Craft

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Art Craft

Elaborately Embellished Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Reflect On the Anonymous Legacies of Women

May 5, 2022

Kate Mothes

Image © Matthew Stanton. All images courtesy of the artist and shared with permission

Like many Korean families, artist Ema Shin’s relatives maintain a genealogy book called a jokbo, which illustrates their family tree. Shin’s ancestral record spans 32 generations, yet only male members of the family are represented. Born and raised in Japan, and currently based in Melbourne, Australia, the artist describes in a recent statement that “in the society that I was born and raised in, there was a prejudice between men and women, and their roles were predetermined. I always felt uncomfortable with this inequality.” In her series Hearts of Absent Women, she celebrates and recognizes women whose achievements remain obscured by history.

Heart-shaped forms made from fabric are elaborately embellished with colorful threads and beads in an homage to the organ’s connection with emotion and vitality. They are nearly life-size, and the range of woven and stitched textures are captivatingly tactile. Both anatomical and fanciful, the arteries, veins, and ventricles become distinctive expressions in needlework that reflect strength, resilience, and individuality. Since becoming a mother herself, Shin has been particularly interested in honoring women’s lives and bodies, recognizing the anonymous contributions of those in her family and around the world and acknowledging their stories for the future.

Some of Shin’s work can be seen at the Victoria Craft Awards 2021 exhibition through May 21. She has limited-edition prints from the series for sale on her website, and you can also follow her on Instagram.

 

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © SoulTradr

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Oleksandr Pogorily

 

 



Craft Illustration

Curious Squirrels and Rambunctious Hares Form a Miniature Menagerie of Felted Wildlife

May 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Simon Brown, shared with permission

From a shy baby fox to toads donning crowns, the felted miniatures crafted by Simon Brown and Katie Corrigan are adorable, whimsical renditions of forest creatures. The Northumbria, U.K.-based creative duo transforms thick rovings of wool into wildlife that can be found perching on a snowy branch or creeping up on a mouse through the grass-like bristles of a wooden brush. Brown tells Colossal that he plans to incorporate more found objects into the newer sculptures, which are increasingly illustrative in style, and is also working on developing automata to add a liveliness to the realistic characters. See more of the pair’s process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Surreal Narratives Unfold in Natural Settings in Michelle Kingdom's Enigmatic Embroideries

May 3, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Skies have a way of falling” (2022). All images © Michelle Kingdom, shared with permission

Immersed in dreamlike surroundings, figures interact with nature and participate in enigmatic rituals in embroideries by Michelle Kingdom (previously). The Los Angeles-based artist continues to explore what she describes as “psychological landscapes,” portraying a diverse range of figures in ambiguous activities and settings that are intricately composed from thread. Drawing on the rich traditions of needlework, she takes a more freeform approach to the medium in which stitching becomes a tool for sketching, honoring its history while subtly subverting convention.

Often gathered together, Kingdom’s subjects appear to be performing vital tasks or observing fascinating or momentous occurrences, yet their intentions are mysterious. Her compositions combine elements of nature, geometry, and allegory. In her statement she writes, “Memories, histories, and mythologies collide amid an undercurrent of political turbulence. Entwined, these influences explore power, relationships and self-perception.”

The artist is currently working toward a solo exhibition with bG Gallery in Santa Monica in early 2023. You can find more work and follow updates on her website and Instagram.

 

“After all, it was only make believe” (2021)

“Securely Fastened” (2021)

“True Blue” (2021)

“We grow accustomed to the dark” (2021)

“As if they stood under glass” (2021)

“Exchanging Heaven for Earth” (2021)

“No Respite” (2020)

“The Orbit of Paper Moons” (2021)

 

 



Art Craft

Patchwork Coats with Frayed Fur Add Shaggy Texture to Barbara Franc's Dog Sculptures

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

Left: “Scottish Deerhound,” 66 x 80 x 20 centimeters. Right: “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters All images © Barbara Franc, shared with permission

Alongside an eccentric metallic menagerie, artist Barbara Franc stitches shaggy hounds with frayed fur and coats layered with assorted patches of prints. The fabric creatures are part of Franc’s collection of animals constructed with repurposed materials that range from buttons and vintage tapestries to windshield wipers and cutlery. To create these soft sculptures, she wraps scraps of worn trousers, curtains, and scarves around a padded, wire armature, defining a muscular hind leg with tweed or a stomach with an embroidered fairytale scene. The tattered edges mimic a tousled tail and the fringe sticking up from an ear, adding lifelike texture to the canines.

If you’re near Towersey, Oxfordshire, this August, Franc is offering a five-day workshop on crafting the textile forms at The Phoenix Studio. The West London-based artist will also have pieces this week at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead Heath and with Rockwood Group at Bucks Art Weeks slated for June. You can find more of her upcycled characters on her site and Instagram.

 

Detail of “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters

“Shaggy Dog Tale”

Detail of “Shaggy Dog Tale”

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters

 

 



Craft Illustration

Impossibly Small Houseplants and Basketry Crafted from Paper by Raya Sader Bujana

April 25, 2022

Christopher Jobson

All images © Raya Sader Bujana. Photography by Leo García Méndez, shared with permission

Barcelona-based artist Raya Sader Bujana (previously) defines her work as something between sculpture and illustration, creating impossibly tiny replicas of houseplants that rest atop a finger. From leaves to blooms and thorns to branches, even the delicate woven baskets that contain the plants are constructed from paper with the aid of tweezers and scalpels in a process more akin to surgery than origami. Her background in architecture translates to an exacting quality of “composition, use of color, texture, volume, light and sometimes subject matter,” she shares. In addition to selling original works and prints on Etsy and Society6, Bujana also has a wide range of corporate clients like Coca Cola, Swarovski, and HP. You can follow more of her process and updates to her online shops on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Spikes, Rusted Wire, and Scissors Bind Shattered Porcelain in Sculptures by Glen Taylor

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

A visual metaphor for imperfection and the possibilities of repair, the porcelain sculptures created by Ohio-based artist Glen Taylor (previously) are steeped in contrast. Soldered spikes confront the gilded, floral designs on a stack of teacups, a rusted pair of scissors binds shards of a plate, and wire restrains a concrete hand as it lurches from dinnerware. In his most recent pieces, Taylor also draws on his background in ceramics, creating the witty “Introvert Mug” with the handle strategically placed inside the vessel.

Some of the artist’s antagonistic sculptures are included in Overdose, a group exhibition at Design Museum Holon, and you can peruse an archive of his works on Instagram.

 

“Detached”

“What Heals You”

“Introvert Mug”

“The Reluctance”