Wednesday, December 15, 2010


On our last night of our class, looked back at the semester and reviewed briefly the various techniques (and thus underlying concepts) we have learned about in Introduction to Fiber.  We started the semester learning to create 'a line' or single filament by spinning. We learned about creating cloth by matting or enmeshing fibers together in felting.  We learned about building cloth using an interlocking of two sets of yarns or threads in weaving - 'filling' the warp with weft yarns in tapestry. Tonight, we looked at yet another way of building cloth by looping - in this case knitting (though crochet and lace would be included.) We built cloth using two pairs of needles and a single line. Following are a few images that relate to the history of knitting, as well as contemporary artists utilizing this technique:

Freddie Robinson Hand of God

Knit Knit Home Page

Ann Wilson's Topographies

Dave Cole's Knitting With Loaded Shotgun (Safeties Off) 2008

Freddie Robinson's I'm So Angry banner

Annet Messager, Boarders

Egyptian Socks, circa 300-500 AD

Danish artist Marianne Jørgensen created this pink tank cozy after she requested that knitters from all over the world send her knitted pink squares. She then filmed the process of stitching these squares together over the top of a WW1 tank as an artistic criticism of the Danes involvement in Iraq.

Body Count Mittens. For more info, and a pattern, visit:

A result of Cat Mazza's project MicroRevolt. Artist and activist Cat Mazza is the founder of microRevolt. This collective of "craftivists" develops projects which combine knitting with machines, and digital social networks to investigate and initiate discussion about sweatshop labour.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ellen Dissanayake

"Ellen Dissanayake is an independent scholar and lecturer who brings together theories about aesthetics, human development, psychology, and evolutionary biology in order to understand why humans have an "aesthetic imagination." Arguing that there are fundamental similarities between play, ritual, fantasy, and the more highly valued activity of "art-making," Dissanayake maintains that all of these behaviors of "making special" have an essential evolutionary value. In so doing, she argues that the humanities are not separate from, but are rather a part of, the human sciences. 
Cover of Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why by Ellen Dissanayake...
Her three books, What Is Art For (1988), Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why (1995), and Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began (2000), explore the consequences of the argument she makes in "The Core of Art," that the need to "make special" is part of humanity's genetic profile. ...Dissanayake asks her readers to rethink the place of art in their lives and to consider the possibility that the ongoing survival of the species may depend on the ability of its members to "make special."

-excerpted from The New Humanities Reader (

Monday, November 29, 2010

Xavier Hurtado video

Hi everyone, this video is a really beautiful description of an indigenous culture's philosophy, which related to the conversation from a few weeks ago about alternative systems of living. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


You just researched a textile tradition, aspect of textile history, or textile process. Now, create a piece that responds to or incorporates aspects of your research. You may choose to respond to formal elements, such as design motifs or incorporate the process or techniques in creating the textile. You may also choose to respond to the sociological or cultural aspects of the tradition by addressing  – for example, but not exclusive to - the rules that govern the making of the textiles, or the function they serve in a particular society.  The important aspect of this assignment is that you do not attempt to recreate or replicate the textile tradition, but rather reinterpret or respond to it as a contemporary artist.

A process, material, conceopt or project in this class has sparked an idea. You desperately want the time to develop it and make it manifest. This is your opportunity.

How will the viewer interact with the piece you present? How will you install it and where? Will you perform it or otherwise engage us in your work? Comsider location/site, space/proximity, the hardware you use to install your work and how every choice you make regarding presentation affects how we view and understand your work.

Proposals due December 1
Critique/Final Project due December 8

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gabrel Dawe Fiber Art

Hey, guys! It's Amelia, again. While surfing the internet, I came across Gabriel Dawe's portfolio website. He uses fiber to create some really exceptional pieces, and I think a lot of you might his work (especially if you enjoyed doing embroidery!)

Self portrait + thread on fabric + 20.5" x 27" aprox. + 2009

Fear of Inadequacy II + hand-embroidery on fabric + 20" x 28" aprox. + 2007

plexus no. 4 + site specific installation at the dallas contemporary + gütermann thread, wood and nails + 11' x 25' x 25' + 2010

You can find more of his work here, on his website. Hope you enjoy, and have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Okay this is like the third time I'm trying to post this so dear lord please let it work. Anyways. What I was trying to show you guys is this video I just came across- I know it doesn't have to do with our class necessarily, but I want you guys to see it cause I'm blown away by it! It made me think of my presentation yesterday and how now more than ever fashion, technology and science are all coming together to formulate these amazing works.

Ralph Lauren 4D Show

Monday, November 8, 2010

Samuel Barsky, Sweater Artist

Chanukah (2001)

Sarah Konigsburg, a recent graduate of the MICA Fiber department organized an exhibition of the work of Samuel Barsky, a visionary knitter from Pikesville, a suburb of Baltimore. I had the great fortune to meet the artist at the opening last Thursday. I was deeply touched by his sincerity and enthusiasm and willingness to talk about his work. Photos of his sweaters, and the story of how he got started with knitting, are available on his website:  The sweaters are more amazing if you see them in person - good thing they are on display for the next month at Shapiro's cafe on Preston Street, right next to the OK Natural food store. I HIGHLY encourage you to visit!

Man on the Moon (2002)
London Bridge II (2002)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CMYK cross stitch!

Check out the work of Evelin Kasikov, a recent graduate of the MFA program at Central St. Martins in London!

Below: handmade halftone screen (CMYK)

Gill Sans CMYK
325x475 mm 
Epson print, hand embroidery 
Smooth Cotton 315 gsm (left)

Gill Sans Magenta
325x475 mm 
Epson print, hand embroidery 
Smooth Cotton 315 gsm (right)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Needle and Thread

Run, Don't Walk to this AMAZING website FOUNTAIN of needlework information! VIDEOS of the van dyke stitch and more!

JF and Son

This is the company that the Experimental Fashion class visited in New York.

JF & SON’s fanatical obsession with textiles informs the company’s approach to production and design. Working with hand-weavers throughout India, the company develops custom fabrics, which are sent to the vertically integrated JF & SON studio in New Delhi. In this creative environment, JF & SON authors a new design vernacular, combining elements of modernism with traditional methods of beading, embroidery, and printing. By partnering with artists and artisans from New York to India, JF & SON meets its ideals of fairness in labor, while reinforcing its commitment to community and collaboration everywhere.

Here is a link to their website and tumblr.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visit to School 33/Temporary Nature of Ideas Exhibit

A few weeks ago, our class visited School 33 and Melissa Webb's interactive installation/exhibit, The Temporary Nature of Ideas.  Melissa met with us and told us a bit about her own background, education and art process, including her humble origins in our very own Fiber department at MICA! Following are a few pictures from our visit.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Encoded Cloth

Create a cloth that communicates something essential about you and/or your culture and/or about this particular time in history. You may use any technique you deem suitable for ‘encoding’ your cloth, including, but not limited to: printing, dyeing, sewing, embroidery and/or appliqué techniques.

Consider how the design, construction and embellishment techniques and materials contribute to our ‘reading’ of your work. Consider how your installation or presentation contributes to our understanding as well; ie: how do we interact with it, see it or experience your work? Is it a flag? A coverlet? A mantle? A banner?

Following are examples of 'encoded cloths' drawn from various cultures and traditions, including the works of contemporary artists referencing these traditions.

Ceremonial cloth and sacred heirloom, 17th-18th c., handspun cotton and natural dyes, block printing, mordant painting and batik, Gujarat, India traded to Sulawesi, Indonesia
The Anglican Diocese of Ondo Commemorative Cloth, 2002

 Allison Moore, Obama Commemorative Cloth, 2007

Ghanaian Commemorative Cloth, circa 2008

Liz Ensz, War on Secularism (detail) screenprint, 2005
Susie Brandt, Frosty (above) and Honeypot (below) screenprint
Renee Greene, Commemorative Toile, 1992
Virgil Marti, Bullies (Wallpaper), screenprint, 1992-97

Wim Delvoye, Louis Vuitton Pigskin, 2005
FANTE,  ASAFO FLAG 12, 40 x 57", Ghana
Asofo = "war people". These appliqued patchwork banners combine the tradition of communication by proverb with military pomp and display. Flags would be created for the installation of a new captain of a local militia company and would be displayed at festivals and funerals. Each unique flag would either depict an historical event, identify the company with an animal or image of power, or depict a proverb to boast, taunt or threaten other companies. The British flag was used until 1957, since then the flag of Ghana is often substituted. The reverse side is appliqued with the same image, usually matching very closely, less so with lettering and parts of no. 14. Note the variety of interpretations of the British flag. ---Dan Mato, Professor Emeritus of Art History, The University of Calgary, Hamill Gallery WebsitePhotograph © Tim Hamill
Jacket embroidered by Agnes Richter,  locked away in a German mental asylum during the 1880s, due to schizophrenia
Darrell Morris, Bellbottoms, embroidery, 2007
Darrell Morris, Fast Food, embroidery, 2007
Louise Bourgeois, She Lost It (Performance Pieces), Embroidery on Clothing, 1992

Susie Brandt, Sew Your Own Stump Flag, 1995