized the hand-dyeing of bazin by learning to dye in their backyards or courtyards. These women constantly experiment with the clear, rich colors of the chemical dyes and the various cloth patterning techniques, creating dazzling cloth to sell. Some can eventually employ other women and girls, and earn enough money for their typically stated goal: to send their children to school. Especially entrepreneurial and creative women such as Mme. Kebe Sambake, help Malian girls by teaching them dyeing skills and literacy. VIBRANT ELEGANCE
The colorful bazin is destined to be custom-made into clothing by tailors, who work with hand-dyed or factoryprinted yardage that the client purchases elsewhere. A wealthy woman won’t battle the cloth market to buy fabric for her special-occasion garments; she will visit “her” dyer’s workshop and order bazin dyed to her specifications. She also has “her” tailor, who knows what she likes and already has her measurements recorded. Very little ready-made, traditional clothing for women is found in the markets. 32
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Tailors, usually men, cut the fabric and construct the garments, which are unique versions of several basic types of garments that women wear: yorobanis and grand boubous. The tailors often follow a particular model or style that the client has chosen from their photo albums. For visiting with friends, doing chores at home, or going to the market, women usually wear a yorobani, a shaped top or dress, often with a wide scooped neckline, always worn over a wrap skirt. The top may be cut to just below the waist, or may be long to midcalf, with long or short sleeves. Yorobanis may be sewn from either hand-dyed bazin or factory-printed yardage. But to really dress up elegantly and attend a special family or community event, women wear a capacious hand-dyed bazin garment called a grand boubou. Essentially, a grand boubou is a wide piece of cloth folded in half, with a roomy scoop neck. A grand boubou falls almost to the floor, and usually has the sides sewn together about halfway up. A grand boubou is always combined with a coordinating skirt and a dramatically folded headwrap. Yorobanis and grand boubous constitute the traditional daily and festive dress for the majority of Malian women. Men and women both wear elegant, traditional outfits to weddings, baptisms, and other celebrations. Men may choose to wear handdyed or printed fabrics, made into a comfortable demi-pipao consisting of a mid-thigh or knee-length, loose, long-sleeved collarless shirt, and matching baggy pants. A longer, more formal pipao or forokia top falls to mid-calf or even to the ankles, always with matching pants. When men wear a similar ankle-length loose robe, over the matching shirt and pants, the whole outfit is called a grand boubou. Men headed to the mosque on Fridays often wear grand boubous cut from silky, pastel tones of fancy bazin with some embroidery at the neck. Men often prefer hand-dyed clothing in solid colors of bazin with just a touch of embroidery at the neck of the shirt. The front of the grand boubou may have a large pocket area of fine machine embroidery. Men also enjoy wearing bold, bright factory prints. Popular singing stars, praise singers, and even the Malian president’s wife support the dye artists’ work by wearing striking hand-dyed clothing. Cloth also remains the most welcome and typical wedding present. PATTERNING TECHNIQUES
Women often wear outfits patterned with complex dyeing methods and very intricate embroidery. Their fashions have more variety than men’s; the patterning on their garments may be dyed into the cloth or machine-embroidered onto solid or patterned dyed cloth. Both men’s and women’s outfits are often machine-embroidered with free-hand designs in contrasting colors on the dyed fabric. The complexity of the intricate embroidered embellishment belies the cumbersome, noncomputerized industrial sewing machines used by the embroiderers. Most of the hand-dyed cloth worn today is patterned with various ingenious tie–and–dye or stitch-resist methods. For the simplest tiedye designs, plastic bags and rubber bands made from strips of inner tubes are used to protect certain areas of the cloth from the dye. Some dyers also use wax resists, as in batik dye methods, but called bougie in French, from the French word meaning candle. They stamp the white (or already dyed) bazin with wax designs using large hand-carved wooden stamps available in the markets. Then they either immerse the entire piece in the dye bath, or paint the dye on specific areas of the cloth. Another technique involves dyeing blocks of color into the cloth by folding and clamping the cloth between two wooden slats bound together with strips of inner tube. Then the dyer dips specific areas
Cloth first dyed pale blue, now sections of blue are protected with plastic and it has been dyed rust. Tying is done with almost unbreakable nylon thread.
Mme. Kebe Sambake holds up a striking piece of bazin from her workshop.
ABOVE: Cynthia Samake and friends at a wedding in Bamako. LEFT: Stack of hand-dyed damask or “bazin” in Bamako Market. Each folded package consists of a “top” piece of 3-4 yards, and a skirt/headwrap length of about 2-3 yards, in coordinating colors. ABOVE RIGHT: Cloth first dyed orange. Now bundled with plastic bags and inner tube strips, and stitched in other areas, ready for next dyebath.
BELOW: Workers pounding dyed bazin. Rhythmic pounding with heavy wooden mallets against a hardwood log serves to re-align the fibers after the stress of being tightly pulled, then un-stitched. It also eliminates the minute holes produced by the needle. RIGHT: A wedding guest in a particularly handsome grand boubou; Segou.
of the cloth into the pot. The technique is called envelope in French, because the cloth is folded in different rectangular and triangular configurations like an envelope. A few dyers use discharge dyes now, in conjunction with tie-and-dye and stitch-resist color patterning. The popular stitch-resist patterning, called attaché in French, and siri-li in Bambara, is the most time-consuming and labor-intensive patterning technique. Teeny siri-li motifs decorate the most expensive and prestigious fabrics. Highly accomplished designers, stitchers, and dyers in certain dye studios, for example those belonging to Awa Cissé and Mme. Sambake in Bamako, create shining cloth that is instantly recognizable because of the crisp and minutely detailed siri-li patterning. Stitchers and dyers at these workshops have brought the stitch-resist technique to incredible heights of laborintensive perfection. Both men and women design the dye patterning. They draw the stitching guidelines right on the cloth with a pencil or ballpoint pen, then men do the resist-stitching, because they say it takes a man’s strong hands to pull the threads tightly enough to prevent the dye from penetrating the cloth. As the men stitch, they pull the 34
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stitching so tightly that the dye cannot soak into the creases and pleats in the cloth. Several yards of fine white damask tied into intricate patterns becomes compressed into a thick wad of cloth about eighteen inches square. The men then hand over the completed pieces to the women for dyeing, perhaps because the process involves tending to fires and big, bubbling pots just like cooking supper does. The dyer first wets the cloth thoroughly, then submerges it into a dye bath, and carefully monitors the saturation for the correct hue. Then the scrunched, dripping wet bundle is hung on the line to dry. Later, when the cloth is dry, a specific worker very carefully cuts the minute stitches with a razor blade to free the designs—magically the pleated areas open out into tiny white patterns! Single stitches that were pulled tightly to resist the dye become teeny sparkling stars. Sometimes a length of damask is first dyed one color, then spots of the first color are protected by tight stitches, and finally the piece is re-dyed, making it multicolored. After the dye process, the dyer always thoroughly rinses the cloth to take out excess dye. Occasionally white bazin is made into garments and worn un-dyed, as white clothing. Later when it is no longer pristine, the outfit is dyed once or even twice in successively darker colors: white to pale blue to medium blue, etc. Damask fabric of all qualities receives a special finishing technique after being dyed: a form of ironing by beating or pounding. The dyers first dip the cloth into a heavy starch made of manioc flour cooked with water; then they spread the cloth on clotheslines to dry. Then beaters (always men) drape the stiff cloth over a horizontal log. They sprinkle it with water, then wielding heavy wooden mallets, they pound the cloth, or sometimes the finished clothing, until they achieve the desired stiff, gleaming fabric. Sometimes they also rub a candle horizontally over the cloth to make a smoother finish. Like people everywhere, Malians often judge each other by what they wear and how they wear it. Fashion-conscious men and women gain power and prestige by wearing the newest, most unique, or most popular styles of cloth, both hand-dyed and factory printed. New clothing is extremely significant for women, especially during the Islamic holiday called Tabaski for several reasons, most importantly, to show off the family’s wealth and the status of one’s husband. If a family can afford it, even the men and children have new clothes for Tabaski. A woman might save for months, even scrimping on the family’s food budget, to have an impressive outfit for holidays and social events. Despite globalization and the ready availability of imported Western-style products, Malians value their traditional culture with its hand-crafted artistry. The shapes of their preferred garments have remained fairly consistent; thus the quality, colors, patterns, symbols, and designs of the cloth are paramount. Malians proudly wear boubous, yorobanis, and pipaos, each person showing off his or her personal fashion aesthetic—while remaining true to tradition.
Cynthia LeCount Samake
is a fiber and textiles expert. She brings groups of people around the world to learn about the rich relationship between textiles and culture. All photos were taken by Cynthia, unless otherwise noted. www.btsadventures.com
Racine Art Museum
he Racine Art Museum houses the third most significant contemporary crafts collection in any US art museum. RAM’s emphasis on contemporary basketry—one of the strongest representations of this material in North America— anchors an ever-growing fiber collection. Two recent fiber gifts have come to the museum in conjunction with collection focus exhibitions organized in 2010 and 2011. Collection focus exhibitions are curated from the museum’s permanent collection to showcase work by artists that RAM collects in-depth. By showing works created throughout their careers, the museum demonstrates how an artist develops over time and how aesthetic concepts and ideas mature. RAM stages mini-career surveys with anywhere from 15 to 30 works from the collection. These shows inform RAM’s guests about the accomplishments of the featured artists while highlighting the strengths of the collection as a cultural resource. Staff of the Cernunnos (2001) by Carol Eckert was one of 18 pieces included in Eckert’s 2010 focus show. RAM’s holdings document a long-term working relationship with the artist, who was included in numerous exhibitions over a period of three decades. Spanning the years 1987 through 2009, Eckert’s work at RAM includes baskets, The Fifth Day
(her largest work to-date), and three staffs of which this is one. A gift of David and Jacqueline Charak, this staff is a prime example of Eckert’s coiled and dyed cotton objects depicting animals mentioned in myths, legends, and religions from around the world. Dorothy Gill Barnes’ Banded Pine Bark Basket (1984) is an early example of the artist’s work and part of a trio of works donated by the artist’s family in preparation for her collection focus exhibition in 2011. Currently, there are 15 pieces in RAM’s collection, created between 1978 and 2000. Works in the show ranged from 5 x 6 x 3.5 inches to over 10 feet tall. This exhibition demonstrated Barnes’ mastery of traditional basket making techniques while simultaneously documenting her long-term conceptual approach to working with living materials to create sculpture. RAM publishes 20-page color illustrated study guides for each of its collection focus shows with images of the works and essays by RAM’s curatorial staff. These printed pieces both support the exhibitions and provide serious printed career documentation for artists in the fibers field. Further details about these publications is available on the museum’s website, www. ramart.org. Carol Eckert, Staff of Cernunnos, 2001, coiled dyed cotton, wire, paint, wood, metal, and glass beads, Racine Art Museum, Gift of David and Jacqueline Charak.
2012 WEEKEND, ONE-WEEK AND TWO-WEEK WORKSHOPS Spring l Summer l Fall
WWW.ARROWMONT.ORG Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Sharon McCartney Enshrining Nature BY LEANNE JEWETT
SHARON MCCARTNEY has always been a collector. She has collected antique linens, vintage writing, delicate handkerchiefs, doilies and laces— domestic ephemera. She has collected objects from nature— stones, leaves, perfect delicate bird’s nests, shells—countless natural forms. And she has collected images: daily natural drawings in her sketchbooks and photographs of objects and details that interest her. “Artists’ collections find their way into their work,” she says. Her work: painting, artist’s books, and fiber constructs, layered with images of nature gathered on walks through woods, fields, and along ocean shores, are evidence of the truth of that statement. Her artist books overflow with feathers, twigs, mosses, and stones. Her banners and wall pieces, which center on vibrant paintings of birds or flora ensconced among layers of hand-printed fabric, are embellished with stones and other natural elements. McCartney began her artistic career as a painter with a Masters Degree in Art
History and Museum Studies from Boston University. Not limited by medium, and with a background that included knitting, crocheting, and embroidery, she soon progressed into mixed media and fiber work. During that transition period her travels took her to Japan, to the American southwest, to the Mediterranean, Ireland and to Italy. Those journeys were a source of inspiration. “In all these places, the roadside shrines and personal shrines in doorways or alcoves, as well as altarpieces and retablos that I found in museums and shops fascinated me.” A workshop with Robert Ebendorf called Shrines and Icons that encouraged combining materials and using vintage materials and found objects, also had a profound impact on her work. Her collected objects held memories of places and experiences. They had become personal icons. “I started enshrining natural objects. These were the things I revered, and I wanted to present them with the same kind of awe and personal
devotion that other artists had for religious subjects.” Her continuing exploration of these ideas, coupled with her roots in art history, was further enhanced by reading
Sheila Payne’s book, Amulets: Sacred Charms of Power and Protection. “It made me think about how amulets and talismans have been used as ways to connect natural and magical forces to devices to protect and bring positive energy,” she explains. This confluence of ideas evolved into her series, Shields and Talismans. FROM TOP: Anchored For Storms 2010; acrylic, fabric, vintage linens, organza, lace, stones, paper, thread and lavender; 30.5 x 18.5”. Close to Home: Unexpected Discoveries 2011; MM Coptic Bound Unique Book embroidery, drawing, photocopy transfer, gelatin printing, rust printing; 4.5 x 8 x 1.5”. Materials: linen and cotton organdy pages, silk organza & thread.
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“I really want to communicate the sense of wonder, and the excitement of personal discovery, especially of natural objects with unique shapes, textures and surfaces.”
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, McCartney moved to New England in 1983. In 2005 she settled in western Massachusetts where she built a two-story studio surrounded by woodlands. The natural building materials and multiple windows reflect her connection to nature. She designed the studio with specific
areas for painting, collage, and “wet work”. She also has an open area with a design wall and a large table where she enjoys working with other artists. She admits to being “a bit of a workaholic” and works long days in her studio with Ruby, her golden retriever, keeping her company. McCartney’s inspiration continues to come from nature. “I really want to communicate the sense of wonder, and the excitement of personal discovery, especially of natural objects with unique shapes, textures and surfaces.” CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: In Deep Shade 2011; cotton, gelatin printed organza ,stones, thread, stones, wool, acrylic, kapok, balsam, embroidery; 10 x 10 x 4.5”. Vernal Languages 2011; gelatin printed cotton fabric, silk organza, thread, kapok, balsam, transfers, embroidery; 12 x 12 x 4.5”. Tender Silence Broken 2011; acrylic on linen, cotton, silk organza, thread, rust printing, gelatin monoprint, embroidery; 51 x 8.25”. Take Heart Again 2010; acrylic, fabric, vintage linens, organza, lace, stones, rust; 29 x 18.5”. Peace of Mind 2011; linen, rust printed organza, thread, wool, stones, acrylic, kapok, balsam, embroidery; 12 x 12 x 4.5”.
When she walks in the woods by her home she says she thinks about the subjects of her work and that her thoughts usually move very quickly from single images to multiples, to series. Her keen observation of nature is especially evident in her latest series. Ground Truths are exquisite boxes surrounding embroidered fiber sculptures that revolve around the idea of microenvironments. In the scientific world environments are studied by marking out grids within habitats and using their contents as samples that are presumed to be representative of the entire environment. McCartney has riffed on that concept by constructing gridlike boxes containing intricate miniature worlds, artistic studies of elements of nature. These pieces eloquently communicate her sense of wonder of the natural world. McCartney’s work is currently on exhibit at the Bancroft Gallery, South Shore Art Center, MA as part of the show Close to Home: Artists Who Make Books. Her work will also be featured in the book, One Thousand Artists’ Books, by Sandra Salamony, Rockport Publishers/ Quarry Books, to be published in June of this year. For additional images and information
about Sharon McCartney’s work visit her website at: www.sharonmcartneyart.com.
Leanne Jewett lives and works in Vermont, where she
writes, edits, and helps clients navigate the maze of publishing and marketing their books. www.wrksmrt4u.com SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
Lindsay Ketterer Gates; Tangled; stainless steel wire mesh, copper wire mesh, steel washers, patina, paint, coated copper wire, beads; 18 x 24 x 5”.
Lindsay Ketterer Gates
Transforming the Mundane into the Extraordinary By Leanne Jewett
Lindsay Ketterer Gates and her husband, David, laugh about the time a few years ago when they were getting ready to move. They thought they were moving from a large house into a small apartment in another state, so they were trying to get rid of things. They rented a storage pod, and put everything they wanted to keep into it. Then they had a massive yard sale for everything else. But something changed, and it turned out they weren’t going to move after all. When they went to unload the pod they realized that it was filled with boxes and bins of pistachio shells, and random, strange ma38
terials. They had sold furniture and household items, but paid to store these odd collections. “Isn’t that the reverse of what most people would do?” her husband observed. Those materials, which don’t merit more than a glance from most people, are the stuff of Gates’ art. Her complex, graceful constructs are composed of looped wire, steel washers, joiner biscuits, and other multiples of mundane components. “I’ve always loved hardware stores and anything that you can buy in bulk or buy in a bin or buy by the pound.” She is fascinated by the contradiction between materials and finished piece,
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“I really love when the washers are stitched on the screening. To me it looks like lace. It’s this really hard industrial material, but it looks so much softer when it’s stitched like that.” Gates’ working style evolved after graduating from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania with a degree in Crafts with a concentration on Fibers. She combines repetitive, intricately constructed elements that she refers to as her vocabulary of forms. She explains that the method was influenced by a practical solution to a limitation: “It started by never having a large studio, or even having a studio, and needing to make
things that were portable. So I would always work on small parts that could later be assembled in a larger whole. I still work that way.” Lindsay’s always looking for inspiration in textile patterning and different elements of fashion, like cuffs, buttons, clasps, lapels, and collars. “I like to take things like the washers or cotter pins or pistachio shells, and kind of mimic textile patterning in the work.” Gates and her husband live on the Delaware River in Milford, Pennsylvania, a onetraffic light town 65 miles from New York City. Her studio, a spare bedroom in her house, is quite small, so that she has to keep many of her materials packed away in clear plastic bins, in what she describes as “organized chaos.” She likes to begin early and work a long day in her studio. She usually works on several projects at once, bouncing from one to another to lessen the repetitive stress on
ABOVE and RIGHT: Lindsay Ketterer Gates; Green Piece; copper wire mesh, patina, coated copper wire, joiner biscuits, maps, beads; 17 x 13 x 7”. BOTTOM RIGHT: Lindsay Ketterer Gates; Duo; stainless steel wire mesh, coated copper wire, pistachio shells, beads; 23 x 16 x 11”.
be part of the exhibit Wire Transference at Philadelphia University Research Center, Manayunk PA, in conjunction with Fiber Philadelphia. From December 2012 through December 2014 her work will be part of Innovators and Legends: Generations in Textiles & Fibers, a traveling show beginning at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon MI For more images of and information about Gates’ work, visit her website at: http://www. lindsaykgates.com and follow her on Facebook at Lindsay Ketterer Gates, Artist.
her wrists and fingers. Like most artists, Gates sometimes works at a “day job.” She is proud of the fact that, “No matter what is going on in my life, I always find a way to make time and make the artwork a priority. There are definitely times that it’s not easy, but I personally just can’t stop making. It doesn’t work. I’d rather give up other things. I feel most at peace in my studio.” Currently Lindsay Ketterer Gates has work in two U.S. Embassies as part of Art In Embassies: US Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan 2012 – 2014, and US Embassy Republic of Djibouti (permanent collection). From March 23 April 22 her work will
lives and works in Vermont, where she writes, edits, and helps clients navigate the maze of publishing and marketing their books. www.wrksmrt4u.com
john sterling ruth
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Joyce Melander-Dayton In Perpetual Motion By Cynthia Elyce Rubin
Enter Joyce Melander-Dayton’s studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and you see a light-filled space bursting with color—piles of skeins of colored yarns, cones filled with multi-hued threads, embroidery floss of every hue, polychrome glass beads, as well as eclectic groupings of teacups, baskets, and Native American pottery. It’s a winning artist studio in the Fiberarts Magazine “Studios that Inspire” contest (2011). “My studio space has been transformed as my work has evolved,” Melander-Dayton says, adding, “the space is filled with light from two barrelvaulted skylights, all the better to see the many materials I incorporate into my work: yarn, beads, wood veneers, and wire.” But Melander-Dayton didn’t
always stitch. Born in Virginia in 1959, she spent a peripatetic childhood, daughter of a U.S. government official who lived in Taiwan, Okinawa, Turkey, and the Philippines. Upon returning to America and settling in Minnesota, she studied art at the University of Minnesota, then married and started a
family. In 1986, after moving to Santa Fe, she began a daily regime that even today includes a productive structure of exercise and piano playing. Her career began with painting, works that are representational and hyper-realistic juxtaposing strips of color and repetition. Then in 1997 she left the confines of the canvas to create wallhung tapestries. “I started weaving,” she explains, “because I wanted to incorporate woven elements onto painted surfaces.” Slowly and steadily, she moved LEFT AND TOP RIGHT: Promenade 2011; styrofoam, wool, glass beads; 24 x 59 x 7”.
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toward that goal, continuing to paint until her weaving was proficient enough to successfully merge the two techniques. With a library of books about global craft traditions, folk arts, and fiber techniques, she taught herself to weave, felt, bead, and embroider. Most people would be delighted to know just one of these art forms, but Melander-Dayton worked on a daily basis to satisfy her endless curiosity and acquire the necessary needlework skills. “While learning all these techniques,” she admits, “I felt free to integrate them, often discovering unexpected juxtapositions.” Her current work is all about process and materials with fiber-based ornamental and patterned elements, such as exotic burl veneers, gator board decorated with vivid silk fabrics, strings of yarn, and multicolored Venetian beads. Her fingers, nimble from the piano’s keyboard, easily ply their way among the rich variety of materials. She loves the problem-solving aspect of constantly seeking innovative fibers and unlikely combinations of stitchery techniques, juxtaposed with felting, beading, figured veneers, and weaving, to produce complex and imaginative compositions. I am reminded of the Bauhaus education. To tap into the student’s creativity, the German Bauhaus school in the 1920s endlessly practiced exercises using texture, form, color, tone, and line analysis. Training to become a master craftsman in the artisan apprentice tradition
also played an important role, since craft was considered the ideal unity of creative design and material production. Students had to complete practical hands-on training in workshops both with a master of form, an artist responsible for the aesthetic aspect of the work, and a master of crafts, who oversaw technical skills. This dual approach allowed method and technique to go hand-in-hand with intuition and creativity.
Students worked, then reworked prototypes of products and furnishings by combining and interlocking geometric shapes (squares, triangles and circles), often in primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), using contrasting textures, proportions, and innovative materials. In the end, the Bauhaus, which started out as an Arts and Crafts-influenced trade school, ended as a “school of the future” with a massive, worldwide impact on the development of modern architecture and design. In Melander-Dayton’s latest show, Constructions in Concert, March 2 through April 14, 2012 at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Executive Director Margaret Miller sums up: “The works bring current relevance to traditional practices, and they connect to the future with an understanding and appreciation for the past.” LEFT AND RIGHT: Totem 2011; styrofoam, burl veneer, silk, wool and glass beads; 29 x 7.75x 2.5”.
Lively movements and bejeweled textures in the works sing out to the viewer whom MelanderDayton strives to engage. “Perhaps my humble pursuit of a new expression, my own expression, will be the catalyst that propels another body into motion,” she declares. At the beginning of MelanderDayton’s artistic journey, she aspired to technical skill; then she dedicated herself to expressing an idea; and finally she connected all her past experiences, reading, and creating, to express an individual point of view. This perpetual motion of mind, body, and work continues to and promises to never cease.
Cynthia Elyce Rubin, Ph.D. is a curator, writer, and lecturer who lives in Orlando, Florida. www.cynthiaelycerubin.com Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
Art Quilt Elements 2012 is the 10th Exhibition of this internationally acclaimed show set in suburban Philadelphia. The exhibition has been widely praised by reviewers and artists not only for exhibiting the quilts in a gallery setting but also for promoting the art quilt as an art form. www.artquiltelements.com
1. Joan Schulze, Lens Flare, 31 x 31”, silk, paper, cotton batting and backing
2. Linda Levin, City With Footnotes XI, 39 x 41”, Cottons, blends, fabric paint, dyes, thread
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3. Betty Busby, Organelle, 44 x 47”, raw silk, wool, cotton, paint
4. dianE nunEz, Twisted, 60 x 14”, artist hand dyed fabric, commercial batik fabric, batting, thread, grommets, aluminum rods, rubber washers
5. Deborah Lacativa, Lavanderia, 20 x 20”, hand dyed vintage damask and cotton
6. Karen Schoch, Just One, 60 x 21”, hand dyed cotton fabric, one commercial cotton fabric, screen printing, mark making with fabric dye and assorted tools
7. BETH BARRON, Implosion #3, 52 x 52”, Found bandages, thread, ground cloth.
8. CHRISTINE HAGER-BRAUN, More Than Just The Sum: Northern Red Oak, 18.5 x 24.5”, commercial batik fabrics, tulle, yarn
9. BRENDA BUNTEN-SCHLOESSER, Encircled, 57 x 37”, Hand painted whole cloth cotton with fiber-reactive dye and discharge painting. Dyed mop yarn, layered & sculpted batting. Painted canvas backing, aluminum support rods, wood hanging panel
10. JUDITH PLOTNER, Cooperstown Sky, 46 x 30.5”, Hand dyed cotton, cotton batting and backing
11. KATE THEMEL, Stars Not Included, 31 x 25”, cotton fabric, rayon and polyester thread
SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
This Just In
1. PIA WELSCH; When Dawn is Breaking: Scheherazade Stops in the Middle of Her Story, to Finish the Next Night; hand-dyed cottons, pieced, embroidered and machine quilted, designed and digitized embroidery; 30 x 77”.
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2. KATHRYN HARMER-FOX; Fiber Platter Featuring Ilse’s Eyes 2011; stiff batting, canvas, calico, knitted, lacy fabric, various sewing threads and gold floss thread, backed with hessian and tissue paper and acrylic medium, machine embroidery, fabric and thread embedment, quilting and papier-mâché; 19 x 12 x 2”.
3. DARLYN SUSAN YEE; Excessively Handled 2007; 1 knotted cotton resting on stone base; 3 1/2 x 8 1/2 w x 8 1/2”.
4. SUSAN FELLER; All Four Seasons 2011; wool on linen hooked, needle felting, trapunto, yarns, stitching; 12 x 28”.
Image Detail 5. ANA GUNNARSDOTTIR; Kundalini 2004; hand felted Icelandic wool, bamboo fiber, copper wire, inspired by chakras; 23.6 x 11.8 and 17.7 x 9.8”.
6. NIAMH O’CONNOR AND DANIELLE PEBBLES; Crane Wife 2011; canvas, silk, leather, wood, acrylic and embroidery, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, appliqué, painting, mixed media; 5.5 x 2.5’.
7. ADRIENNE SLOANE; Earth & Sky 2009; cotton yarn, double-sided, knit on knit, cotton yarn; 18 x 18”.
8. HEIDI FIELD ALVAREZ; Pondering; 2008; silk, oil on canvas, hand and machine stitching, 42 x 62”. broidery, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, appliqué, painting, mixed media.
9. ANDREA GRAHAM; Ghost Trees; hand felted wool, shibori stitched, hand fulled and stiffened; each “trunk’ 8” x 8” x 9’.
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conferences & exhibitions California
San Jose, Quilt National, 2/14/2012-4/29/2012 San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 520 South First Street, San Jose, CA, (408) 971-0323 www.sjquiltmuseum.org
Los Angeles, Ehren Tool: Production or Destruction, 5/26/2012-9/9/2012, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, (323) 937-4230 www.cafam.org
Sacramento, American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, 11/10/2012-2/3/2013, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org
Pt. Reyes Station, Duration, 1/27/2012-2/19/2012, Gallery Route One, 11101 California 1, Pt. Reyes Station, CA, (415) 663-1347 galleryrouteone.org
Sacramento, Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey, 2/11/2012-5/6/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org
Oakland, Tradition/Innovation: A Fiber Artisans Conference, 5/18/20125/20/2012, Oakland Marriott and Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA, (415) 648-1382 www.cnch.org
Sacramento, Fishing Lines: Etching and Engraving Collection, 3/3/2012-5/13/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org
Long Beach, HGA’s Convergence 2012, 7/15/2012-7/21/2012, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA, (678) 730-0010 www.weavespindye.org
Sacramento, Gong Yuebin: Site 2801, 3/10/2012-4/29/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org
Sacramento, Surveying Judy Chicago: 1970-2010, 3/3/2012-5/13/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org San Francisco, Michael Cooper: A Sculptural Odyssey, 1968-2010, 6/1/2012-9/1/2012, Museum of Craft and Design, 130 Bush St, San Francisco, CA, (415) 773-0303 www.sfmcd.org Los Angeles, Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1985, 9/25/20111/8/2012, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, (323) 937-4230 www.cafam.org Los Angeles, Baseball: The All-American Game, 5/26/20129/9/2012, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, (323) 937-4230 www.cafam.org
Sacramento, Red Hot and Blown: Contemporary Glass from the Crocker’s Collection, 3/17/20129/23/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org Sacramento, A Chosen Path: The Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes, 6/23/2012-9/30/2012, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org Sacramento, The Artist’s View: Landscape Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum, 9/22/20121/6/2013, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000 www.crockerartmuseum.org
Denver, Texture & Tradition: Japanese Woven Bamboo, 4/17/2012 -7/29/2012, Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO, (720) 865-5000 www.denverartmuseum.org
District of Columbia
Washington, ‘Something of Splendor’: Decorative Arts from the White House, 10/1/2011-5/6/2012, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, 750 9th street NW, Suite 3100, Washington, DC, (202) 633-7970 www.americanart.si.edu Washington, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage, 1/20/2012-5/20/2012, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, 750 9th street NW, Suite 3100, Washington, DC, (202) 633-7970 www.americanart.si.edu
Chicago, Tempus in Re :: Time as Thing, 1/23/2012-4/9/2012, Catholic Theological Union Gallery, 5416 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL, (773) 371-5416 www.ctu.edu
Ames, 44th National Exhibition, 1/27/2012-4/7/2012, Octagon Center for the Arts, 427 Douglas Avenue, Ames, IA, (515) 232-5231 www.octagonarts.org
Sacramento, The Art of Nepal: Shiva and Buddha, 10/20/2012-1/27/2013, Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, (916) 808-7000, www.crockerartmuseum.org
Submit conference, exhibition, and calls for entry information to
Topeka, Crafts National, 5/5/20128/19/2012, Mulvane Art Museum, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, KS, (785) 670-1124 www.washburn.edu/mulvane Logan, Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art, 4/20/20125/27/2012, Dane G. Hansen Museum, 110 West Main Street, Logan, KS, (785) 689-4846 www.hansenmuseum.org
Paducah, Fantastic Fiber 2012, 3/24/2012-5/5/2012, Yeiser Art Center, 200 Broadway Street, Paducah, KY, (270) 442-2453 www.theyeiser.org
Deer Isle, Basket Workshop with Lissa Hunter, 6/10/2012-6/22/2012, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 22 Church St, Deer Isle, ME, (207) 348-2306 www.haystack-mtn.org Topsham, The Art of the Needle, needlepoint tapestries by Jill Vendituoli, Maine Fiber Arts, 13 Main Street, Topsham, ME, 207-721-0678 www.mainefiberarts.org
Brockton, Fresh Fiber Revisited: Work by Emerging Textile Artists, 1/7/2012-4/22/2012, Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA, (508) 588-6000 www.fullercraft.org/exhibitions.html Brockton, Michael Cooper: A Sculptural Odyssey, 1968-2011, 11/12/20115/13/2012, Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA, (508) 588-6000 www.fullercraft.org/exhibitions.html Cambridge, Contemporary Visions of Surface Design: Textile as Painting/Painting as Textile, 3/3/20124/28/2012, Mobilia Gallery, 358 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA, (617) 876-2109 www.mobilia-gallery.com Brockton, Dan Dailey: Working Method, 2/18/2012-9/3/2012, Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA, (508) 588-6000 www.fullercraft.org/exhibitions.html Brockton, Mens et Manus: Folded
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
conferences & exhibitions Paper of MIT, 2/4/2012-4/29/2012, Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA, (508) 588-6000 www.fullercraft.org/exhibitions.html
Minneapolis, Sympathies-Anchae, 10/2/2011-5/20/2012, Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Parkway Minneapolis, MN, (612) 625-9494 www.weisman.umn.edu Minneapolis, Land by Hand: Fiber Artists Explore Place, 9/2/20116/30/3012, 3000 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, (612) 436-0464 www.textilecentermn.org Minneapolis, Constructions in Concert, 3/2/2012-4/14/2012, Textile Center, 3000 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN, (612) 436-0464 www.textilecentermn.org
St. Louis, Woven in Time, 9/10/20118/12/2012, Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO, (314) 746-4599 www.mohistory.org Osage Beach, Currents: MoFA Conference 2012, 4/18/2012-5/29/2012, The Vine Gallery, 1375 State Rd KK, Osage Beach, MO, (573) 302-0066 www.missourifiberartists.com
Loveladies, In Stitches Exhibition, 5/10/2012-6/18/2012, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, 120 Long Beach Blvd, Loveladies, NJ, (609) 494-1241, www.lbifoundation.org
Santa Fe, Woven Identities: Basketry Art from the Collections, 11/18/20115/1/2014, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM, (505) 476-1250 www.indianartsandculture.org
Auburn, Made in New York, 3/31/2012-5/20/2012, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, 205 Genesee Street Auburn, NY, (315) 255-1553 www.schweinfurthartcenter.org
Bellport, Emergence, Phoenix Gallery, 3/29/2012-4/22/12, Phoenix Gallery, 139 S Country Road, Bellport, NY, (631) 776-0811 www.bellportarts.com Buffalo, Fiber Arts Initiative III, 4/4/2012-4/28/12, Impact Artists Gallery, Suite 545, Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, (716) 835-6817 mpactartist.wordpress.com New York, The Fifth Element, by Julie Kornblum, 2/1/20124/30/2012, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, 34 West 15th Street, NY, NY, (212) 243-9070 www.lionbrandyarnstudio.com www.juliecornblum.com
Charlotte, Sheila Hicks: Fifty Years, 10/1/2011-1/29/2012, Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, (704) 337-2000 www.mintmuseum.org Charlotte, A Thriving Tradition: 75 years of North Carolina Pottery, 11/12/2011-1/5/2012, The Mint Museum, 2730 Randolph Rd, Charlotte, NC, (704) 337-2000 www.mintmuseum.org
Canton, Focus: Fiber 2011-2012, 12/2/2011-2/26/2012, Canton Museum of Art, 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, OH, (216) 707-2579 www.cantonart.org Columbus, Best of 2012, 4/29/20126/17/2012, Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, OH, (614) 486-7119 www.ohiocraft.org
Park Hill, Cherokee Baskets, History in Woven Art, 5/28/2012-8/19/2012, Cherokee Heritage Center, 21192 S Keeler Dr, Park Hill, OK,(888) 9996007 www.cherokeeheritage.org
Philadelphia, Distinguished Educators, 3/2/2012-4/15/2012, Grey Area, Crane Arts, 1400 N American St, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 913-7957 www.cranearts.com
Philadelphia, FiberPhiladelphia 2012, Spring 2012, Crane Arts Building, 1400 North American St, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 913-7957 This exciting initiative consists of 40+ regional exhibits. Visit www.fiberphiladelphia.org to find out about all of the events and activities associated with FiberPhiladelphia, 2012. Pittsburgh, Transformation 8: Contemporary Works in Small Metals, 2/3/2012-6/30/2012, Society for Contemporary Craft, 2100 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA, (412) 261-7003 www.contemporarycraft.org
Denton, Materials: Hard and Soft, 2/3/2012-3/30/2012, Greater Denton Arts Council, 400 East Hickory St, Denton, TX, (940) 382-2787, www.dentonarts.com Round Top, The Art in Fiber Show, 2/4/2012-3/4/2012, Copper Shade Tree, 102 Schumann Lane, Round Top, TX, (979) 249-4127 www.coppershadetree.com
Bellevue, Knitted, Knotted, Twisted & Twined, 2/7/2012-6/17/2012, Bellevue Art Museum, 510 Bellevue Way Northeast, Bellevue, WA, (425) 519-0770 www.bellevuearts.org Washington, Gathering: John Miller and Friends, 10/29/2012-1/29/2012, Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St, Tacoma, Washington, (866) 468-7386 www.museumofglass.org
Waukesha, Lake Country Basket Fest, 5/3/2012-5/5/2012, The Center for Excellence, N4 W22000 Bluemound Rd, Waukesha, WI, (414) 282-4229 www.lakecountrybasketguild.com
Kedainiai, European and American Fiber Art, Ongoing, Janina MonkuteMarks Muziejus Galerija, 45 J. Basanaviviciaus St, LT-57182, Kedainiai, Lithuania, (370) 347-57398 www.muziejai.lt Antwerp, The 31st Meeting on Dyes in History and Archaeology, 10/18/201210/20/2012, Katoen Natie Headquarters, Van Aerstraat 33, B-2060, Antwerp, Belgium,+32 3 221 68 10 www.chriscooksey.demon.co.uk/dha
calls for entry The Alliance for American Quilts: Home Is Where the Quilt Is
*CE Deadline: 6/1/2012 The 2012 theme is “Home Is Where the Quilt Is,” a broad theme that celebrates the form and the meaning of Home. All techniques and materials are encouraged. Entries must be 3 layers—top, filling and backing and must conform to our contest guidelines. June 21 - 23, 2012 Original Sewing & Quilt Expo Raleigh, NC (828) 251-7073 www.allianceforamericanquilts.org
Annmarie Garden Residency Program
*CE Deadline: Ongoing Annmarie’s residency program provides a serene place on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay for visual, musical, and literary artists to create works that address ecological issues and/or inspire community involvement. Artists have access to a private studio space in addition to a variety of classroom studios and garage spaces, a waterfront, and fifty acres of forest and field. Residencies are meant to focus on merging the arts and the environment and should include the involvement of the local community to some capacity. April 30, 2012 Solomons, MD (410) 326-4640 www.annmariegarden.org
AQS Quilt Show & Contest – Des Moines
*CE Deadline: 6/11/2012 The maker(s) of a cloth quilt can enter their completed work by submitting the completed and signed entry form, entry fee of $10 per quilt for AQS members or $30 per quilt for nonmembers, and CD of digital images. October 3 – 6, 2012 American Quilter’s Society - Des Moines, Iowa (270) 898-7903 aqsshows.com/AQSDesMoines
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
calls for entry AQS Quilt Show & Contest – Grand Rapids
*CE Deadline: 5/7/2012 The maker(s) of a cloth quilt can enter their completed work by submitting the completed and signed entry form, entry fee of $10 per quilt for AQS members or $30 per quilt for nonmembers, and CD of digital images. August 22–25, 2012 DeVos Place Convention Center Grand Rapids, MI (270) 898-7903 http://aqsshows.com/ AQSGrandRapids
Art in the Loft 2012
*CE SummerView Deadline: 4/6/2012, WinterView Deadline: 10/12/2012 New applicants are selected by jury each season. Once an artist is accepted as an exhibiting artist, it is not necessary to be juried again unless more than 3 years have elapsed since the artist last exhibited at Art in the Loft or the artist wishes to exhibit in a new media. New applicants (and those who seek to be re-juried) must submit five (5) photos of their work to the jury with their application. All work must be available for sale and each artist must maintain work on display throughout the duration of the exhibit. Alpena, MI (989) 356-4877 www.artintheloft.org
Art Quilting Design Contest 2012
and internationally and promoting contemporary art. Fusing a regional character with a national and international perspective, the Center is a place where artists work, conduct research and where exhibitions introduce a broad public to a variety of contemporary art practices by artists from around the world. The Center’s goal is to present art and artists in a way that engages and enriches the public while revealing the creative process through open studios, outreaches, community projects, exhibitions, and educational programs. McColl Center for Visual Art - Charlotte, NC (704) 944-8215 www.mccollcenter.org
Carson Valley Quilt Guild Show
*CE Deadline: 4/20/2012 You may enter any of the quilts you, or you with another person have finished after June 2010. The entry fee is $5.00 for 1 or 2 quilts. Non-Members $35.00 for up to two quilts. CVQG Members may enter the Challenge quilt as a third entry. There is no fee for entering the Challenge quilt “My Favorite Things.” June 9-10, 2012 Carson High School - Carson City, NV www.cvqg.com/2012_CVQG_Quilt_ Show
Contemporary Arts at Woodside Artist Residencies
*CE Deadline: 6/1/2012 All submitted quilts designs must incorporate SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, no other cut crystals than SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are allowed. Participants are encouraged to use various techniques, such as sewing, quilting, ironing, knitting, crocheting, beading, machine embroidery, etc. The quilt must be inspired by the theme “Music.” Cranston, RI (800) 388-8842 www.create-your-style.com
*CE Deadline: Ongoing CAC Woodside accepts artists for residencies who offer quality, seriousness, or experience in their art and encourages diversity of style, medium, and concepts. Contemporary Artists Center - Troy, NY (518) 320-0628 http://cactroy.org
Carolinas HealthCare Artist-In-Residence Program
*CE Deadline: 5/5/12 Students of all ages are invited to be part of RAM’s 6th Annual Community Art Exhibition! This year, the theme is: CREATURE COMFORTS – your chance to make art all about animals. If you have taken a class within the last five years at RAM’s Wustum
*CE Deadline: 5/7/2012 McColl Center for Visual Art’s residency program is dedicated to supporting artists regionally, nationally
Creature Comforts: RAM Community Art Exhibition
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
Museum, you are invited to enter one work of art. Or, sign up today for an art class or workshop to become eligible. RAM instructors, Racine Art Guild members, Racine school teachers and museum staff are invited too! May 26 – August 25, 2012 Racine Art Museum – Racine, WI (262) 638-8300 www.ramart.org
Fiberart International 2013
*CS Deadline: 8/31/12 Fiberart International 2013 seeks to exhibit the best of contemporary art and invites submissions that reflect a wide range of works related to the fiber medium. This juried exhibition is recognized around the world as a benchmark that documents trends and innovations in the field. The goal of the exhibition is to include innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, structure, processes and history, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between fiber and other creative disciplines. April 1 – August 18, 2013 Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Pittsburgh, PA (412)361-0873 www.FiberartInternational.org
Gantt Center Artist-in-Residence
*CE Deadline: 4/2/2012 The Center is looking for artists of color who are inspired by African-American culture, committed to artistic investigation, and are interested in community engagement. The Center and Gantt are looking for artists who can easily adapt to an urban setting, are engaged in research and investigation, and are interested in the world as the site, subject and material of their work. January 7 – March 24, 2014 McColl Center for Visual Art Charlotte, NC (704) 944-8215 www.mccollcenter.org
CE = Call for Entry CS = Call for Submission CP = Call for Proposal
Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery
*CE Deadline: 6/30/2012 The Prize is open to any student who is in full or part time education on or after the 31st of March 2010, from any country in the world. Please note that research, and graduate students are also eligible to enter. There is a £23.00 (GBP) fee to enter. September 2012 Hand & Lock – London, England W1W 8TE (020) 7580 7488 www.handembroidery.com
HAT Made or Embellished with Lace
*CE Deadline: 4/13/2012 The South Australian Branch of the Australian Lace Guild has regular meetings at various venues around the State - from Victor Harbor in the South to the Riverland in the North to make lace and share our friendship and knowledge of the craft. May 12-13, 2012 The Secretary - South Australia (088) 254-2830 www.laceguildsa.com
In Full Bloom
*CS Deadline: 4/27/2012 International Quilt Festival will again showcase flowers and floral quilts in a special exhibit, In Full Bloom 2012: Floral Quilts in Memory of Helen Pearce O’Bryant. This exhibit will premiere at International Quilt Market and Festival, October 27 - November 4, 2012. Houston, TX (713) 781-6864 www.callforentriesbloom.com
In, On, Of Paper Juried Exhibition
*CE Deadline: 4/6/2012 “In, On, Of Paper” Juried Exhibition is open to paper artists residing in the US who are at least 18 years old. All works, sculptural, decorative and functional must be original, be made primarily of paper and must have been completed in the last two years. May 25 – August 1, 2012 Nelsonville, OH (740) 753-3374 www.papercircle.org
calls for entry International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB)
*CE Deadline: 4/2/2012 The International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) is a juried exhibition of work by artists merging fiber media with new information and communication technologies in their artistic processes, as a medium of artistic expression, and/or in the content of their work. August 7 – October 21, 2012 San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles - San Jose, CA (408) 971-0323 www.sjquiltmuseum.org
In the American Tradition
*CS Deadline: 4/27/2012 Several years ago International Quilt Festival created In the American Tradition, a beautiful showcase for traditionally influenced quilters. This special annual exhibit features the very best in contemporary traditional-based quilting. We are looking for both contemporary interpretations and traditional quilts, either by hand or machine, appliquéd, pieced, or wholecloth. November 1-4, 2012 Houston, TX (713) 781-6864 www.callforentriesamerican.com
that each of our seasons of free public exhibits consist of a balanced mix of solo and group thematic projects. The group shows provide diversity of approach, media, style, and geographic origin, while the solo exhibits provide a deeper insight into one artist’s vision. Manifest Creative Research Gallery & Drawing Center - Cincinnati, OH (513) 290-2574 www.manifestgallery.org/proposals
Minnesota Center for Book Arts: Artist-inResidence Program
*CE Deadline: Ongoing The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is designed to support selected artists by providing resources, space and equipment to assist in the creation and promotion of their work. In turn, artists provide technical and educational assistance to Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Residencies may be from two weeks to four months in duration. Minnesota Center for Book Arts Minneapolis, MN (612) 215-2525 www.mnbookarts.org/artistsprograms/air
National Museum of Women in the Arts: Library Fellows Program
*CE Deadline: 6/30/2012 The objective of the Library Fellows program is to encourage and promote the creation of artists’ books and to support NMWA’s Library and Research Center and book art programs. National Museum of Women in the Arts - Washington, D.C. (202) 783-5000 www.nmwa.org
*CS Deadline: 6/12/2012 The PatternBase is A Chicago-based art-collective dedicated to inspirational textile design, fibers-related artworks, and the study of pattern. PatternBase will showcase a collection of designs from contemporary textile and surface designers internationally and will include interviews from a number of artists working within the textile and fashion industries today. Autumn 2012 Chicago, IL www.thepatternbase.com
Quilt Challenge: International Quilt Convention Africa (IQCAfrica 2012)
*CE Deadline: 5/1/2012 IQCAfrica will comprise an expo, a range of workshops by talented international and local teachers plus an international quilt exhibition. The quilt challenge theme for 2012 is “Dreams”. The challenge is open to all quilters permanently residing on the African continent. July 27 to 29, 2012 Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa +27-44-601-7500 http://iqcafrica.ning.com/page/ quilt-challenge
Quilt Expo 2012
*CE Deadline: 6/29/2012 Quilt Expo competition open to all quilt makers, amateur and professional. All quilts will be juried; then judged by NQA Certified Judges. Each person/ group may enter one quilt per category; maximum of four quilts/entries. September 6-8, 2012 Alliant Energy Center - Madison, WI (920) 356-9506 wiquiltexpo.com
Lillstreet Art Center: Artist Residencies
*CE Deadline: 6/1/ 2012 Lillstreet Art Center offers Artist Residencies in all departments and encourages interdisciplinary work. Residencies includes work space in our classroom studios, free classes, learning and teaching opportunities, basic materials & firings, and a monthly stipend for additional materials or personal use. 2012-2013 Season Lillstreet Art Center - Chicago, IL (773) 769-4226 www.lillstreet.com
Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center: Call for Exhibit Proposals *CP Deadline: 6/1/2012 One-third of Manifest’s exhibits are dedicated to solo exhibits. Solo exhibitors have included local, regional, and national artists. It is important
Spring 2012 • fiberartnow.net
calls for entry
The Soap Factory
*CS Deadline: 4/30/2012 We are particularly interested in proposals conceived specifically for The Soap Factory galleries. Our programming is unique in that we select only a small proportion of the artists we exhibit from our pool of submissions. We commonly receive 400 artist submissions per season. 2013 Season Minneapolis, MN (612) 623-9176 www.soapfactory.org
Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends
*CE Deadline: 4/2/2012 Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a fiber/textile program or independently pursuing a study of fibers/textiles in the Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee) is eligible to apply. June 1-29, 2012 Wellington B. Gray Gallery - Greenville, NC (888) 511-4254 www.fiberartsalliance.org
Tactile Architecture™ 2012
*CS Deadline: 4/27/2012 You may submit a total of two quilts for our consideration. Quilts must be a minimum of 25” x 25”. There is no “made after” date requirement. Please do not submit a quilt that was included in a previous edition of Tactile Architecture™. October 27–November 4, 2012 Houston, TX (713) 781-6864 www.callforentriesarchitecture.com
Texas Guilds’ Award-winning Traditional Quilts
Umbrella Studio: Exhibition Proposals
*CP Deadline: 4/19/2012, 10/19/2012 Umbrella Studio invites exhibition proposals from established and emerging contemporary visual artists and curators seeking to present new and original work in a professional gallery environment. Umbrella Studio Townsville QLD 4810 (07) 4772-7817 umbrella.org.au/proposals
UNC CHARLOTTE Artist-in-Residence Program
*CE Deadline: 5/7/2012 In partnership with University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture one artist is selected by both institutions with the shared goal of more sustained interactions with UNC Charlotte students through interdisciplinary collaborative projects, art exhibitions, and innovative educational programming. January 7 – March 26, 2013 McColl Center for Visual Art - Charlotte, NC (704) 944-8215 www.mccollcenter.org
Warps and Wefts Exhibit
*CE Deadline: 5/1/2012 “Warps and Wefts” the exhibit, is a challenge to all Artists, not just Weavers, to create a work utilizing the interlacing of lengthwise materials (warp) with crosswise materials (weft). It is a call to interpret, to adapt, and to merge this warp and weft structure into your own artistic concept. July 6 - July 29, 2012 Gualala Arts Center - Gualala, CA 95445 (707) 882-2270 www.gualalaarts.org
*CS Deadline: 4/27/2012 We would like to invite you and your guild to participate in this exciting exhibit focusing on the Texas traditional quilter. Simply submit the winning traditional quilts from your last guild show to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit. October 27–November 4, 2012 Houston, TX (713) 781-6864 www.callforentriestexasguilds.com
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
Treat yourself to a year of inspiration. SUBSCRIBE TO FIBER ART NOW MAGAZINE! Enter your contact information: Name Address City, State Country Zip Email Phone $40.00 within the US/$60.00 outside the US Annual subscription to Fiber Art Now will start with the next issue (April, July, October, December). Please mail this card along with a check or money order to: Fiber Art Now, Box 66 East Freetown, MA 02717 Would you rather subscribe online? Go to www.fiberartnow.net
s & Polished Cotto
Enshrinin g naturE with Sharon McCartney
Art Quilt Elements The ArT of
Lin dsay KEttErEr gatEs hillary fayl e’s EMbroidE r d rE LEavES
Volume 1, Issue
3 SPRING 2012
STENCIL PROCESS This is the first DVD available, world-wide, of this exciting, innovative process. One in a series of instructional DVDs by Master artist Kiranada Sterling Benjamin. This is a “complete course, on one disc” covers the origins of this unique process in 8C Japan and its contemporary development as a flexible art technique for applying pattern to fabric. It is only in the past thirty years that ro-kata (wax stencil) has been explored enough to be a viable alternative to pattern-making techniques. Included in the DVD are ten instructive units on: • History • Materials • Cutting a Stencil • Preparing to Wax • Applying Wax to Stencil • Cleaning Stencil • Waxing hibiscus • Dyeing • Blending Process • Steaming and Finishing. This is a 53 minute DVD, plus a booklet of instructions on the process. Kiranada’s research into ro-kata has spanned twenty-five years, and was first documented in the book “The World of Rozome: Wax-Resist Textiles of Japan”. Her personal work with ro-kata includes its use on kimono, obi, scrolls, standing screens as well as fashion and wall hangings. Also available for purchase is a CD of the book The World of Rozome Wax Resist Textiles of Japan. Written by Kiranada Sterling Benjamin. A complete history of wax resist process of Japan. The CD is segmented by chapter in PDF format. Both can be purchased on line at
SPRING 2012 • FIBERARTNOW.NET
Burned in Beeswax By Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
can’t stay away from experimentation. Encaustic, painting in melted wax, is an especially apt medium for artists like me who have an unquenchable desire to try new techniques and push the medium into new territory. Although encaustic is most well-known as a vehicle for collage, it also can be used on kiln-fired pottery, and as a sculptural element that can be carved out like clay. Many artists use it purely as a painting medium. I have done all of these, and am passionate about each one of them. I like to make something from nothing. I like to birth new ideas and objects into existence, and encaustic has given me the ability to do that in my art. My first book, Encaustic Workshop, was born of a desire to spread the incredibly delicious medium of encaustic to a broader audience and make it more accessible and less frightening to the masses. Encaustic has been my creative passion since discovering its wonder more than eight years ago. This diverse and ancient medium of painting in pigmented, melted beeswax is enjoying an explosion of popularity, because of its ability to take in and work with so many other mediums. In the book, Encaustic Mixed Media, I was able to explore the innumerable opportunities of encaustic, and explore how it works with and cohesively melds with so many other materials, such as textiles, oil paints, rusty found objects, fine silks, sand, plasters, tar, and many others. Encaustic goes above and beyond any other medium I’ve ever put my hand to; and like so many other artists and crafters, I’ve put my hand to quite a few. Recently, I began to
fiberartnow.net • Spring 2012
ABOVE: Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch; What I Learned from Hanging out with Friends; 2012; encaustic with indigo dye, incising/pigment sticks (oil paint), collage, fusible image transfer, graphite paper, panpastel; 8 x 8” on encausticbord. FAR LEFT: Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch; Flowers of the Field; 2011; encaustic on encausticbord with torch burn and panpastel; 24 x 24’. LEFT: Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch; Roam; encaustic with gold leaf, rub-on transfers, textural dry brush technique over scraped layering; 8 x 8” on encausticbord.
explore simplicity; testing not just how much can be done, but rather just how little can be done, and yet still create a dynamic, inspirational work of art. This has led to a series of works that explore a light-handed use of encaustic. While in residence at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast in the fall of 2010, I discovered, quite by accident,
that a propane torch creates the unique burns and secondary sepia tones on the boards. What began in that residency studio as primitive markings made with a torch, evolved in my open air driveway, into representative work –the closest I likely ever will come to creating outside of my purely abstract bent. The driveway experimentation bore tree forms indicative of the Dogwood in my yard and Birch from the neighborhood park; flowers found in a single vase on my table beckoned a burn in the board; a commission brought about a search for new and unseen trees that would speak to the personality of the three children to be featured in the piece. For me, encaustic has evolved well beyond the accidental birth of a new technique out of an ancient medium—and to my joy—more discoveries reveal themselves with each session in the studio.
Patri cia Baldwin Seggebruch is a full time artist, teacher and author. www.pbsartist.com
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