textiles

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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

Brightly Colored Rope Masks Born from Happy Accidents by Bertjan Pot

February 9, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Bertjan Pot

During a material experiment, Dutch designer Bertjan Pot, along with his fellow designer Vladi Rapaport, discovered a technique for stitching together lengths of brightly colored rope to create interesting face masks. Though reminiscent of tribal masks and seemingly full of meaning and individual narratives, Pot says that the faces came from a less-than-successful attempt at making rugs.

When trying to turn the rope into rugs, Pot found that the material would not stay flat. His assistant noticed the curvy samples and suggested that they be used to make faces instead. “In the end it turned out to be the most powerful application for the material,” he told Azure Magazine. The combination of colors and shapes give each mask a unique personality. Stitched elements resembling facial features cause the viewer to ascribe emotions to the characters, even if that was not the designer’s intention. As of the Azure interview in 2018, Pot had created around 250 masks, many of which have been shown along with the designer’s other work in exhibitions around the world.

To see more of the vibrant and expressive face masks, follow the designer on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Squishy Flesh Suits Quilted by Textile Artist Daisy Collingridge

January 18, 2020

Andrew LaSane

“Clive a portrait” (2019). All images © Daisy Collingridge, used with permission

London-based artist Daisy Collingridge layers amorphous blobs of fabric and textiles to form wearable pastel-colored body suits. With names like Burt, Clive, and Lippy, each member of Collingridge’s family has a personality that matches his/her form. Inspired by human anatomy and infused with elements of fantasy and impulse, the artist says that the costumes are an exercise in “pushing quilting to the absolute extreme.”

Each new character begins with the construction of the head. Hand-dyed jersey and other fabric patterns are filled with plastic pellets (beans) and sewn together to form blobs in various shapes and sizes. After the underlying body structure has been formed, Collingridge begins the process of hand-stitching the blobs to the wadding. She tells Colossal that she has never clocked the process but would estimate that it takes around two months on average. The “Dave” suit is named for and modeled by her father who requested it. The others are named “like children,” and are worn and photographed by the artist herself using a remote.

Progress shot

After graduating with a degree in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, Collingridge created her first costume in 2016 for the New Zealand-based design competition, World of Wearable Art. “The squishy idea definitely came from my graduate collection, which was all free machine quilted, but all done with really fat wadding,” she told Dazed Digital. “It wasn’t really your traditional patchwork quilt.”

Some have read Collingridge’s costumes as a commentary on body image and body ideals. “It’s really fascinating because as much as I can tell people what they mean or why I make these costumes, everyone comes at it with such a different view,” she told Dazed. “They are reflective of the human form with elements of fantasy. They neither promote or demote one body type. The idea there is an ‘ideal body’ is ridiculous. We are all so different, my work is more about the ‘ideal’ way to inhabit a body. To be joyous. They bring me joy to create and I hope that is reflected.”

Collingridge tells Colossal that her “Clive” costume is currently on tour as a part of 62 Group’s Ctrl/Shift exhibition, while the rest are at her human family’s home. “My dad unpacked Dave, who has been sitting in the living room over the festive period. He was even treated some Christmas lights.” To see the artist create and model the squishy bodies, follow her on Instagram.

“Burt lunge” (2018)

“Clive Feels Like” (2018)

“Crouching Tiger Hidden Hillary” (2019)

“Dave a portrait” (2019)

“Dave on his bed” (2019)

Progress shot

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Tapestries of Silk, Wool, and Cotton Hand Woven by Judit Just

December 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © Judit Just

Spanish artist Judit Just of jujujust (previously) crafts vibrant wall tapestries in improvised compositions using traditional and updated weaving techniques. Satin ribbons, viscose fringe tassels, silk threads, cord, and soft wool form unique color, texture, and shape combinations. While each piece is modeled after an original stored in the artist’s studio, the handmade nature of the process ensures that no two tapestries are the same.

These vertical works are hung from wooden dowels that are hand-painted to complement the neon colored textiles. Sizes vary, with some pieces measuring 25 x 25 inches and others stretching more than 3 feet. To witness Just’s weaving and cutting processes, follow her on Instagram. You can also add one of the wall tapestries to your personal collection by placing an order via the artist’s Etsy shop.

 

 

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