fiber art

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Art Craft

Hand-Tufted Patches of Color Form Lush Fiber Portraits by Artist Simone Saunders

June 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Black Lives Matter II,” 23 x 32 inches. All images © Simone Saunders, shared with permission

Alberta-based artist Simone Saunders hand-tufts bold, colorful portraits with themes of identity and Black history woven throughout. Crafting vibrant patches of fibers that form eyes, lips, and garments, Saunders casts her earnest subjects against austere backgrounds, which sometimes are marked with “Black Lives Matter.”

The textured artworks serve as a site for conversation, prompting questions about race relations and societal injustices. “Textiles engage upon a search for belonging: studying the Black female body, personal identities, and a connection to Black history,” the artist tells Colossal. “I create colorful portraits of Black people who are leaders within their respective disciplines: the arts, music, sports, advocacy. It’s important to carry forward their message and have their legacy move through different channels, like my textiles.”

To keep up with Saunders’s socially engaged projects, follow her on Instagram, and several of the artworks shown here are available for purchase on her site. (via Design Milk)

 

“G a i a,” 23 x 33 inches

“Little One”

“Justice for Ahmaud” (2020), 23 x 31 inches

“It Matters” (2020)

“It Matters” (2020)

 

 



Art Craft

Concentric Circles of Tufted Wool and Natural Fibers Shape Giant Wall Hangings by Artist Tammy Kanat

March 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Pines” (2019), wool, linen, silk, fibers, copper frame, 150 x 218 centimeters. All images © Tammy Kanat

Beginning with asymmetrical ovals and amorphous shapes, Australian textile artist Tammy Kanat (previously) loops, twists, and weaves her sizable wall hangings. Using a steel frame, Kanat hangs up the copper forms that provide the structure for her abstract tapestries. She then combines natural materials like wool, linen, and silk to create small tufts and organic rows of varying hues that add a range of densities and textures to each piece.

Kanat tells Colossal that in recent years, she’s begun to identify a greater symbiosis between her fibrous works. “My process has become more intricate with a connected sense of freedom and experimentation. I am working with 3D shapes and continually pushing the boundaries of colours, textures and the unexpected,” she says.

The artist often shares production videos on Instagram for those who want a deeper look into her creative process. Kanat also is featured in Woven Together: Weavers & Their Stories, a new release from Gingko Press.

“Web” (2019), wool, silk, and copper, 150 x 120 centimeters

“Pines” (2019), wool, linen, silk, fibers, copper frame, 150 x 218 centimeters

“Rainbow Peak” (2020), tapestry wool and copper frame, 2.3 meters diameter

“Nurture” (2019), wool, silk, metal, copper, 130 x 128 centimeters

 

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Art Craft

Extravagant Masks by threadstories Offer Cultural Commentary on Selfhood and Social Media

March 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © threadstories, shared with permission

Covered in full-face masks of fringe and knotted details, threadstories (previously) explores the tension between contemporary portrayals of public and private life. The Irish artist poses in front of gray backdrops for her self-portraits that obscure her face and only sometimes reveal a set of eyes or a mouth through the crocheted exterior.

threadstories tells Colossal that the process for creating each piece is similar. She begins by crocheting the balaclava—sometimes adding space for further detail like pointed ears or a hand-drawn face—before crafting various tufts and dense patches. “The yarns I use when tufting will create an endless array of outcomes from the same technique,” she writes. “The choice of yarn can mean the difference between a mask with a lot of movement or a mask with a strong form that can be brushed and manipulated to hold numerous forms.”

Once she’s photographed the finished project, threadstories deconstructs the pieces to transform them into a new extravagant work. “Generally speaking, I am working intuitively, no design or drawings in advance. I am thinking with my hands,” she says. “For me, it is the photograph or mask on film that is the artwork, not the physical mask. I don’t create pieces like a designer might. The masks are always in a state of flux.”

Each fiber-based creations serves as a visual representation of how people obscure their lives, both intentionally and not, for public consumption. “The masks are sometimes monstrous, other times farcical façades that poke at the performative nature social media cultivates and celebrates,” she writes. Each caption helps build a narrative.

threadstories is questioning how the erosion of personal privacy in the digital age shapes how we view and portray ourselves online. The masks deny the viewer the full story of who the sitter is, echoing the curated or false personas we view online daily. My masks are photographed against a sanitised white square. I know there is often chaos, mess and noise just beyond the margins of that photograph, but the messiness of life doesn’t make the edit for social media.

Find more of the artist’s work that intersects art and cultural commentary on Instagram.

 

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Craft

Nostalgic Embroideries Recount Memories Found in Home Movies by Cécile Davidovici

February 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Cécile Davidovici

Memories often are described colloquially as being woven into our brains, threaded through our minds in ways that affect our every day. For Cécile Davidovici, though, memories and lengthy stitches hold a different relationship, and weaving her thread paintings is a process of remembering rather than the state of the memory itself. The Paris-based artist sources the content of her series <<1988 from home videos taken by her parents throughout her upbringing. “When my mother died, I started watching VHS tapes from my childhood,” she tells 60 Second Docs about her current projects. “I use primarily cotton and linen. I find it evokes the same warmth I feel when I think of my childhood.”

Despite having a background film, Davidovici said in a statement that she was drawn to textile arts after her mother’s death because it was tangible and allowed her to “anchor herself in the moment.” Although her preferred medium has changed, the artist said “the stories of innocence and illusions remained, now tinted with irrepressible nostalgia, and with a desire to capture memories and to immortalize past moments.” Some of Davidovici’s dense embroideries, which can take as many as five weeks to complete, are available in her shop. Find more of her reflective work on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Craft

Moss, Coral, and Lichen Inspired Embroidery Hoops Stitched by Hannah Kwasnycia

February 20, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Hannah Kwasnycia, shared with permission

Canadian artist Hannah Kwasnycia stitches embroidery hoops inspired by moss, lichen, coral, mold, and bacteria cultures. Colorful strands are layered to form three-dimensional representations of living organisms. Kwasnycia freehands the abstract compositions, which means that no two hoops are ever the same.

Variation in stitching patterns, as well as occasional beading and sequins, give the embroidery texture and depth. Shapes are defined by changes in hue, but the limited color palettes bring each design together as one natural colony. Kwasnycia sells the unique hoops via her MildMoss Etsy shop and also accepts commissions via her Instagram page. Head over there to watch in-progress videos and to see more of luscious moss and vibrant coral come to life. (via MyModernMet)

 

 



Animation Craft

Six-Year-Old Tulip Navigates a Wooly Garden in a New Animation by Andrea Love

February 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Andrea Love (previously) is back with a new heart-felt animation detailing the journey of a six-year-old girl named Tulip. An adaptation of Hans Christen Anderson’s Thumbelina, the 8-minute short film will chronicle Tulip’s adventures navigating a dense garden after being born from a flower. “We wanted to create a contemporary adaptation of Thumbelina that allows Tulip to be a child, free from a love-story ending and able to find home in more places than one, while maintaining the original story’s themes of risk, adventure and magic,” a statement about the project says.

The Washington-based artist is collaborating with illustrator Phoebe Wahl, and the pair are raising money for the project on Kickstarter. They released two snippets from the longer piece that show a bullfrog hopping onto a lily pad sending ripples through the wooly water and another following pink-cheeked Tulip as she moves aside vines and brush. To find out what happens on Tulip’s journey and to get a peek at the creatures she meets along the way, head to Love’s Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft Science

Anatomical Forms Emerge From Zippers, Quilted Fabric, and Felt by Élodie Antoine

February 14, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

“Zip thorax” (2014), zippers. All images © Élodie Antoine, shared with permission 

Belgian artist Élodie Antoine understands the behavior of fibers, controlling them in ways to produce textile designs that are organic, fungal, and oftentimes anatomical in nature. Her anatomies emerge from taut lycra, dense felt structures, and an impressive number of zippers. The pieces are as much a reflection of the numerous tissue types in the human body as the textiles themselves. 

Antoine shares with Colossal her view on the connection between textiles and anatomy. “Textile is a soft material, very sensual and transformable. Felt especially is very interesting for making sculptures because it allows to make forms without sewing, without suture, like the organs of the human body,” she writes.

From a young age, Antoine remembers a fondness for textiles, saying, “using it was obvious for me as both my parents were very interested in knitting and sewing—it was all around me.” She familiarized herself with classic sewing techniques, mastering them to create contemporary forms that transcend technique and fiber. Particularly interesting are her felt sculptures that take on the form of teeth, lower limbs, bones, and other peculiar organic forms. Antoine uses a kitchen knife to slice through the unassuming masses to reveal vibrant anatomical-like cross-sections.

She currently teaches textile design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels (ARBA-ESA) and is represented by Aeroplastics Gallery. Keep an eye on Antoine’s latest textile endeavors, including watching her cut through her felt sculptures, on Instagram.

Left: “Sliced blue felt” (2013), © Galerie Aeroplastics

“Quilted brain” (2014), lycra and padding, 33 x 25 centimeters

“Quilted heart” (2016), red lycra, padding