a weblog of contemporary textiles, fiberart and techniques, embroidery, fiber-related arts, soft sculpture, paper, design and artisan/designers, resources and links. Project: Colorado Networking
Monday, June 07, 2004
Sundancers are: visionary, creative people who remind us of the power of beauty and laughter. See "Wild Women" Link of the moment: Fiber Dimensions, contemporary textile artists group. From the Bay area.
The kimona, "Cafradice" shown is typical of her work.
The oils from the coffee permeate the filters and give it the unusual discolorations. The filters have been carefully dried, the grounds dispensed with, after which they are cleaned, ironed and worked in various manners.
Xeroxing, sewing, stapling, and stamping are some of the ways to embellish the filters before forming them in different shapes. Durability is obtained by coating each filter on both sides with a mixture of polymer media and umber. The threads are used to tie the filters to the work after the piece has been glued together.
A working artist since 1980, her work has been featured in: Surface Design Journal, Winter/2002; Cover and article. "Textile Plus", no. 182 December/02; portfolio. "Fiberarts", Nov./Dec. 2002; review.
Her current project is to complete her new book on techniques and sculpture (prospective title) "A Different Slant: Diagonal Knitting with Katharine Cobey". Meanwhile, her work is in the "Fiberarts Design Book 7". The works featured are: "Boat with Four Figures" & "Throw Caution to the Winds". The Fiberarts book is slated to be available this spring.
Cobey says "I believe clothing should comfort the wearer and delight the eye, that simplicity is graceful and enhances our beauty in movement. Quality of materials and loving workmanship reflect my commitment to the meaning and importance of daily life... I think that art is transformation - the taking of a material and making it into another thing. Whether we use oil paints or plastic bags, marble or wool, the challenge is to make significant and expressive forms about the things we use, ourselves and the worlds we live in."
The example of her work shown above is a visual example of her philosophy. The knitted coat, entitled "Slick" is composed of handcut, handknit garbage bags.
I made my daily trek to In a minute ago, in her new index of textile related weblogs, I came across a new blog: Dyeing to Color. It's composed of wonderful links, great articles, resoureces, and information on all facets of dyeing. Give this energetic woman a visit and comment.
My experiments with dyeing have so far been limited... another thing on my proverbial list of things to get back to! I did natural dyeing many years ago in New Mexico. The wool yarns left from those days have mellowed to lovely colors - they're now about 25 years old. Another thing I have been pleased with is overdyeing a batch of odd yarns and fabrics to get a dyepot of nicely related colors.
Many years ago I took a Color Workshop from Wilcke Smith. She'd just returned from a from a seminar with some top designers, including Jack Larsen. She passed along a really useful system of clarifying the design process using Polar Adjectives.
For me, the problem is often that my beginning idea is really a general feeling that begins to draw me toward a vague concept - a fuzzy vison. The design above is titled "Xanadu", designed after the workshop. It's a rendition of a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Then, there is also had been the commission where I need to magically read their mind & find what sort of vision they currently have of what they think they want. Their descriptions are unvisual, scattered, contradictory, etc. Arghhh!
Polar Adjectives allow me to get quickly from vague and general to specific and tune in on a specific idea (without wandering about in space for a month!), moving from general feeling to a pretty concise vision, to a beginning design.
The tool Wilcke shared was to make the longest list of Polar Adjectives,(opposites) we could... at least 45 sets. Then to apply it to a general concept - example: magic, outer space, celebration, river, lullaby. All of us have a gazillion possibilites for each of these. Concepts are big.
The make your list. Example:
hot - cold warm - cool fast - slow moving - still horizontal - vertical diagonal - straight curvy -linear
transparent - opaque earthy - airy dry - wet active - passive Include "feels like", descriptive words - many that are visual, but general.
Now, choose a general concept, for instance, "magic". Using you first inclination, apply every single set of polar adjectives and choose one. Everyone will
make a different choices in their version of magic. You will, along the way, get specific about which facet of "magic" you want to explore this time.
As you keep adding to your adjective list and making choices, you will quickly narrow and get a clear concept of how to the design should look. Often it will tell you what kinds of lines, areas, textures, colors and embellishments are most suitable this time.
It's a fairly easy matter to chat with a customer and establish 1 or more concepts that would apply. Hand a list of "polar adjectives" to them, and have a much better understanding of what they want.