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Craft Design

Embroider Away Your Worries with Pela's DIY Stitch Case

December 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images via Pela

Gripping your phone in anxiety for hours on end? Why not embellish it with your own artwork to ease your dread? That’s the idea behind Pela’s new Stitch Case, which features a rectangular grid for embroidering a mystical landscape, minimal scene, or other quirky renderings. Made of flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer, the black cases are 100% compostable and are only available for older iPhone models. Pick one up from Pela’s site and start stitching.

 

 

 



Art

Arresting Sculptural Reliefs by Artist Anne Samat Layer Everyday Objects with Meticulously Woven Threads

November 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 131.5 x 141.75 x 11.75 inches. Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: “We Do Not Dream Alone” at Asia Society Museum, New York. Photograph by Bruce M. White. All images courtesy of Asia Society, shared with permission

In her fiber-based reliefs, Malaysian artist Anne Samat disrupts classic woven patterns with unusual objects: toy soldiers, rakes, and plastic swords are intertwined in the multi-color threads that fan outward and billow down onto the floor. Comprised of a trio of wall hangings and a free-standing sculpture, “Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” meticulously juxtaposes beadwork and traditional South Asian weaving techniques with common items, a project that questions the boundaries of craft and art.

Each section is incredibly complex and infused with references to Samat’s family, identity, and experiences with loss. The largest work, for example, features five sections, with the innermost piece paying homage to her late brother who recently died after a long illness. Flanking the central portion are two stately pillars with pink and blue details that represent her mother and father. The outermost layers that sprawl from floor to ceiling evoke the artist herself and her sister, who are the only two living members of her family. Even the title is derived from advice Samat received from her father before he died.

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” is on view through February 7, 2021, as part of the Asia Society Triennial.

 

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 98 x 48 x 7 inches

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 131.5 x 141.75 x 11.75 inches.

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 98 x 48 x 7 inches

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 98 x 48 x 7 inches (left) and 131.5 x 141.75 x 11.75 inches (center)

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 131.5 x 141.75 x 11.75 inches

“Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly” (2020), rattan sticks, yarn, rakes, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads, metal and plastic ornaments, 131.5 x 141.75 x 11.75 inches (center) and 105 x 48 x 7 inches (right)

 

 



Design Photography

Ethereal Photographs Capture Mono Giraud's Sculptural Garments Formed with Organic Materials

October 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mono Giraud, shared with permission

Through dreamy photographs, multi-disciplinary artist Mono Giraud accentuates the feathered fronds of wheat stalks and paper’s smooth curves. Based in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Giraud consistently strives for simplicity and a focus on humble items in her practice that spans design, photography, and fine art. “I’m interested in the conjunction of energy between objects and people, like in a dance,” she shares with Colossal.

Evoking sprawling sculptures, Giraud’s garments are often neutral-toned to maintain the integrity of the original material. Dresses flow down into pools of fabric that then form wrinkly backdrops, spools of twine are arranged to mimic a sash and headdress, and a woven basket pocked with straw perches on a subject’s head.

Giraud manages an atelier and shop in the Argentinian capital, where she sells many of the goods used in her photographs. Despite working across mediums, she describes her practice as cohesive and as a search “to express my personal views and emotions of the soul.” The artist expands on the idea:

My work is about living the process. And this process has to be healthy, the energy is renewed instead of running out… and simplicity must be felt in each step. I go across the process to finally get to discovery. The travel is about feeling, touching, smelling, breathing, and crossing boundaries. I focus on the journey more than to reach a goal or arrive (at) a destination.

Explore more of the elegant objects and garments highlighted in Giraud’s photography on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Swaths of Colorful Fringe Disguise Animalistic Sculptures by Artist Troy Emery

July 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“small sweet pink lump” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 40 x 44 x 39 centimeters. All images © Troy Emery, shared with permission

Many pet owners are quick to name their dog or cat’s breed, but those bringing home one of Troy Emery’s colorful sculptures might need to figure out what species they’ve adopted first. The Melbourne-based artist creates amorphous artworks that resemble a range of four-legged friends, although their figures are enveloped with swaths of long, flowing fringe rather than distinct characteristics.

In a note to Colossal, Emery shares that his tassel-covered sculptures consider how both fine arts and craft are portrayed broadly, in addition to the unique position non-human creatures hold as “tokens of ecological ruination… Along with the theme of animals within decorative arts, my practice plays with both scientific and cultural categorization of the ‘natural’ world, creating ‘fake taxidermy’ that falls between reality and fantasy as exotic hybrid creatures,” he says.

Emery’s indeterminate sculptures are currently on view through an online exhibition with Martin Browne Contemporary, and more of his textile-based projects can be found on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

“Bird Catcher” (2017), rayon fringing, polyurethane, glue, and pins

“ingot eater” (2019), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 78 x 98 x 54 centimeters

“pink peony” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 39 x 68 x 22 centimeters

“shadow” (2019), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 51 x 50 x 45 centimeters

“savage” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, wire, fiberglass, pins, and adhesive, 32 x 90 x 40 centimeters

 

 



Art

Targets Mask Women and Girls in Powerful Thread Portraits by Artist Nneka Jones

June 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Shooting Range Target” (2019), hand-embroidery on canvas, 8 x 10 inches. All images © Nneka Jones, shared with permission

A recent University of Tampa graduate, activist artist Nneka Jones masterfully blends embroidery thread to stitch stunning portraits of young girls, women, and the occasional celebrity. Sometimes donning a fringed shirt that cascades from the canvas, the subjects wear somber faces and stare forward through the gaps of a bullseye or scope, symbols that serve a larger purpose.

By obscuring and literally marking the faces with targets, the Trinidadian artist focuses on “the social and political issues affecting Caribbean society.” Jones visualizes the ways young girls of color, in particular, frequently experience the destructive effects of human trafficking and sexual abuse. “Through each series and their captivating imagery and symbolism, I hope that this is a call to action for everyone to become aware of sex trafficking and stand up against it,” she writes. “I believe that contemporary artists, particularly those that consider themselves ‘activist artists,’ are important today for starting a conversation without using any words.”

Jones shares much of her activism-inspired work on Instagram and has prints available in her shop. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

“Colorblind Target” (2019), hand-embroidery on canvas, 8 x 10 inches

“Biggie Embroidered” (2019), hand-embroidery on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

“Dartboard Target” (2019), hand-embroidery on canvas, 8 x 10 inches

“Colorblind Target” (2019), hand-embroidery on canvas, 8 x 10 inches

 

 

 



Craft

Magical Butterflies and Insects Stitched in Dense Thread Paintings by Emillie Ferris

March 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Emillie Ferris, shared with permission

Since she first began embroidering in 2013, Emillie Ferris (previously) has stitched a few rows nearly every day. The United Kingdom-based artist creates dense thread paintings of butterflies, bees, and other creatures surrounded by vibrant, scattered florals. Her lengthy stitches form precisely colored patterns and rows, offering a distinct texture to each wing and antennae.

Ferris tells Colossal that much of her work is based on vintage entomology illustrations, which she reviews multiple times before beginning one of her realistic projects that are “inspired by nature, with a tiny sense of magic.”

I love to try and emulate a sense of romanticism in my embroideries. I like to study numerous references of the object I want to embroider. For example, I must have saved hundreds of reference photos and watched many videos of the blue morpho butterfly, before digitally painting the butterfly in photoshop, then transferring the pattern to fabric and bringing the butterfly to life with so many shades of blue thread. I couldn’t count them.

A few years ago, the artist also designed digital thread-painting tutorials that are available on Etsy. You can find more of her enchantingly stitched projects on Instagram.