Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review: The Essential Art of African Textiles (Oct'08, NYC)

Sometimes you don't get around to seeing or hearing about things until it's too late. Such is the case with the exhibition, "The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End," held last October 2008 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

You can read a review of it in the New York Times and see a slideshow of some exhibited pieces. This image at top is one of my faves. "Between Earth and Heaven" by Mr. Anatsui

Monday, April 20, 2009

Conference: SDA "Off the Grid" (May/June 2009, Missouri USA)

Surface Design Association presents its
2009 International Textile Conference:


Conference: May 28th – May 31st , 2009
Pre-Conference Workshops: May 23 – May 27th , 2009
Post-Conference Workshops: June 1st – June 5th , 2009

Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Kansas City Art Institute and Marriott Country Club Plaza

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Announcement: Mandy Greer at Museum of Contemporary Craft (til May 31)

If we were in Portland, we'd be going to see this:

Mandy Greer
Dare alla Luce

January 22 – May 31, 2009

Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland, OR

Translated from Italian, “dare alla luce” is an idiomatic expression for giving birth: “to give to the light.” Excerpted from website:

Through countless small gestures of her craft, Greer employs humble handicraft processes and materials, executing her work through crochet, braiding, sewing and beading processes that use yarn, beads, shells, feathers and more. Merging the mythical and the mundane, Greer collapses the language and materials of the ordinary with the spectacular and the epic. The resulting work intertwines objects and space, resulting in an exuberant, sensual and visceral installation.

For more information, read here

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: Vive le Shibori! in FiberArts (Apr/May'09)

Vive le Shibori!

So proclaims Barbara Shapiro in her report of the goings-on at the 7th ISS08 in France (FiberArts, Apr/May 2009). View article here

It's a nicely edited, tight article synopsizing the symposium's program offerings. Special mentions were given to particular artists and extracurricular events, including the juried student exhibition, "Design Shibori". Barbara gives a nod to the parallels drawn between techniques practiced on far away continents and closes with a nice wrap-up of the various presentations & workshops that enforced the symposium's theme of nature, sustainability and responsibility -- from Garcia's cool water dye baths (responsible industrial practices) to Urbanek's natural dye techniques (social responsibility) to label Sou.Sou's rejuvenation of traditional Japanese garb for the youth market (sustaining shibori artisans).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Workshop: Yoshiko at HATCH- Apr 16 (Asheville, NC)

Yoshiko will be teaching two 2-hr workshops in Asheville at the H A T C H festival (which I posted about in an earlier entry here)

"Boro transformed: patching, piecing, and stitching"
April 16 @ 10a-12p ; 1-3p
$30 material fee

This workshop is inspired by a group of Japanese folk textile and clothing from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, such as padded sleeping mattresses and comforters, fishermans coats, lumberjacks vests, and other everyday wear. These were dyed in indigo and extensively patched and darned as necessary, utilizing regional resources to the limit.

Participants will learn about traditional Japanese common textiles made with boro (rags and fabric scraps) and will reinterpret this folk tradition by creating a fabric collage using layering, piecing, sewing and darning. Participants will also explore the use of water-soluble sheets to create open, lace-like structures in collage. Scrap fabrics will be provided by dosa inc. of Los Angeles (, and participants are also welcome to bring their own recycled, used, stained scraps or moth-eaten woolens to incorporate into their project.

A note from Yoshiko:
In my forthcoming book, I am using the Japanese term boro to define a new aesthetic and to bring new meaning to an alternative creative process, e.g., darning = healing, meditative action = marking time, reuse/repair = recording history. "Boro" represents the transformation of inconsequential material to something precious and valuable. Ordinarily, these tattered, castaway rags and the articles pieced together from them would be considered of little to no value. Boro, on the other hand, are viewed as beautiful in a way that defies convention. This type of imperfect beauty possesses a power that resonates with people almost like an emotional barometer. It points to an alternative value of "beauty" slowly coming to surface in our social consciousness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Miao embroidery: a photo log

Jenne P, who pens the blog lixo-lux, recently wrote a post on a class she took with Tomoko Torimaru back in 2006 at the de Young. I found the post only because she pinged back to (which I manage alongside this one and a few others. Aah, the connectedness of the internetz!)

Her post, "Almost impossible, yet possible," is replete with beautiful close-up pictures of Miao embroidery -- so go check it out. It was great to read her side of the class experience.
See the post here