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Fiberarts - November/December 2010
November/December 2010

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Louise Bourgeois: Stitching Salvation
Margot Quan Knight’s Mirror Quilts
2010 Student Showcase
Margarita Cabrera’s Space in Between
3-D animation into Jacquard Weaving
Updated exhibition and competition listings
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Our November/December 2010 issue features our sixth annual student showcase featuring work being produced both in the United States and internationally. Based on refinement, consistency, and presentation, we selected the following artists' work being created in colleges and universities today. Here we have selected additional images by our student artists to share with you along with their artists' statements.

Shirley Buchan, BA(hons)Textile and Surface Design, Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon's University, Scotland, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Ellen Devall, BA(hons) fashion & textiles, Colchester Institute of Art & Design, Frating, United Kingdom

Wendy Franzen, MFA-Fibers, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Melissa Gaynor, Apparel Design, The Art Institute of Portland

Jennifer Hunt, BFA Textile Design, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Ema Ishii, MFA, Fiber, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills

Samantha Jones, MFA program at Tyler, Philadelphia

June Kim, BFA Illustration with Fiber Arts emphasis, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

Jessica Lemus-Coto, Fibres and Art Education Specialization - Visual Arts, Concordia University

Daniel Lundby, graduate degree in design, Iowa State University, Ames

Lauren Mathieson, BFA Art:Fibers, Wayne State Univeristy, Detroit

Alana McLeod, Textile Design, Sheridan College

Kanako Namura, MFA, San Francisco State University

Jason Tudor, BFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Olivia Valentine, MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


My work reflects around 'wabi sabi' the Japanese art of Impermanence focusing on natural forms and handcrafted textile skills. I have looked at the Surface textures of the natural world around me and how I might recreate them in a constructed textile form, Using tradition techniques with experimental fibre construction in layering, as well as transparency. These initial inspirations are translated into knit and fine art textile concept pieces for Couture one off fashion garments. With this project I would like to highlight the value of craftsmanship within textile production; while also emphasizing the need for new textiles within fashion as to the sustainability of textiles in relation to our environment. Although my work is conceptual I want to bring attention to the ethos of “wabi sabi” and what it could bring to textiles in the western world.

Shirley Buchan, Highland Connect Snugg, 2009; Scottish Yarns donated by J C Rennie & CO; crocheted, sewn; Model: Julia Maclean. Photo: Stuart Johnstone.

Shirley Buchan, LEFT: Silk fibre dress, 2010; natural silk fiber, latex, pearl beads; hand dyed silk, coated in latex, then constructed into finished garment and beaded; RIGHT: wrap: Black Crochet Armour Wrap, 2010; wool; crochet lengths built up in layers; dress: Latex Muslin Mesh Dress, 2010; woolen wrap; dyed muslin dress using latex; Photo: Stuart Johnstone.

ELLEN DEVALL The Project: Exquisite Poverty, Fragments. Poverty is not exquisite, but what emerges from it can be. The beautiful work of women's hands throughout history, the lace and embroidery which we treasure today, were often created in poverty as a means of survival. This, combined with a time of personal poverty but richness of faith inspires my collection. Humble fabrics join vintage artifacts and antique lace in garments, telling stories in cloth and stitch. Contrast of exquisite and poverty are shown by variations in stitching and materials, combining the right and tangled threads of the wrong side of the work to make a beautiful whole...just as it is with life.


Ellen Devall, Ten days Allowed (historical reference) Collar (with detail), 2010; bamboo and cotton batting, vintage cotton lawn, antique handmade bobbin lace, machine made lace, cotton and linen threads, vintage mother of pearl, enamel name brooch; handstitched, machined stitched, appliquéd, hand-embroidered, soldered; about 24". Title references the time allowed in the 19th century for a home worker to complete and intricate Ayrshire work embroidered collar. Photos by the artist.

Ellen Devall, Family dress, 2010; boiled wool, antique lace, vintage 1930s cotton print, vintage cotton sateen curtain lining, antique hat netting, vintage mother of pearl, enamel name brooch, wool yarn, cotton and linen thread; Naturally dyed with Madder, free machine stitched, handstitched, hand-embroidered, appliqué. UK dress size 12, about 40" long. Photo by the artist.

WENDY FRANZEN This piece is about the invention of tools and how they are used to understand and analyze the makeup of a natural form. By viewing nature through a lens, we allow a shift in our perspective. At a stronger magnification, we observe a whole new set of elements that define the structure. The grid in the scope is a construct to be overlaid on an object in order to map, classify and define the structure. Each layer in the scope is an additive framework that removes the viewer from a preconceived vision of the viewed object.

Wendy Franzen, Scope (with detail), 2009; basswood, water-soluble stabilizer, shellac, thread; 62"x43"x12". Photo: Joe A. Mendoza.

MELISSA GAYNOR For my senior collection I explored fiber and fabric manipulation. I taught myself how to wet felt and Nuno felt with a resist by referencing various internet resources including YouTube. In this exploration I was able to achieve many different shapes and textures in my seamless garments and gained an appreciation for how sculptable and versatile wool can be. I sourced Alpaca roving locally from Easy Go Farms. This highly tactile collection was inspiration by images of natural and man-made objects including; tree bark, gentle ocean ripples, rope, concrete and steel.

Melissa Gaynor, Seamless Dress, 2010, alpaca, silk chiffon; nuno felted with resist; size 6. Photo: Eric Rose.

Melissa Gaynor, Black Hood, 2010; alpaca and cotton; nuno felted with resist; 20" x 42". Photo: Eric Rose.

Melissa Gaynor, Grey Capelet, 2010; alpaca; wet felted. Photo: Ben Latterell.

JENNIFER HUNT The challenge of balancing pattern and abstraction drives my work, which therefore adheres to a system while also representing the subconscious. My process of tapestry weaving and hand and screenprinting initiates and permits a way of creating imagery indicative of the nature of fiber. I work with formal elements of design that build from one shape, line, or color to the next, just as fabric is constructed from a single yarn. I do not make preliminary designs. I constantly assess composition and pattern as I create. By working this way, I have developed a language of colors and forms.


Jennifer Hunt, Windows (with detail), 2010; cotton, wool,and synthetic yarns; slit tapestry; 18 ½" x 29". Photos by the artist.

EMA ISHII In my head, there's still a magical world that I can be a little child to play. I don’t know if I will ever grow up to be an adult. But I also know that our world isn’t just made of dreams. That’s why I have a mixture of light and dark in my work. Life is a big circus. So, step right up and see what my world is made out of. Here comes the arty clown.

Ema Ishii, Step Right Up! (with detail), 2010; kids’ circus tent: sequin, acrylic yarn, fabric, stuffing, kids’ toys; handmade costume: screenprinted T-shirt, fringe, pompom, fabric, ribbon, skirt, shoes, wig, headband; handmade book: paper, acrylic yarn, toy train, old key, buckle; crochet and sewing; 10' x 10' x 6', Photos by the artist.

SAMANTHA JONES For me, fibers are a way of seeing and understanding the world, representing a paradigm that simultaneously embodies and transcends the physical materials used to express it. My recent work relates to the concepts of identity, relationships, and change, as well as notions of home/reality/the present space vs. away/escape/transcendence. I am interested in psychological "tools of time travel," such as story, prayer, meditation, imagination and memory. Bubbling up from our very genetic core, these tools allow us to access the primeval fabric that exists in the periphery of our collective subconscious; vaguely recognizable, yet evading scrutiny.

Samantha Jones, What Was/Is There, 2009; handspun wool over wire; hand-felted body casts of individuals; life-sized figures. Photo: Francoise Gervais.

Samantha Jones, System (with detail), 2009; dimensional felt, handspun wool over wire; dimensions variable (6' x 5' x 6' as shown). Photo: Francoise Gervais.

JUNE KIM My sculpture is a surreal thread drawing in real space and allows people to experience my interpretation of social, cultural, and religious human connections in reality. I was inspired by an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible red thread connects all who are destined to meet. I visualized this invisible connection and human relationship in a three dimensional architectural sculpture. By sewing and tying the knots, I built my imagined social network. The mystical red thread placed into conceptually layered transparent acrylic pieces represents invisible life stages. This abstract form becomes the outer reality of a visible human network of my inner vision.

June Kim, Red Thread Sculpture, 2010; red thread, six clear acrylic plates, wood base, white paint; hand sewing, laser cut acrylic; 17" x 14" x 25".
Photo: David Gin Lee.

JESSICA LEMUS-COTO The Architecture of Daily Living series consists of minimalist embroidered linear drawings drawn from the everyday and usually excluded from art: the remnants of an elaborate meal, a sink or an unorthodox portrait of a mother and child. These tasks seem to take up a relative large chunk of our time and are short-lived and easily forgotten. I consciously choose to remember these fleeting banal moments and create artifacts about them by drawing the images on cloth using needle and thread. I use textiles and embroidery—a slow and meditative practice—as a conceptual framework to investigate this very idea. Therefore the work, although clearly involving issues of gender, moves beyond by means of the poetic.

Jessica Lemus-Coto, Sunday Morning Pancakes, from the series The Architecture of Daily Living, 2010; conductive silver threads on blue linen; embroidery; 10" x 10". Photo: Lyne Godin.

Jessica Lemus-Coto, Drain, from the series The Architecture of Daily Living, 2009; conductive silver threads on blue linen; embroidery; 10" x 10". Photo: Lyne Godin.

DANIEL LUNDBY Anatomy of Jacket was created in April of 2010 as part of a men's wear project for a creative design class. Styled after the European punk fashions seen in the 70's and 80's, to create a jacket that can be worn several different ways to suit the wearer’s needs. Constructed from digitally printed fabrics for the graphic imagery and lining, with the shell fabric being black denim. The graphic imagery being composed from historical paintings merged together using design software and printed in engineered pieces allowed for the artwork to flow across seam lines.

Daniel Lundby,
Anatomy of a Jacket (with detail), 2010; Shell: twill, black cotton denim. Lining: cotton sateen; drafted using draping and flat pattern techniques, digitally printed; men’s size 42. Photos: Bob Elbert.

LAUREN MATHIESON I wish to play with the idea of how an individual creates and constructs his or her environment. I like to play with imagined or ideal environments, and what could be created within them. I like to think of my works as tokens, souvenirs or relics of these environments. Through my body of work, I explore ideas of mythology and spirituality using the idea of self-constructed environments. These invented environments are like alternate universes, where I can control and construct my own concepts of reality. I can, through specific processes; I can actually create a manifestation of that imagined reality.

Lauren Mathieson, Elemental Series, Fire, 2009; cotton, dye and fabric paint; hand painted ikat weaving; 20"-28" x 12 ½". Photo by the artist.

Lauren Mathieson, Elemental Series, Earth, 2009; cotton, dye and fabric paint; hand painted ikat weaving; 20"-28" x 12 ½". Photo by the artist.

ALANA MCLEOD I see textiles as a universal language. I am heavily influenced by my heritage and the landscape of Northern Ontario. Coming from a heritage of fur trading, dog sled teams and growing up canoeing and snowshoeing, I use imagery of trees, water, and skylines. Currently, I am working with large compositions on quilts and dresses. I create fluid-looking surfaces with a ghosting of images. I am also experimenting with hole making. My goal with this work is to create pieces that are reminiscent of a simpler time of mending and making with a handmade quality.

Alana McLeod, Train dress, 2010; linen, cotton; polychromatic printing, ruffling, fraying, quilting; 33" x 14". Photo: Rachelle Simoneau.


Alan McLeod, Quilt (with detail), 2010; linen, cotton, gauze; polychromatic printing, natural dyes, quilting; 60" x 48". Photo: Rachelle Simoneau.

KANAKO NAMURA Interpreting textile processes is an essential part of my work. I see the steady and calm motion of linear progression when every knot is added in rug making, each loop is made in knitting as a representation of a visible trace of the passing of time. The strokes or lines in my work are a product of such timeless modes of working. They are a record of my interaction with the material in front of me whether it be paper or fabric. In my most recent works I have been exploring the act of folding as a method of mark-making.

Kanako Namura, Study 2 (mark-making through folding), 2010; marker, oil pastel on paper; 9 ½" x 9 ½". Photo: Kim Snyder.


Kanako Namura,
Untitled (mark-making through folding) (with detail), 2010; marker, oil pastel on paper; 36" x 36". Photo: Kim Snyder.

JASON TUDOR My work mainly consists of very detailed and colorful prints and patterns that can be applied to virtually anything. They are made up of drawings from my sketchbook that are scanned into the computer and combined and arranged with other drawings to make up the composition. I draw very intuitively, never having a plan of what the drawing will look like or how it will evolve. The drawings are made up of organic forms and lines and different motifs, which are inspired by the natural world and the patterns within it. My work reflects my imagination in a structured manner and I try to create my own little universe with its own mysteries.

Jason Tudor, Slithery Remnants, 2010; pen and ink drawings scanned in computer and arranged and multiplied then hand screen printed 7 color repeat pattern on cotton; 45" x 36". Photo by the artist.

Jason Tudor, Eccentric Joy, 2009; Pen and ink drawings scanned in computer and arranged and multiplied then hand screen printed Repeat pattern on cotton; 33" x 27". Photo by the artist.

OLIVIA VALENTINE My recent studio work and research have revolved around the historical development of decorative textile constructions, revealing a process of threads weaving together, knotted, stitched, and cut away in order to be built back up again. I have come to understand these processes as complimentary ones of destruction and construction and of deconstruction and reconstruction. I am interested in finding their counterparts in the built world. It is within these correlations, between textiles and architecture, and construction and deconstruction that my practice begins.

Olivia Valentine, Punto in Aria (Pilaster) (with detail), 2009; thread, pins, helium, balloons; constructed using bobbin lace techniques; overall dimensions variable, dimensions as shown: 11'x14". Photos by the artist.

Visit our Education Resource List to find out about schools in your area offering fiber-art classes, and if you’re an educator, please add your school.

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