the pinkyberries and company

Meet the pinkyberries, one of several delightful discoveries at Röhsska museet in Gothenburg, Sweden. A group of talented students from Högskolan för Design och Konsthantverk, are currently showing their final work at the renowned design and craft museum. I love to explore student exhibitions – the work is often fresh, unhibited, and pared down. Here are some glimpses of beautiful fiber related art from the show, which runs through September 4.

the pinkyberries by Pernilla Eskilsson

time will tell by Ellen Jacobsen Holvik

one thousand pieces by Jane Yang

unveiling the bundle

Eco printing is truly thrilling. Starting off with the hunt for the perfect plant materials. Sometimes they are found, discarded by wind storms, littering the street, sometimes they are carefully collected in my own yard, and sometimes they are trimmings generously donated by kind friends. The leaves are spread out on top of the strips of fabric, and my eager hands roll everything up as tight as possibly possible. Then an abundance of strings make sure everything is tight, secure, and ready for the pot. While the bundles are simmering a warm and wonderful aroma of heated vegetation fills the work space. It is a scent that is almost impossible to describe in words, it must be experienced. After lots of peaking, gentle poking, and patiently waiting for the brewing to finish up and the water to cool, the unveiling can begin... For me this is still true magic. I am easily amazed, even the slightest mark impresses me. And sometimes you achieve prints like the maples here that just leaves you with an open jaw and a fluttering heart. Enjoy.

special books

In the age of rampant electronic development, handmade books seem so contemplative, tactile, and necessary. I love handmade books and book artists (you know who you are; velma, lindsey, julia, and jean just to name a few). I have several lovingly created journals. They sit in a stack on my desk and I often leaf through them and touch their covers. None of them have been used by me. My scribbles and doodles doesn't seem worthy of their beauty. I am simply afraid to mess them up...

My fabric covered moleskine books were born from this fear. Somehow it seems less precious to write in a journal that can be replaced. I love making these covers, especially the eco dyed ones. Each of them becomes a small piece of art that can come along in my purse.

But now I am dreaming of making other books, more like the one we made in India's class this summer (pictured above). A book with surprises hidden among its pages; a pressed leaf, a charcoal rubbing, fabric pages, and small pockets. Maybe even a scribble or two...


My heart aches. The devastation from the earthquake in Japan is beyond comprehension. Sending thoughts of compassion and monetary aid is one way to cope. Taking a deep breath to cherish our own uneventful, safe existence is another. Sharing a glimpse of amazing Japanese art is one more way to celebrate this country of beauty and inspiration.

Japanese asa boro. Photo courtesy of  Sri Threads.

Vessel by Mihara Ken 

Kan, winter kimono by Itchiku Kubota

barbara wisnoski

white rag quilt
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

 A small single piece of fabric, slightly worn, ends up next to a similar yet different piece of fabric. Some are tarnished, some torn. All with a history to tell. By the hands of Canadian textile artist Barbara Wisnoski, they become part of a much larger picture. With frayed edges and lose threads proudly exposed, she pieces together amazing wall quilts that beckons to be examined and admired. Barbara calls her art 2.5 D textile installations, made from recycled fabric and clothing. The exposed seams, and layered patches gives the quilts a wonderful depth and weight. From afar the wall pieces have clean simple motifs like lines in a landscape, shapes of rectangles, and the contour of a roof, but when viewed up close the true magic of her composition is revealed.

2d-3d house
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

I love everything about Barbara's work, from the innovative reuse of materials, to the subtle flow of color, and the simplicity and texture of the large finished pieces. If you are interested in seeing her quilts in person, two of them are currently on display at Fiberart International 2010, at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA. The show will subsequently travel to Rochester, NY, and San Francisco, CA. Thank you Barbara for letting me share your beautiful art!

grey rain sea
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

platonic target
photo courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

photo courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.