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52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 21

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Triangle Quilts

Storied Histories I want to show you this lovely vintage quilt before I carefully take it apart and transform it into a book.  It is made from scraps of 70s dresses and women's house coats, using mainly polyester materials of the time.  There are a few pieces of handwoven antique silks from Korea and linen from Europe.

Aesthetics and Technology

Last week I was invited to the  Scratch Conference at MIT Media Lab to talk about my experience as an artist-in-residence at Eleanor Roosevelt High school in New York City.
The MIT Media Lab has a long tradition of connecting the latest technological advances to wider audiences.  Among many other things, the researchers there are developing tools that allow teaching to code in a variety of settings; for example, in an art classroom. 

One of the examples of such important tools is TurtleStitch.  Due to its unique combination of coding and textile crafts, TurtleStitch allows educators to bridge the logical and haptic. 
It allows students to design and code their own patterns and then stitch them using a sewing machine. The experience during my residency showed that, in order to truly engage the artistically inclined students and to create compelling final products, the process needs to combine both the principles of programming and the principles of art design.


I also presented two of …

Lace, Tulle, Silk

Beloved Nothing says "beloved" better than a wedding dress.  Even in a thrift store, when I approach a rack of white gowns, and start looking through the bridal dresses, everyone says, "Oh, you're getting married." It is not a question, but more of a statement.  "Congratulations," quickly follows before I have time to say, "I'm not . . ."
Nothing says, "You are important" more than a wedding dress.  Worn on one of the happiest days of a woman's life, it is the most expensive dress most women will ever buy.   When I began this project of transforming wedding gowns into artist's books, I never thought about the impact this project would have on my personal life.  How symbolic lace, tulle, silk and white are.


How much cultural, historical, and economical information these dresses contain.  How much emotional and psychological power they hold.

Today, when I put two of the wedding dresses in my backyard to photograph, I w…

Transformation

When I enter my studio, I usually listen to music and warm-up with sewing exercises.

These sewing warm-ups are inspired by my dreams or poems I am struggling with for the series.

With this series of transforming wedding dresses into books, I am exploring the idea of love, romance, and passion.  During my warm-ups, I use vibrant colors and extreme manipulations.  For the actual series, I have limited my palette to three colors: white, black, and red.

24 Dollar Wedding Dress

Part I: From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase The wedding dress is considered the most important dress in a woman's life.  Steeped in tradition, religion and history, its delicate white lace and silk symbolize a woman's rite of passage.


This dress is about love, finding your perfect soul mate, and living happily ever after.  Many women spend thousands of dollars for their wedding dress, and if it is custom made, the price can reach hundreds of thousands.

The fabric, construction, design, and style can tell you so much about the culture, social class, and historic context of the time.

For years, I've wanted to create books using worn wedding gowns.  However, it was impossible to find a bride willing to sell, much less give me, her beloved wedding gown when I told her my plan.  One of my friends even told me, "I'd rather it rot in my cedar chest."


So imagine my delight when I found a batch of used wedding gowns at a thrift store this past winter.  This …

Anselm Kiefer, Rockefeller Center, NYC

Anselm Kiefer ROCKS! Last week I visited Anselm Kiefer's public art exhibit, Uraeus, at Rockefeller Center.   Awesome!  Brilliant!  A wonderful symbolism of the BOOK: elevated to the point of being exalted, with powerful wings (to fly and spread its words, knowledge, history, secrets . . .) Yet fragile and perilous. On view until July 22, 2018.

Color Coded

Hey all,

This is Jennifer Lin from TurtleStitch! Check out my new blog post about what I learned about color and code from Suzanne:  steamct.blogspot.com

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Suzanne Coley.  She talked to me about how she loves TurtleStitch because of the ability to physically hold onto the coded artwork and how coding is a form of art. She taught me color theory and how the color thread and fabric we choose can have an effect on how the viewer sees the embroidery design.

This is what I embroidered yesterday!  I love the colors of the fabric, which help bring out the design of the code:
the blue on the fabric corresponds with the blue of the threadthe size of the red paint on the fabric is similar to the yellow thread in the center of the code this makes the design pop and is more appealing to the eye

Thanks Suzanne!