Browsing articles from "November, 2007"

Elisa Markes-Young

Nov 30, 2007 | Leave a Comment


Above is a detail image of a piece by Elisa Markes-Young titled “The Strange Quiet of Things Misplaced”. In its entirety the work definitely does evoke the sense that memory is part of a mental landscape not entirely inhabited — or inhabitable. Click here for Young’s own description and to see the overall shot. It’s made of silk, wool, cotton and linen thread on Belgian linen and is approximately 43″ square.

Kim Parker –

Nov 29, 2007 | Leave a Comment

I’ve been feasting on the “pattern love” section of the Dear Ada blog this evening and am really happy to be introduced to so many new (to me at least -) textile designers and companies. One I especially love: Kim Parker textiles. Here are two pillows from her line. Top is “Frida’s Garden” and below that is “Irving Place”. The designs are hand embroidered and 100% wool.

Cintamani –

Nov 28, 2007 | 1 Comment

Cintamani is an ancient – yet modern-looking – pattern that you still see popping up in contemporary fabrics and carpets. As described on the Met Museum website it’s of Buddhist origin and is composed of three balls (pearls) and wavy lines (waves or tiger stripes) and has become a symbol of good fortune. The entry for cintamani (also spelled chintamani) in Wikipedia attributes the symbol to Buddhist and Hindu origins, and relays more of the legend behind the design. Above, a contemporary carpet made by CB Parsua and a fragment of velvet dating to the 16th century held by the Met Museum.

Jack Lenor Larsen –

Nov 27, 2007 | 1 Comment

I came upon a good (if short) article about Jack Lenor Larsen (of Larsen Fabrics) today on the New York Magazine website. I’m familiar with the Larsen brand but fabrics are always more meaningful when there’s a personal story behind them — and his is quite epic! I also really like the images (above) that are included with the article: the textile hanging behind Mr. Larsen is beautiful, but not described (is it some kind of bark cloth?). And his apartment looks like an oasis of calm. Below is one of his batiks, “Water Lilies” from 1964.

The Birth of Venus –

Nov 26, 2007 | 1 Comment

The holiday weekend was so leisurely that I had time to start and finish a novel — The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. For anyone who likes historic fiction with lots of romance and suspense mixed in I can definitely recommend it. It takes place in Florence during the late 15th and early 16th centuries and has enough references to textiles to warrant mention here! (The main character’s father is a cloth merchant whose business is later threatened by strict sumptuary laws, etc.) Above is an image from the Metropolitan Museum’s website, a tapestry dating to the late 16th century called “The Gathering of Manna” and made in a workshop in Florence. Also now at the Met: a special exhibition, “Tapestry of the Baroque: Threads of Splendor”, lasting until January 6th, 2008.

Mizrahi Fine Arts, Vienna –

Nov 25, 2007 | 2 Comments

A few years ago I picked up a small brochure of works represented by Mizrahi Fine Arts, a tribal art gallery based in Vienna. (It must have been during my visit to the Tribal & Textile Arts show in New York in early 2005?) I’ve held onto it because the carpets pictured – described as “primitive goat hair textiles” made by Kurds in Eastern Anatolia – represent my version of a certain kind of carpet bliss. The simplicity of the design, the earthiness of the natural (goat hair) material, the stern and yet soothing combination of colors — it’s perfect.

Lost City –

Nov 23, 2007 | 1 Comment

I’m really excited and inspired by people who are able to help invigorate and foster small-scale / local traditions of hand-craft in sustainable and ethical ways. That’s why coming across a reference to the company Lost City, founded by Afshan Durrani, this afternoon in Ego Magazine was especially tantalizing — and frustrating in that she doesn’t seem to have a website or other on-line representation. The profile by EM describes how she started her “couture fabric and upholstery” company and how it is helping to revitalize the tradition of completely handmade embroidery in India. The site Design with India also has a profile of her. (And both refer to her representation in San Francisco as well as New York but don’t give details…)

1/7/08 UPDATE: See comment attached to this posting (received today) for more information about Lost City representation! (Thanks!)

Thanksgiving Linen –

Nov 22, 2007 | 1 Comment

I spent the afternoon doing prep-work for tomorrow’s big day of cooking and got to thinking about my small interest in vintage Irish linen dish towels. My curiosity was first piqued this summer when I last visited my grandparent’s house and noticed anew the thematic dish towels they keep in a secondary bathroom. As a category they seem to range between kitschy, plain-old tacky, and generally bizarre. But the precedent for cramming all kinds of trivial – and historic – information on this one type of domestic cloth is interesting (see Exhibit A at top, the “horse map of the world” tea towel now on EBay). Perhaps it’s some kind of outgrowth of “samplers” from earlier eras, or it just became a convenient, and relatively inexpensive, medium for souvenir-making? (I’ve seen several commemorating Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding for instance). But anyway – here are two fun Beatles ones I found. Click here for the site. — And may none of your linens be destroyed by wine, fire or other tomorrow!

Picasso Fabric –

Nov 21, 2007 | Leave a Comment

I’m inspired by the graphic quality and stylistic whimsy of the above headboard fabric, featured in Elle Decor’s November 2007 issue article “Two For the Road” about Steven Volpe and Roth Martin’s Paris apartment (pg. 196). The fabric is described as a vintage with Picasso designs. Bergamo has large scale horse pattern that’s a bit like this – don’t have an image handy – but other than that I haven’t seen anything similar in the showrooms. Searching “Picasso” and “fabric” on-line I found the above really cool image from a lot sold at auction through Treadway Toomey Galleries back in September 06. And looking on EBay there’s a very curious thing available at the moment – final photo – of yardage purchased at Cafe Picasso (not sure what this is) in Coconut Grove Miami two decades ago. It’s hard to tell here but the fabric actually has little grid lines dividing up the faces into squares that are approximately 17″. The seller is selling each square individually for $15. Would make great pillows. (Search picasso and fabric and you should find it.)

Rose Cumming –

Nov 20, 2007 | 3 Comments

Having been briefly introduced to Edinburgh Weavers through searches for my last post it seems like a good time to visit Rose Cumming, the early early twentieth century decorator and textile designer. Dessin Fournir has recently rediscovered and re-introduced some of her patterns, helping her live on today. (Click here to link to their page and her bio.) I first read about Cumming after falling unexpectedly for the above pink animal print. I’m not generally big on animal prints but there’s something so girly and arty about this one — and I love it on the 100% linen ground. Kind of “Grey Gardens.” In some alternate universe I’d have it as drapery on a super tall window. Also above is a lush giraffe print viscose velvet also from her line. And a picture of her (woman on the left) as a suffragette.