Sunday, February 20, 2011

James Donald, Pick One

Under the brand name of Pick One, James Donald produces very covetable hand woven scarves inspired by the Scottish landscape. He is well known for his use of complex float structures which are woven in various kinds of wool. Once washed, the floats shrink causing interesting surface undulations which spark tactile curiosity. In recent times James has started to explore flatter double and triple cloth constructions, as exemplified by the first images. His blog records his latest interests in colour and mark masking, offering a fascinating insight into what feeds into his woven cloths.

You can buy his scarves from a large number of retailers, but if you find yourself in Edinburgh, you must visit Concrete Wardrobe, the shop/gallery which he co-founded with Fiona Mackintosh, to promote and sell the work of Scottish and Scotland-trained textile makers.

Loom on a roof.....

I don't know about you..... but this was a 'wow' moment for me, when I clicked on a WeaveTech link through to this story on the Architects Newspaper blog.

This is a temporary installation on Richard Neutra’s VDL House in Silver Lake, LA, by Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja.  A functioning loom has been created using the buildings integral steel beams, upon which a woolen artwork was then woven using Mayan inspired symbols.

Full details of the project can be found on Galley 727 website, from which I quote the following text:

FORT DA // SAMPLER is a site-specific installation by Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja. The artist and his collaborators have erected a temporary, functioning textile loom transforming the roof of architect Richard Neutra’s family home. Borja’s architectural intervention encourages new readings of this place, and what he sees as the elusive nature of “magical thinking” embedded in Modernism. The project grows from the formal similarities between modern abstract geometry and Mayan patterning used to represent the cosmos.

The installation title comes from Borja’s study of Freud’s “Fort / Da” theory, which says that the symbolic allows us to manage the discrepancies between pleasure and reality. Freud developed his theory while watching a child repeatedly throw a wooden reel attached to a string over a ledge. The child would watch it disappear, retrieve it, and then throw it back again. Freud theorized that this game was how the child managed his anxiety created by the absence of his mother. Borja takes this theory further, envisioning the act of throwing the reel as a way to trace an emotional space that visually and physically connects us to a distant place.

In Chiapas, as in other areas of Mexico, young apprentices establish their identity as textile makers through the creation of several samplers that codify the entire textile language. The process of weaving and embroidering these samplers connect them to past, present, and future textile processes, creating a dialogue with the cosmic and natural world around them.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mayrose Watson


Urban Landscape - detail

Urban Landscape series

Urban Landscape detail
 I love it when I'm forwarded links to interesting work! Thank you to my good friend Clare Bastable (weave lecturer at Birmingham City Uni) for sending me a link to Mayrose Watson a 2010 graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design. She has a fabulous sensitivity to colour and is using structure in a wonderfully atypical way: these works feel really fresh. I'd be really interested to know what she's doing now...... if you're out there Mayrose get in touch!

In her own words from the Chelsea website: 'My current work is a collection of custom-made oak frames wrapped in overlapping and intersecting layers of viscose rayon yarn, chosen for its highly reflective properties.
The effect of light upon the work creates a constantly changing visual experience, encouraging viewers to look at each piece from numerous angles and distances.
The inspiration for this project derives from the observation of crossing, intersecting and layering of lines, colour and form in the urban landscape, and how their visual qualities are affected by the movement of the observer.'

Chloe McCormick

Chloe McCormick is producing the most interesting tapestry work I've seen in a long time. A recent graduate of the inspiring MA Textile Futures course at Central St Martins, her work has rightly been garnering a lot of attention across the mainstream and specialist press. Embracing rapid prototyping technology Chloe has created laser sintered nylon structures which act as warp threads into which she weaves her weft yarns. This is a link to a very informative interview explaining her background and the ideas that feed into her practice:–-warped-tapestry