Posted by Peg in South Carolina
A recent issue of Surface Design, a publication of the Surface Design Association, has a piece called “One Cloth, One Quilt: Whole Cloth Composition.” (Winter 2009, pp. 14ff.) Creators have been designing art quilts for awhile now. To this end many have created their own fabrics to cut up for the quilts. They dye their fabric, using various techniques. They bleach it. The paint it. They print on it. They silk screen the fabric. And there are probably endless more things they do to it. Often they have admired the fabric they created so much that they could not bear to cut it up. This had to have been one of the things that led to the concept of whole cloth quilts.
But it has moved even beyond that insofar as many of these whole cloth artists do not even quilt the fabric any more, though many do. For an excellent description of art cloth, go to the Art Cloth Network. The following sentence from their web site struck me:
Art cloth is unique because it can also be transformed - into home furnishings, and into individual special garments - without being compromised.
To this end, I have seen beautiful shawls hung on walls, displayed as art pieces. It is the memory of these pieces that has stirred me into creating this next shawl/art piece.
SHAWLS AS ART
The shawls I have seen were hung flat against the wall. But to see a strikingly different display of a gorgeous shawl, go here. None other than a Randall Darwall shawl. Actually I am not sure this is a Darwall shawl as the only indication is given in the link address. But all that really shows is that Darwall uploaded the photos of this exhibit. Well, it is gorgeous, no matter who the weaver is.
Looking at Darwall’s site, I find the following statement:
Yardage for clothing is produced on the 24” wide shawl warps.
So a 24” wide warp can produce yardage, shawls, art pieces. Also, having had the privilege of a day workshop with Darwall many years ago, I learned that he regarded his scarves as much art pieces as scarves, meant to be draped over tables and other pieces of furniture to be shown off.
Kris Abshire does both painted and otherwise decorated cloth for clothing and art pieces. But she does weaving as well. She classifies her woven rugs and throws in the decorative category. But also in the decorative category is a magnificent table runner. Go to this link, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the runner to see it in glorious full screen.
Another weaver who does woven art, frequently ikat, is Polly Barton. I found her website interesting and inspirational. Here you can get glimpses of her studio and learn about private studies you can do with her.
Today I received the Arrowmont catalog for its summer offerings. One of its weaving offerings is definitely art oriented. It is called Dimensional Weaving and is being taught by Lesli Robertson. The course is about learning how to create sculptural pieces on the loom using unusual materials and techniques. Not something I am interested in trying, but am interested in seeing.
More interesting to me is a workshop called “The Woven Image.” I almost didn’t look at the description for I thought it was probably about jacquard weaving. Not. It is about using weft brocade, supplemental warp, and pick-up double weave to create imagery on woven cloth. Now that is tempting. It does seem a lot to cover in a week’s time. It is being taught by David Brackett. He is offering this same workshop at this summer’s Surface Design Conference.
Are my art pieces going to be just that, art pieces, or are they going to be art cloth?