Friday, June 30, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 24

Research at The Textile Museum, DC

One aspect of creating original textile art is leaving the studio and visiting libraries and museums.  The Textile Museum in Washington, DC is wonderful.
Their library is considered one of the most important resources for the study of textiles in North America.  They have thousands of out of print and hard-to-find books on textiles from every continent.
Researching antique textile techniques, especially embroidery methods from around the world, has given me a broader perspective of the historical and social components of textile art:
How do we define textile art?   How do we categorize it?  How do we create it?  How do we combine various techniques?  Do these definitions and categories need to be updated and revised?
There were so many wonderful antique textile books.  However, I really appreciated this one because it was

 "Dedicated to Her Majesty the Queen of Spain."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 23

Another week, another book, another meeting.  Here's a sneak peek:

The best part of the week was leaving the studio and going to the National Museum of African Art.  Right next to the museum is the majestic Castle.  Completed in 1855, this national historic landmark (since 1965) was designed by James Renwick, Jr., who also designed St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
Today I discussed some of the design choices with the African art history scholars.  Question: Did I create sketches before sewing?  My answer: In the beginning, but not now.  I have a better understanding of the textiles, their strengths and limitations.
Today's research consisted of reviewing maps of Africa.

I finished one of covers when I returned this evening.
Title page: Still beading . . . 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 22

Nigerian Textiles

It has been a busy two weeks and I've fallen behind in blogging.  I've been meeting my mentor at the Smithsonian more often and we have been joined by senior art history fellows.
Having my handmade textile books reviewed by art historians has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had as an artist.
They are able to make historical, cultural, and social connections, offering new insights to "reading" my works.
They ask me questions about my process and we engage in discussions about printmaking, textiles, provenance, and conservation.

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