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"textile" Category


Miniatures by Sheila Hicks


Sunday, November 25, 2012

 

(born Hastings, Nebraska, 1934.) Painter, Textile/Fiber/Weaver, Artist.
 
 
At the Stedelijk Design exhibition my attention was quickly drawn to the textile area were a lot of gripping works was exhibited. Most of the items appeared very autonomous and were presented as art displayed in frames, on glass tables or hanging down from the ceiling. Probably the smallest section of pieces (size A4) made of colorful weaved threads caught my attention – they were made by the American artist Sheila Hicks.
It is hard to say what it actually was that dragged me into her small and actually very simply and straightforward made artworks. I had the feeling of looking at a continues (paintless) painting with numerous layers. I was sure that something interesting had to be hidden behind those threads and probably made by a person with a lot of experiences and an interesting background.
The Stedelijk has written an appealing text on the wall about textile as art and how the industrial movement has influenced the textile scene and how the old stereotype that textile work was women’s work has changed through the time.

Sheila’s woven textile pieces are attractive because I neither could categorize the style or the period. Something in them looked familiar but at the same time like something I had never seen before, I consider it like a hybrid of different cultures and nationalities, emphasizing the use of different materials. The way it was presented was also interesting, in small frames, side by side. Very organized and strict but the threads stood out very randomly in a way. I really wonder why Sheila Hicks made these small miniatures and to understand that my research is based on her biography and her history.

 

Sheila Hicks is educated in Fine Arts at Yale University. She started as a painter and turned her carrier into weaving and working with fibers – from 2 dimensional work to 3 dimensional work. Her miniatures (the ones in the Stedelijk) reflect her past as a painter as you can translate them to weaved paintings. These are works she has done through her whole career, besides that she is well known for her big weaved sculptural installations and wall decorations.

 

In her studytime one of her professors was Josef Albers, the Bauhaus master who had settled in The United States because of the pressure of the Nazis regime. Albers was the director of the Department of Design and transplanted some of Bauhaus ideals to Yale University that is reflected in a lot of Sheilas earlier work for instance the patterns, her choice of colors and the geometry and abstraction just like the classic impression of Bauhaus.

With Josef Albers [x], Sheila worked in a kind of color laboratory, and did extensive research on materials, plastics, paper, wire and plaster, that could also be one of the resons why she often weave different objects into her work. Since the 1960′s, Sheila trained in the modernistic Bauhaus tradition, as a unique way of mixing autonomous art with the traditional craft of weaving. In an interview she says: “However, when I was at Yale I had exposure to art history. I took ‘Art of Latin America,’ with Dr. George Kubler, and I chose to write about textiles because he had given a lecture showing beautiful old Peruvian mummy bundles.’’ Those textiles, she recounts, made a strong impression on her. She realized she needed to find out how they were made — not just how they looked. “At that point, Albers — Josef Albers — saw me struggling in my painting booth on improvised looms that were not looms; they were just painting stretchers that I used to tie yarns into tension, and he said he would take me home and introduce me to his wife.’’ His wife was Anni Albers [x], who is perhaps the most well-known textile artist from the 20th century. Anni Albers was a former bauhaus student and helped Sheila with a lot of work in the beginning of her carreer. I believe that her past as a painter and her influence from Anni Albers/ Bauhaus tradition could have caused Sheila Hicks  – through her whole carrier – to continually make these small, straight forward, minis/miniatures beside her other work (3 dimensional). Notwithstanding that, Hicks played an important role in the transformation of textile art during the 1960’s. Textile artists changed the dialogue and understanding of textiles as sculptural pieces in addition to two dimensional works.

The story tells that Sheila is always carrying a loom – and every time she has a moment she starts weaving. As written above I find a lot of her miniatures look very ethnic, and that is probably because she has traveled a lot through her live. In the late 50s Sheila went to Chile, Mexico, India and Morocco and worked with different Local Artist. There she was inspired [x] by their weaving techniques, color theory and architecture.


To understand and try to experiment myself (right image above). I found this old loom and tried to weave a miniature my self and totally understood why you can get addicted to weaving. In a way it is very meditative and when you first get a grip on it – it is very uncomplicated and just a pleasure to do.

I also found this book at the Library of the Stedelijk:

 

 

A book of Irma Boom called ”Weawing as a methopor” with her collection of her miniatures. The book displays over fifty of Sheilas woven textile pieces
Not that this research should be about Irma Boom, the maker of the book (graphic Design) But she need also a cadeau. The book is amazing beautiful, and present all Hicks miniatures in a very nice way. All the pieces are presented in a beautiful layout – a nice red line through the book (e.g.colours) so you almost feel like looking in someone’s sketch book. The Book stand out very personal. I can only recommend you to go to the library of Stedeljk and check it out and have a look in all the other books. A new book was recently published on her textile installation at the Mint Museum’s Atrium [x]

Sheila Hics miniature is a constantly sidework through her life. I would translate it to weaved diary paintings. It is impressing!!

 

Twice Four /Theses TXT


Friday, October 19, 2012

 

All Essays by the graduation year 2012 of the Textile Department,

 

students are: Ellie Duiker /Kimono Parameters – kijken, vertalen, dragen

Isabel van Gool /Het was er -Over Fotografie

Jasmin Koschutnig /Dagen van Acryl – Spinnen tegen verspilling

Elisabeth Leerssen / Use Your Ignorance

Caroline Lindo /Surface of Revolution

Sara Martin / Incrementum – Growing Surfaces

Sylvia Wozniak /De Tuin van het Vergeten Verbond

 

designed by Alexander Shoukas (designer GRA website)
available for €10,00 at the Textile Department or Bureau Rietveld

 

Creating destruction


Thursday, October 18, 2012

[publication of graduation essay by Caroline Lindo 2012

I wrote this thesis “Surface of Revolution” for anyone who – openly or secretly – wants radical change in our current financial and political system and I hope my words can inspire them to find out how they want to position themselves within this time of change.

A Surface of Revolution is a three dimensional surface, shaped by rotation around its axis. I chose this title because it relates to the current uproar across the world in which people are also trying to turn things upside down, and because I will use the protest tent cities and its actual surfaces as the
parameters for my concept. I recognized the fact that there is a class problem in the world and that that problem needs to be dealt with. In this thesis I will study Occupy and the tent and I’ll try to define my way of protesting. I’ll describe the many different kinds of protest I encountered during Occupy and how I am finding my own place within activism. In the end, I hope to find out what my own ethical truth is in respects to changing this class problem in society and find out if there is a way to do it that can apply to bringing down any given system. Violently, non violently, creative or destructive or a
combination of those together. In my work I am searching for this balance too, I am physically acting out the dilemmas and choices I have to make in order to find my own way of protesting.

The main question I am asking myself here is: What is the most effective and still ethically just way for me to attempt to collapse a system? My thesis is about the dilemma’s I faced in regards to protesting. There is the option to destroy, the option to create and all the shades in between. Do I have to choose, and if I feel that I do: how can I make a well weighed decision?
To make this choice I started visualizing creation and destruction, after that I made game rules to play out the different options. In this thesis I draw parallels between the inside and outside of the (“Occupy”) protest tent cities, the tent frame and the structure of the fabric. With thesis ingredients I created my own surface of revolution. A reflection of the protests around the world and my own journey through all the dilemmas I encountered there.

Download thesis by Caroline Lindo: Surface of Revolution

[images of Caroline Lindo's graduation show

 

link to website: http://carolindo.tk and http://carolindo.tumblr.com (same one)

Why Can’t I Use My Ignorance


Thursday, October 18, 2012

[publication of graduation essay by Elisabeth Leersen 2012

 

In the following text we will dive into the notion of ignorance, in order to see what this could mean for the marginal areas of design. Hence the question Why can’t I use my ignorance? This is a question I will try to resolve, by walking past different subjects. Exploring the unknown, by shifting context.

First we will conclude what ignorance means: what it means in society, and what it means for me, personally. Next we will develop questions; in order to see how ignorance relates to the primitive, and we will see how the notion of anthropology has a say in this matter.
All we learned, I will transform into an abstract notion, which may help us to link my questions directly to my own practice and my own desires. And so, in the end we will deal with storytelling, truth, flickering perspectives, and finally a way in which ignorance has found it’s place within my design process.

You must wonder, Why ignorance? This is a question I ask myself regularly.
Inside of me lies a desire to call a bluff from time to time, which I guess goes for everyone.
In order to see what would happen if I were to invent a certain knowledge, and thus would put my ignorance to a different use. How far could I take someone along in this dreamed-up universe? And, why am I attracted to this invented ignorance? These are all questions we will deal with. Some we will answer, some we will not. I invite you to take this journey with me, and see where ignorance might take us.

"There are different ways of looking out, of looking for new perspectives. Perhaps my fascination with the ancient explorers and their narrations lies not so much in narrative, but lies in their approach. It does not interest me to revisit their voyages, but to commence my own. To adopt their naive, primitive, and subjective way of seeing the world, in the new encounters they made. Making many assumptions on the way, and never finding the entire truth; or any truth for that matter.
This narrative of transition, it is a fictive journey. Finding yourself opposite an unknown phenomenon, as in the explorers’ journals: the multitude, yet incompleteness. Many truths, many ideas, and much more assumptions. Diving into different disciplines, using them all; perhaps taking pieces that were not meant for me. I’m not looking for the strength of singularities; but for humble pluralities."

Download thesis by Elisabeth Leersen: Use Your Ignorance

[images by August Sander /Claude Levi Strauss /Galon & Gajek]

from the jury rapport: Elisabeth Leersen from the Textile Department provided the jury with a beautifully designed thesis that was also content wise very interesting. In her thesis Elisabeth researches how ignorance can be made productive. She takes herself as a starting point and arrives at original and lively references from different disciplines and gives her own creative examples. It is a search that ends up again at Elisabeth Leersen herself. At this point the thesis would require a little more self-reflection and more precise use of language, but the thesis remains one of the best.

 

SHEILA HICKS


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sheila Hicks took the long way of learning weaving.

She studied painting under the Bauhaus professor Josef Albers, but when a pre-Columbian textile course captured her attention, he took her home to meet his wife, Anni, a noted weaver. At his suggestion, she applied for a Fulbright scholarship to South America, and spent the first few years of her weaving life journeying through Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Chile, and back north to Mexico. The old weaving traditions have so much more then just the methods and techniques, it is a mix between their history, spirituality and religion. It is mostly based on symbols.

 

Sheila’s work has a focus on the material and the space in it, and around it. In her pieces you can see how she also let go of the weaving and modeled it instead so it became an installation.

 

New energy is not just finding new sources of energy but also taking something old, such as weaving, and giving it life and a new meaning. Weaving is no longer a necessary activity or a way to show status, as it was back in pre-industrial times. Its social importance is less and less fainting in this world of new technology. When I was a child I grew up partly with a Tibetan woman who had history written on the walls in the disguise of tapestries. I remember the stories that I kept developing in my head with the inspiration from these woven paintings. And back then, I didn’t know that it had the same effect that I today get from a painted piece. I am glad that I got the opportunity to experience weaving and the lost handcrafts of this kind at such a young age, before people told me how to read a story properly, or what is “good” and “bad”.

 

The first time i saw Sheila Hicks work was in Rotterdam’s “Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen”. She showed some of her smaller works, and the title of the show was called “Cent Minimes”- one hundred small works collected together

  

The works were presented like paintings in frames, but was still given the space of 3D objects. In her book “Weaving as a metaphor“, that she made in cooperation with Irma Boom, she shows a lot of her small pieces. Which also won the gold medal for “Most Beautiful Book in the World” prize at the Leipzig Book Fair. The book is very honest, with a focus on the physicality of touching and feeling the material. The book is one of the most popular art books of our time, I think it’s because of the special feeling of having a book that shows and “feels” this kind of art, which is meant to be both seen and felt. .

 

 

As she once said in a interview “I found my voice and my footing in my small work,” and that really shines through.

When I saw that show, I could immediately relate to Sheila Hicks in my own way of working and the satisfaction I get from painting. The way that she lets the fabric work for itself is amazing! She creates something, but she also gives the fabric and the different materials the space and life that they need in the frame. For me it was almost like seeing a sketch book, i think it is very honest to show “work in progress” might not be the truth behind it or the attention, but it had the affect on me. I myself have been struggling with the thin line of finishing a piece without over do it, so it was inspiring to see someone how could let go of the control and just show it!

Her experience really shows in her work, you can almost feel the wrinkles on her face, the laughter and tears that have been there.

She once said, “The act of creating is much more exciting for me than leaving a monument to myself,” explaining how she would deconstruct her fiber twists, spirals, ponytails and tapestries into piles of yarn. “It felt great. It meant that my imagination could run free.”

That really says something about her way of living, that she is not afraid of life.

Conditional Design and the Human Condition


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exponential technological progress is altering the circumstances of the human condition. This evolution and apparent progress in its very attempt to liberate from existing constraints, catapulting humankind towards new frontiers of feasibility and seemingly endless possibilities, creates new limitations. The dynamism and increasing complexity of this world becomes more and more difficult for mankind to grasp, since these new possibilities demand the ability to access, overlook and manage heaps of information necessary to understand and make use of those very possibilities. Choice through reflection and contemplation out of this vast pool of information and possibilities has become more and more difficult, if not impossible given time and resource constraints both on an individual as well as a collective level.

Hannah Arendt introduces in her book The Human Condition three levels of activity that allow us to deal with and survive in the world we live as who we are, experiencing a particular social, cultural, and personal context, inherent to being human and not connected to gender, race, class.

These levels of activity and creation are labour - reproductive activities necessary to survive not leaving anything lasting behind, work – activities, which have a beginning and an end leaving behind an enduring artifact, and action – unpredictable and irreversible deeds and words deriving from contemplation. Arendt places these activities on a scale where action has the highest value and labour the lowest, classified according to the outcome and its perceived contribution to life on an individual and social level.

The term conditional design as coined  by a group of young designers in the Netherlands, describes an alternative, not linear way of design and creation through the simplification of processes by selection of input, translation of action into work, into labor deriving action from labor to speak in Arendt’s words in a larger sense. Conditional design puts the emphasis on the process as the product, fully endorsing the creative potential contained in the making and doing, whilst aiming for a result of any kind. The input feeding the process is selected through the use of logic in order to define rules and constraints to shape the process. The input is derived from the external and hence complex environment: nature, society and its human interactions. Logic is used to outline conditions through and under which the process takes place.

The elements of process – input – logic in the conditional design manifesto are used to redefine the notion of design process and product. The very constraints created are intended to sharpen the perspective on the process and stimulate play within the given limitations opening up new possibilities within the process.

Through these very limitations new creative input is given, since alternative ways around these constraints have to be found or new ways to deal with existing processes are found.

When looking at Arendt’s classification of labor-work-action and the conditional design paradigm process-logic-input, in the past output or product (in design) and action (for Arendt) used to be the main focus. Conditional design theory can be explored as an alternative way of dealing with an increasingly dynamic world by focusing on process rather than end result. Increasing creativity through setting of deliberate limitations or more consciously accepting and incorporating existing ones. When process becomes more important also work and labor can contribute to shape the way we live in this very world. Through the deliberate setting of rules and conditions we can explore new and alternative ways to deal with this what we call and understand as the human condition, where while we might by exploring the how as Animal laborans we might understand the why as Homo Faber.

This is what conditional design can mean on a macro scale, on a micro scale it can be applied to any sort of creative process. Ranging from creation and

design of material or immaterial artifacts, to execution of daily habits, to working processes in any realm.

Translating scientific rules, patterns of nature into fine art projects is another way the logic of conditional design can be used as for example in the work of Stefania Batoeva. This young artists plays with the reversal of the natural conditions as known to us. In her latest set of work Wrong Way Up she reverses the rules of gravity to set a framing condition for her creative process.

I applied the process-logic-input frame to textile design, where I combined existing, rather complex input (the fibonacci series, a mathematical rule related to the golden ratio) with my idea (create a piece of  fabric) and the design process (knitting).

Since the fibonacci series states that each number in the series has to be equal to the sum of the earlier two, I applied the same to the textile design where each new section had to be knitted with the same material used in the earlier two. The most simple Fibonacci series is 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,… . I used 1 black thread for 0, and 1 white thread for 1, arriving at the equivalent of the number 13 with 5 black threads and 8 white ones.

Conditional design in a larger sense is what happens when we deliberately choose to work under constraints, which will make us explore new alternatives to existing ways of dealing and creating. When looking at sustainability and environmental awareness seasonal cooking, going to work by public transport instead of using the car (not applicable in the Netherlands). Altering existing habits or ways of doing things can lead to change and improvement, or at the very least new insight, and potentially the development of viable alternatives.

Eatable fashion and so on..


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BLESS DESIGN was founded in 1997 by Ines Kaag in Berlin, and Desiree Heiss in Paris.

In ’99 and ’04 they received the ANDAM fashion award.

They’re philosophy is creative freedom, they are busy with totally innovative fashion accessories through design to art.

The Bless creative expression takes the form through numbered editions, with a permanent research of timelessness. They’re way is to create without definite perimeter.

The two designers escape from any calibrated definition of fashion, “BLESS does not promote any style – BLESS fits every style!” they kept tight they’re initial concept and idea which was to combine creations between fashion, design, art and architecture.

The objects created by Bless result from the fascination of Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag for recycling, the diversion of the uses and the traditional techniques.

They’re accessories turn what was supposed to be regular and unquestionable into surprising.

Like, for example the shoe-socks, that is a socks boot like, with a sole under, or from the collaboration with Le Pliage®, the bag that can be folded inside it’s own circular leather handles and can be worn as a bracelet.

(more…)

My grandmother and her weave


Friday, May 28, 2010

I want to tell you about my grandmother and needlework.

My grandmother had a big house and in one of the rooms she had a weave. On the weave she made tablecloths and carpets out of old sheets and fabrics. She ripped the fabric in to long thin strings and weaved them in to carpets. Some of the carpets she made where for her own house, some for the summerhouse and others to give away to family and friends.

My grandmother had an education as a nurse but after she married my grandfather she became a housewife. No busy work life for her but instead she had time to do different kinds of needlework an of course be a wife and mother. After her children moved out of the house she also developed new interest such as hunting to spend more time with my grandfather who was a keen hunter. But enough about her life story so far because this text is about the needlework she made and her as an example for a generation of woman and design.

The carpets she made are called kludetæpper in Danish, which directly translated means rag carpets in English. A better word for it in English would properly be patchwork carpets. The technique is that you ripe a bunch of old fabrics such as sheets or bed linen into long thin shreds about one centimetre wide. You then weave the shreds together again into rectangular carpets. The results is colour full thick carpets. When weaving you can also make patterns or motifs in the carpets by selecting the specific colours and then applying them in a pattern. The more traditional look of the carpets is a wide blend of colours without a specific pattern or motif.

A patchwork carpet my grandmother made

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Eat sleep create?


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Detail from the flee
Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry,c.1066. People eat, sleep, breed and create.

In this post I will quickly address to a specific example and a specific theory that goes into this subject. Even though we do not see art as a necessity to life, as long as we life there tends to be creativity. Apparently they go together, they feed each other. How are they linked? Besides sleeping, eating and breeding, do we need culture? If it does not contribute to surviving, why is it there? Man has been carving in caves, painting in sand and weaving threads to tell stories that will survive us. You could say this is a pattern in human existence. If storytelling or archiving in either books or objects is a pattern, is creation equal to basic need? Researching this subject I found the Bayeux Tapestry to be a nice study case. Tapestry’s made at the time of the Bayeux Tapestry are often described as folk art. Folk art, a concept that is very well explained by Jean Dubuffet, typically embodies traditional forms and social values. It originally suggested crafts and decorative skills associated with peasant communities in Europe – though presumably it could equally apply to any indigenous culture. It has broadened to include any product of practical craftsmanship and decorative skill. Folk art has also a utilitarian characteristic to it. Utilitarian because it displays the life events of a collective, rather than an individual experience. This social or collective aspect of it makes it interesting to research in association to social behavior. When looking at cultural history there are bluntly put two ways to look at the history: through folklore culture and through ‘elite’ art culture.
Art in the 14th century was a male dominated field. Artists worked a lot for commissions, and painting can be seen as the biggest medium. It represents an elite culture because the elite financed most paintings. On the opposite the folklore culture deals with a great collective history. Woman, left on the shores while their man went out for wars or exploration, stood together and shared their lives in many ways. It is no wonder then, that most of the folklore art, made by these women in particularly, is usually subject to a specific event in their lives. The documentation we know nowadays, is the same as the folk art way of storytelling of these long last centuries.


Greec Vase 570 BC, Trajan Column Rome, Captain America vs the Axis of Evil, a message from the Minestry of Homeland Security.

Although you could argue that the Bayeux Tapestry is not an example of folk art, I would say it is. It is true that the tapestry was made as a commission and the ‘team’ of people who made it where highly classified workers who were selected to work for the state of England. But think about it. It is not about who made it that much, it is about the specific choice for this medium. Each medium talks and feeds our minds differently, not only visually. So the English King and Queen wanted to document this period of Great War. They could also have chosen any other medium besides tapestry. They could get a painter to make a huge war scene; they could pick a hero from the battlefield and give him a statue. But they chose for the medium of textiles. And there is a reason for this choice. The Bayeux Tapestry is made in this form so that the people could relate to it. It is made as a form of propaganda to underline connections between the English crown and the bishop at the time in England. Also there are small references to the Normandy regime, undermining their power and choosing a more heroic English version of the battlefield. The Bayeux Tapestry, or actually the real technique is embroidery, is like a modern propaganda youTube movie. Looking at it shows no difference to ‘real’ amature paste-up movies. In this case there is surely a strategy behind it. I do not want to go into this too much, or make it a conspiracy story, but it seems not more than logical to me that a mass medium is not always just directing the masses of the people. It can also be used to address the elite, because it appeals so much to the mass. Susan Sontag already wrote it in on photography. Amateur pictures and art photography are different. They talk different. But this difference is a strength you can use.

So from which desire does folk art come? In researching the essence of why we create the basic question first is what is there to create from? Philosophers have written many theories about how we perceive the world. Choosing one of the many, I focus on the theory of Lacan. It describes three ways in which the world is ordered. It is interesting because it suggests that the way we life, think, and create are prior to eating, sleeping and breading. This all comes from Lacan’s theory on the three world orders, being the real, the symbolic and the imaginary.

Lacan’s order of the Real finds a lot of similarities with the well known philosophical term ‘die welt an sich’. The real order is the objective outside world, known as a whole, without any conceptual boundaries set by language. This order always remains invisible for the subject, never to grasp. The symbolic order is the world the way we experience it through language, image, story, and so on. Every conceptual possibility in words is used to give form to the imaginary order. That imaginary order is the world of desire and fantasy. It is not only desire and fantasy as we know it in de Freudian way.
In Lacan’s theory the imaginary refers to every single subjective experience through the real. In the three orders it is clear that the imaginary order is something that is fundamental to our being. We think, or at least we would like to believe so. Every thought, desire, fantasy or whatever you experience non-materialistically fits into this order. But it did not come there by a gift of god. Like I said above, the three orders feed each other. Our experience comes from the real world, but what we notice of this is depending on the symbolic order. In a way the symbolic order determines what we explore of this real order. Then again, the imaginary takes all these concepts deriving from the symbolic order into consideration and is able to give some output.
This output needs a concept, definition, or even materialization to be noticed and to be justified. And this is the point were culture comes in. From this I understand that culture is like a snowball. It takes along things that stick, it leaves out things that don’t.  It starts small but picks up along the way and grows and grows and grows. When accepting this theory it is very logically that creation is a fundamental part of our existence, because we need concepts and objects to think. Without thinking we cannot react.
What for example the Bayeux Tapestry is showing us, is in a way nothing new to what we already know: we shape and create our own existence. This does not come after the first basic surviving needs of eating sleeping breading etc; it goes parallel next to it.

Me, You and Alexander van Slobbe


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Exhibition flyer

This spring I went to visit the exhibition “fashion for thought” at the Centraal museum in Utrecht. The exhibition was containing the work of fashion designer Alexander van Slobbe.

In the end of this interesting, and well curated exhibition, Alexander van Slobbe showed one of his patterns for a dress, with all the materials needed to copy it. I decided to make a project out of this dress and went right after the exhibition to buy fabric.

choosing fabric

I chose a black, transparent fabric for my dress.

Alexander Van Slobbe works a lot with the fabric, not forcing it into any direction, on the contrary, his way of designing really follows the direction and weaving in the textile he uses.

In my reinvention of the design of Alexander Van Slobbe, I would like to work, like Alexander van Slobbe, by draping the fabric. To find inspiration, I therefor looked up two of my favourite designers, Diana Orving, who works a lot with draping, and “House of Dagmar”, a designer collective who´s design is based on stitching.


left: Diana Orving, middle and right: House of Dagmar (www.dianaorving.com; www.houseofdagmar.se)

When I looked at the patterns I copied, I saw that the size was to big for me. Therefor, so that I can more easily work with draping, and to make the dress my size, I started to make a tailor’s dummy.

Instructions how to make your own tailor´s dummy

Material: tape, scissor, plaster bandage

  • wrap your self in tape. Not to tight

  • cut it open

  • tape it together again

  • cover it with plaster

 

while starting the cutting process, I realized what a difficult fabric I had chosen. It was to thin. When making the hem, and cutting it, thin fabric gets really easily wrinkled. I had to put a cotton ribbon between two layers of the fabric to be able to complete the hem, both in the sleeves and the collar.  After stitching and unstitching several times, i could finally start with the drapings.

back of the dress front of the dress

The most problematic part was the making of the collar. I called my parents for advice. My mother told me that her mother  used to cut very thin fabric on the diagonal when making a collar. By doing so, the weeving of the fabric lyes in the “wrong” direction, and therefor the fabric stays in place.

My grandmother would be horrified if she could see my way of working with the dress with the unregular stitches and the cutting in the fabric. She was a teacher for dressmakers and always knew who should wear what and how. She used to design clothing from private orders by rich ladies in the 50s. Actually my other grandmother, the mother of my dad, was also working within fashion. She was a sewer, and her sister a fashion designer. But I guess I lack the patience and interest in mathematics to work with sewing. On the other hand, the fashion designer Diana Orving, sketches directly on the dummy. She didn’t have any training in pattern construction. She just began by putting fabric on a dummy and register the way the fabric was falling.

I don´t know why I like drapings so much. Maby I see it as reaction against garnment wich only aims to bring out the body, clothes that are not interplaying with the fabric nor with the person who weares it. This kind of fashion is very excluding. It´s only made for people who are happy with their body, or only think that they are beutifull if they show their body parts because of objectification. But working with drapings goes further than that. It makes us aware of the importance of the fabric. It makes us see the handicraft and how gravitation creating shapes through the fabric. What Alexander van Slobbe does, is that he manages to balance the drapings through simple lines, forms and colours. It never becomes to much.

By choosing a black, thin fabric I tryed to do the same. The belt in the waist, and the  narrowing of the lower part of the dress brings out the classical shape of the woman body.

By making the décolletage in the back more low-cut than in the front, the dress becomes sensual without revealing to much.

So this is the result. Now it´s  only Me, You and Alexander Van Slobbe!

Crochet: presenting a new tool


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

As part of their program students of the Textile department TXT, are asked to research one textile technique –its history, its etymology, its philosophy– and give a lecture about it for a variety of different audiences.

René Shiro Grögli says: “when it came to my presentations of the technique I researched, I asked myself one question above all: What can I, and only I, tell the audience about my subject? What is there to tell that can’t be easily looked up on the internet?

Faced with a talk in front of 20 Rietveld Basic Year students, I decided to give them a crash-course in crochet basics. I brought 10 meters long fabric stripes for all the students and taught them how to do the two most simple and fundamental crochet stitches, the chain stitch and the single crochet, by using their hands as crochet needles.
My intention was to give them a tool that they would ideally use for their own projects. We only had a couple of minutes. The results are a beautiful series of small crocheted objects. Some of them are meant to be worn”.

concept/photo's by René Shiro Grögli /crochet results by students of B group

download this small collection [pdf] on classic and contempory crochet or look at my instructional slide show part 1 & 2
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Realities


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In our daily vocabulary we often use textile-related words in order to stress the importance of unity, collective work and all kinds of networking programms.
We knit and we knot quite a lot in language, as if we are experienced weavers and knotters, but most of the time we don’t have the slightest idea how you actually do make a knot.

vlechters-braiders

In this project students are researching one textile technique:
its history, its etymology, its philosophy

Since Plato used weaving loom as a model for how a state is operating, more philosophers are inspired to use textile techniques as a base for dealing with concepts. The question in this project is, how to liberate a technique from its tradition and its confinement.

"3 textile students will performe their research" is part of Basic Year design program

Auspicious Tangents


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FAMILIAR DOMESTICS

Most living spaces use textiles as membranes and interfaces. When we sleep at night we inhabit an almost entirely textile place. We imagine extending familiar textile aplications into the built environment to create fully integrated textile architecture inspired by biological systems.
One of the domestic textiles we have been focusing on is a window covering. Making such a design responsive alow it to grow, metabolise and synthesise with qualities in its immediate surroundings. It can be light emitting, temperature regulating, structural and adaptive.
Folowing along this trajectory is a world of materials that truly facilitate the relationship between the inside and the outside. They are no longer inert matter, but active and able to respond to stimuli such as light, heat, water and electrical energy


Geophysical Log: Location: Loop.pH studio London UK Date: 10/04/2007 Time: 22:12:39

GEODESIC DISTANCE

Looking at plants spinning, weaving and knotting themselves around features in their environment, we cannot but think how they inspired humans to manipulate fiber and thread.
It is the nature of many plants to climb and attach themselves tangentially to establish a structurally stable and energetically efficient link. In the image below, can be seen a knotted end of a tentacle that a passion flower uses to anchor in space.
The two black rods are a fiber composite and part of a woven space-frame we are developing for plants to grow into and consume. The space-frame uses tangential joints exclusively and could easily be scaled to fit many life-form’s requirements.


Geophysical Log: Location: Domestic Things, Flow Gallery London UK Date: 18/03/2007 Time: 12:37:55

INTERDEPENDECE VS. DEPENDENCE

A woven textile is an example where many individual fibres, weak when singular, provide great strengh in unison as they interlink and cross one another. The language of textiles is often used to describe systems in our world that overlap and work together to create a harmony.
The construction of fabrics can be described as a parallel for co-existence and inter-dependence in a sociological context. An urban fabric is interwoven with people, neighborhoods, homes, work places and institutions an a community is strengthened when diversity is present.

tangent (raaklijn) . go off at a ~ (een gedachte sprong maken)

Selection of 3 texts out of 10 by Loop.pH [Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield], published in "Responsive Textile Environments" edited by Sarah Bonnemaison and Christine Macythe Canedian Design Research Network. source: Over/Under, Under/Over . notes . Txt(textile) Department . June 2008

Obsession


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Unique obsession is my current and last goal.

This time it’s all about miniature textile. don’t ask me why.  It’s just a random what I put my hands on kind of thing.

I am flipping the pages of this miniature and unique book and I am amazed !

hundreds of miniature works of art that looks like collages, assemblage, sculptures, paintings, napkins and other abstractions.

than I go back to the title of the book and ask myself textile? miniature?  where are all the textiles? apart from two conseptual napkins I didn’t see any.

Confused and full of inspiration I go home, I flip through the pages of the book and I find myself impressed.

but is this a coincidence or am I drawn to miniatures ?

And why am I asking it now after more than a decade of working with miniature trees and other vegetables?

1649, 779.0 cat 4

STRETCHED AND MELTED TEXTILE ART


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The book that attracted my eye hold the promising title „The new textiles“ and can be found in the library „Textile“ section. Although the word „new“ is no longer valid as it refers to the 80’s and early 90’s, the book could still – through its vast range of images – nurture my curiosity about the possibilities of the textile and its value as the work of art. The traditional textures are treated as abstract objects, out from their usual use and the common field of associations. One can find the textures wrapped, stretched, broke into pieces, collaged, melted in the high temperature, or replaced by materials not considered as textiles in the traditional sense: papers, wires, needles, glass etc. All those actions broaden the sense of what textile can became, especially when it becomes an work of art.

'White Arc 3'  Akio Hamatani 1983

'White Arc 3' Akio Hamatani 1983

Catalogue Number: 779.0 col 1

What_is_the_difference_between_motifs_and_patterns_?_how_comes_that_they_are_confused_?_is_it_a_technical_issue_or_is_it_a_human_tendence_to_order_control_and_homogeneity_that_transforms_even_the_more_complex_motif_into_a_pattern_?_I_think_the_main_characteristic_of_visual_motifs_is_that_they_don_t_have_a_form_;_they_are_ideas_Ideas_behind_patterns_and_textures_Open_multiform_metainformation


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

link to the research

What_is_the_difference_between_motifs_and_patterns_?_how_comes_that_they_are_confused_?_is_it_a_technical_issue_or_is_it_a_human_tendence_to_order_control_and_homogeneity_that_transforms_even_the_more_complex_motif_into_a_pattern_?_I_think_the_main_characteristic_of_visual_motifs_is_that_they_don_t_have_a_form_;_they_are_ideas_Ideas_behind_patterns_and_textures_Open_multiform_metainformation


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

link to the research


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