Craft

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Art Craft

Skeletal Lace Patterns Define the Copper Wire Vessels of Artist Suzanne Shafer-Wilson

April 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Suzanne Shafer-Wilson, shared with permission

At once malleable in material and secure in shape, the vessels that comprise Suzanne Shafer-Wilson’s body of work are intricate studies of texture, pattern, and space. The Illinois-based artist loops and twists lengths of wire into intricate baskets that range in size from 20 inches tall to the width of a fingertip. Using a technique similar to the one employed by sculptor Ruth Asawa to create her rounded, metallic forms, Shafer-Wilson works with an Italian needle lace method designed for fibers like wool and silk. She intertwines brass, copper, or sterling silver in place of textiles and fashions porous vessels with wide, gaping bodies and elaborately constructed outer walls.

If you’re in Chicago, you can see some of Shafer-Wilson’s sculptures at Vale Craft Gallery. Otherwise, head to her site to explore an archive of her works.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Classic Cartoons Suspend Tense Moments of Sabotage in Embroidery

April 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Performance Anxiety.” All images © Peter Frederiksen, shared with permission

From Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse to The Simpsons, cartoons have a long history of imagining the most ridiculous, chaotic moments possible and dramatizing them into absurdity. The animated characters and their hijinks are rooted in humor, and yet, as artist Peter Frederiksen recognizes, they also have a more sinister side. “Violence is a shorthand for conflict, confrontation, fears,” he tells Colossal, noting that many iconic cartoons were created post-war or have been produced during times when “violence was in the ether… I don’t put guns in embroideries because I like guns. I put guns in embroideries because they’re an escalation. They’re overcompensation. They’re anxiety and fear.”

Frederiksen has spent the last few years zeroing in on the antagonism in these classic scenes and preserving their short-lived nature in dense embroideries. He renders knives piercing a closed door, tied bedsheets pulled taught as they drop out of a window, and hands twisting into knots while attempting to play the piano. Tightly stitched onto a canvas with a machine, the works are true to their original source in color and style, although Frederiksen precisely crops each scenario from its surroundings.

Decontextualized and infused with action, the nostalgic works are simultaneously familiar in their imagery while unrecognizable in the scope of a larger narrative. “They tell a story in as ominous a way as I’m aiming for, maintaining the sort of tension I’m building with a scene,” he says. “I also enjoy thinking about rendering these tight little scenes as a mirror to what I’m physically doing, using my hands in small little ways to make something happen.”

The Chicago-based artist has a number of shows scheduled for this year, including at Postmasters Roma in May and a solo exhibition at New York’s Massey Klein in September. Until then, follow his work on Instagram. (via The Guardian)

 

“Set Up For Failure”

“Won’t Hold Forever”

“You Don’t Need a Reason”

“Some Time Outside”

“The Trap Has Been Set”

“What Have I Done?”

“It’s Exactly As Bad As You Think”

“All My Suspicions Confirmed”

 

 



Craft

Minimal Faces Emerge From Sandra Apperloo's Lanky Patterned Bud Vases

April 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sandra Apperloo, shared with permission

Nestled within polka-dotted expanses, stripes, and leafy motifs are Sandra Apperloo’s miniature faces. The quirky characters with pointed noses, freckles, and tiny, black eyes are part of the Utrecht-based ceramicist’s line of Weirdo Bud Vases, which are just wide enough to hold a stem or two within their tall, slim bodies. To create each piece, Apperloo (previously) hand-builds the rounded vessel, slip-casts facial features and arm-like handles, and finally, paints strands of hair and colorful patterns. The playful ceramics tend to sell out quickly, so you’ll want to keep an eye on her Instagram for announcements about shop updates. The next release is slated for April 10.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Rainbow Tapestries by Judit Just Layer Cut and Woven Yarns into Textured Patches

March 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Judit Just, shared with permission

Asheville-based artist Judit Just of jujujust (previously) transforms twisted ropes, skeins of cotton, and plush, carpet-like tufts into roving, abstract tapestries. Suspended from skinny wooden dowels painted to match their hanging counterparts, the sculptural textiles tend to swell in amorphous patches and curved lines before falling into thick patches of fringe. Just’s color palettes parallel the contrast in textures, with soft, pastel tones alongside bright, neon-like hues.

The artist is currently working on a large-scale tapestry for Culture Object, which opens on May 10 at Culture Object, and plans to release new pieces in her shop this Friday. See more of her process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Sinuous Tentacles and Intricate Spider Legs Sprout from Glass Symphony's Miniature Creatures

March 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Glass Symphony, shared with permission

Kyiv-based artist Nikita Drachuk (previously) is behind a delicate menagerie of translucent octopuses, striped spiders, and mottled slugs exquisitely crafted in glass. Elaborately shaped with curling tentacles and segmented legs, the miniature creatures are the product of lampworking, which involves melting the colorful material with a lamp or torch. Drachuk works under the moniker Glass Symphony and has hundreds of pieces available on Etsy.

 

 

 



Craft

Vibrant Paper Strips Swirl into Energetic Circles of Scales and Feathers by Lisa Lloyd

March 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Abel.” All images © Lisa Lloyd, shared with permission

Streaming from a beak or bodily mass, the thin paper strips that compose a new series of sculptures by Lisa Lloyd (previously) are infused with movement. The U.K.-based artist shapes the individual pieces into wide curves, mixing a variety of materials and hues from flat graphic colors to shimmering metallic. Abstract and energetic, the resulting sculptures contain a chaotic blend of emotion within circles of feathers and protective scales.

Lloyd shares that the pieces respond to personal and political strife, which manifests in the lively nature of each creature. She explains about the antagonistic avians in “Ritual”:

When I looked at birds being aggressive with each other, I noticed that a lot of the pictures I was looking at were actually of birds mating, or fighting for territory to mate. I was fascinated by how similar they are in nature. Aggression and fighting, passion and pain. I think our mating rituals are not that different.

Prints of Lloyd’s creations are available in her shop, and she documents much of her process on Instagram.

 

“Ritual”

“Heron”

“Ukraine”

“Pangolin”

Detail of “Pangolin”

 

 

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