Friday, November 20, 2009

Award: Yoshiko, a "2010 Distinguished Educator Honoree", James Renwick Alliance

Wanted to share some news:

Yoshiko was recently named a "2010 Distinguished Educator Honoree" by the James Renwick Alliance (, an organization that assists the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is dedicated to advancing scholarship on contemporary American craft. She is very honored to be recognized by such an esteemable organization. (Full announcement and feature forthcoming in American Craft magazine)

Congrats, Yoshiko!

Our dear readers, if you have any news & announcements you want to share, by all means send it in: info [at]

Art: "Chord" (Oct-Nov09, London)

Wonder if any of you in London saw "Chord," an installation created by British artist, Conrad Shawcross, for London's Kingsway Tram Subway (Oct8-Nov8)? Sounded very cool. You can read about it in better detail here at londonist, where it is described as "a series of Heath Robinson-inspired pulleys and ropes stretched along a section of track [which], according to the exhibition blurb, "[is] concerned with the human perception of time, as both a linear and cyclical notion", and the constant motion of the piece means it expands through space at a rate of five metres per day."

The images are certainly intriguing! (all images courtesy of londonist)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Indigo lecture by Barbara Shapiro (11/21/09, SF)

I guess October was a slow month! Here's an upcoming workshop and lecture presentation about indigo given by Barbara Shapiro of San Francisco.

"The Magic of Indigo" with Barbara Shapiro
November 21, 2009
SATURDAY @ 10 am
De Young Museum in San Francisco
- presented by the Textile Arts Council -

Discover the magic and delve into the mystery of indigo with Barbara Shapiro, a textile artist whose work has been widely exhibited and published both locally and internationally. Indigo, one of the oldest and most influential of dyes, has a long and fascinating history. Derived from different plants found all around the world, indigo has long been prized for its rare color as well as its medicinal powers. This ancient dye stuff has had a huge impact on fortune and trade
throughout the world as its availability rose and fell with empires. It has come to be strongly associated with certain cultures, not least our own blue denim phenomenon. Well suited to resist dyeing techniques, indigo has given color to a wide variety of distinctive patterning. The mystique and chemistry of traditional formulas and contemporary practices will be discussed in this lecture. Special attention will be given to a particular formula, used extensively in the 18th century, which is making a comeback as a safe and ecological way for contemporary artists to use both natural and synthetic indigo. Barbara Shapiro’s love of indigo has influenced her own woven artwork for many years and has recently given new life to her exploration of traditional basketry forms. Ms. Shapiro is an advisory board member of the Textile Arts Council as well as a board member of the Textile Society of America. She lectures and teaches weaving, dyeing, surface design, and basketry techniques and has volunteered as a teaching assistant at San Francisco State University, where she has maintained the indigo dye pots for many years. Please join us to learn more about the magic and mystery of indigo.

Also, a workshop (for TAC members only):

A Greener Indigo – a workshop with Barbara Shapiro
November 14, 2009, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
San Francisco State University

Explore the magic mystery of indigo using a non-toxic “green” formula suitable for the home studio. Alternate recipes will be discussed. The “new” green formula is based on research by French natural dye expert Michel Garcia, presented during the World Shibori (and Natural Dye) Symposium in October 2008.

Cost: $100, including materials
To register: please contact the TAC office at 415 750-3627 or