From a single dandelion or bindweed, Suzie Grieve weaves minuscule baskets, pouches, and other wearables that are smaller than the tip of her finger. The braided vessels are the result of a lengthy, holistic process that extends from foraging the wild fibers to twisting the processed cords into durable little containers. Whether striped, checkered, or coiled in rows, each basket is a testament to Grieve’s patience and ability to adapt a traditional craft into an unusually tiny form.
Attuned to the natural rhythms of the region, Grieve harvests materials from the woodlands and fields near her home in the Lake District, U.K., with a focus on the weeds and invasive species that are often regarded as nuisances. “One of the things I enjoy most about working with wild foraged materials is the awareness it gives you of the seasons and cycles of the plants and the land,” she says. “In spring, I gather willow bark and dandelions, in summer nettles and brambles. Autumn is a mad rush of harvesting long leafy things, and in the winter, I spend what little sunlight there is foraging vines such as honeysuckle and ivy.”
The plants undergo a painstaking process that involves splitting the stalk, peeling out the soft and spongy pith, drying the remaining fibers, and later rehydrating the strands, a method Grieve developed while working in central France where she was tasked with lining vegetable garden with hazel. “I felt an immediate connection to the craft, the simple meditative rhythm of the weaving, the beautiful tactile way in which it allows you to connect with the land, and the feeling of self-reliance,” she says. Today, her focus is on the most abundant and hearty species, which she twists into long cords to create wide, sloping bowls, handled baskets, or pouches just big enough to fit a pebble.
In addition to creating more goods to sell in her shop, Grieve is currently working on a book detailing her techniques. She also has an extensive archive of tutorials for processing the natural fibers on her site and Instagram, where you can see more of the miniatures, too. (via Lustik)
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Preserved Grasses and Twigs Radiate Outward in Delicately Embroidered Sculptures by Artist Kazuhito Takadoi
Artist Kazuhito Takadoi (previously) tames the unruly grasses, leaves, and twigs grown in his garden by weaving the individual strands into exquisite radial sculptures. Stitched into paper or bound to wooden discs made of cedar of Lebanon, oak, elm, or walnut, the abstract forms hover between two and three dimensions and utilize traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques to secure the threads. Each artwork, whether an intricately overlapping mass or pair of circular sculptures, is an act of preservation and a study of inevitable transformation: although the materials won’t decompose entirely, subtle shifts in color and texture occur as they age. “As the light changes or the point of view is moved, so the shadows will create a new perspective,” the artist says.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, Takadoi is currently based in the U.K. His meticulously woven works will be on view from June 22 to 29 at Artefact in Chelsea Harbor, and you can find a larger collection of his pieces on Artsy and jaggedart.
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Scent, memory, and emotion are inextricably bound together in the human brain, making it possible that a single sniff evokes feelings of delight, comfort, and calm associated with an experience. Pallavi Padukone uses this inherent connection in Reminiscent, a series of 11 fiber-based works infused with naturally derived fragrances, all of which the textile artist and designer equates with her hometown of Bangalore, India.
Part aromatherapy and part nostalgic stimulus, the fiber pieces hang from the ceiling as delicate, sheer curtains that are accessible from all sides. Padukone weaves and embroiders using thread that’s covered in a wax-and-resin substance she developed through trial-and-error. “The testing phase for the coated yarn involved sampling weave structures and embroidery techniques that were best suited for the yarn. I kept a record of swatches as a test of their durability and how long the scent and color last when exposed to heat and light,” she says.
Infused with clove, vetiver, jasmine, citronella, sandalwood, or rose, the cotton yarns also are hand-dyed naturally, pulling out the golden color of turmeric and rusty tones from cutch and beets to pair with a corresponding aroma. “It’s ironic that I happened to choose scent during a time when wearing masks is the new normal,” Padukone tells Colossal. “While the beauty of olfactory art is that it has to be experienced in person, I use textiles, patterning, and color as a way to visually represent my depiction of the fragrance’s personality.” A yellow and green patchwork, for example, emits the grassy, lemon-like aroma of citronella, while sweet, musky sandalwood is paired with thick, abstract coils of yarn on sepia-toned silk.
Although the scents are embedded in many of the works, tiny accessible pockets cover the undyed organza in “Jasmine II,” ensuring Padukone can replace the flower buds. She’s currently exploring other methods that allow replenishment considering most fragrances last between one and three months. The transience of sent, though, is part of its appeal. She explains:
I find beauty in impermanence and how each textile’s color, structure, fragrance changes over time. In this collection, I have incorporated handspun recycled sari silk and cotton for my weaves and embroider on organza silk. I am drawn to the sheerness of the fabric, the way it interacts with light to visually evoke the ephemeral experience of fragrance.
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An understated bamboo canopy situated among the verdant landscape of the Karst Mountains in Yangshuo, China, offers respite from the sun and frequent rainfall that blankets the area. Designed by Lllab. Architects for the outdoor theatrical performance of Impression Sanjie Liu, the curved structure merges seamlessly with the surrounding environment. Bamboo trees line the pathway the canopy occupies as it stretches across 140 meters.
Smaller lanterns are positioned at the entrance to the venue before the larger structure guides visitors to the main performance stage, which sits at the bank of the Li River. The canopy is hand-woven by local craftspeople, who utilize a specific technique that allows the suble form to be made entirely of the organic material without the use of glue or nails. Inside the permeable walls are load-bearing posts.
In a statement about the surging form, Lllab. notes that the architecture mimics the performers’ movements:
The hand weaving, bamboo playing off the tension of one another. The topography of the canopy ceiling dancing between columns of bamboo as if unsupported. Even the way guests are intended to move from lantern to lantern, in a narrative of interaction. Together these subtle hints encourage a particular frame of mind, readying the guest for the main feature.
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Along with a comb and shuttle, textile artists crafting “tsumekaki hon tsuzure ori,” the intricate and durable brocades that are part of Japanese traditions, employ the jagged tips of their fingernails. Common in the Shiga prefecture, the ancient technique utilizes the weaver’s grooved nails to guide the threads down the loom, ensuring they’re placed tightly together. The “tsuzure ori,” or tapestry weave, has roots in the Muromachi period (1336 to 1573), while this specific method has been in Japan for at least 1,000 years, according to Kiyohara Seiji, a representative of Kiyohara Textile Co., Ltd.
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A new, woven structure in the Jardins de l’Europe in Annecy, France, offers respite from direct sunlight without completely blocking out the light source. “The Wicker Pavilion” is comprised of pine planks that are formed into a shell, which is covered with 262 wicker baskets that are hand-woven by Latvian craftsmen. When the sun hits the structure, it casts intricate triangular patterns on the grass inside and nearby, allowing it to merge with the rest of the garden rather than blanket it in a shadow. As the pavilion ages, the natural materials will darken and further blend with the surrounding environment.
Designed by Didzis Jaunzems Architecture, the project is part of this year’s Annecy Passages festival. Check out this video that dives into how the structure was made, and follow the Latvian firm’s projects on Twitter. (via ArchDaily)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.