Browsing articles from "July, 2009"

Gypsy Rosalie –

Jul 31, 2009 | 1 Comment

What is it about linens from the 1940’s and 1950’s (and even the 1960’s I suppose) that give them such a distinct – and distinctly appealing – look? I was musing about this last Sunday while admiring a collection of tablecloths, napkins, and handkerchiefs  handed down to a friend from her mother. Part of it is just the quality of softly worn age that cotton can take on after decades of washing and pressing, but there’s also the texture and weight of the fabric itself. And what exactly is it about such a range of patterns that make them so easily pinned to that time period? (A good topic for research.)

With these questions in mind I went on a brief tear around the internet and found the following links. No historical overviews here, but lots of patterns to look at:

Gypsy Rosalie (the above image is a detail shot of an already-sold table cloth from the site)

Echoes of the Past Online

Gramas Attic


Laurel Leaf Farm

Printed Cloth for the Bazaars –

Jul 29, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Sara of 5 o’clock crows posted some great large-scale images (detail above) from the book Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth for the Bazaars of Central Asia by Susan Meller. I’ve seen the book in passing but now it’s officially on my wish list — what amazing color and pattern! (And might I comment on the coincidence of how color coordinated this detail shot is with my previous two posts!)

Amadi Carpets –

Jul 26, 2009 | 1 Comment

There can never be too many good looking carpet companies; here’s another.

Louise Baldwin –

Jul 23, 2009 | 2 Comments

I’m tantalized but ultimately left frustrated after coming across links to (and images of)  textile / multi media artist Louise Baldwin’s work. The UK’s Embroiderer’s Guild seems to have the most to show but there’s no bio, no personal website, and no fuller catalog of work. At least this post will remind me to look for her again in the future, in case anything more shows up online.

Stanley Bulbach –

Jul 20, 2009 | Leave a Comment

About a month ago there was a lot of media attention (articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, an interview on The Colbert Show, etc.) about a new book by Mathew Crawford called Shop Class As Soul Craft. I haven’t read the book but what I’ve gleaned of Crawford’s argument appeals to me:  it’s that hand-work (in his case motorcycle repair)  should be recognized as genuinely useful and intellectually challenging work and not “less than” the work happening in office buildings.  Coinciding with economic hard times I imagine it’s a heartening – and even liberating – thesis to many re-evaluating the trajectory of their worklife. Others, like Manhattan based carpet weaver Stanley Bulbach already seem quite comfortable living and working as intellectual craftsmen, and in Bulbach’s case vigorously so. His website features his own handwoven carpets, links to numerous articles he’s written about fiber arts, and extensive reviews of books covering a wide range of art-related topics. Regardless of their individual philosophies, both Crawford and Bulbach embody an idea everyone should be able to get behind, office buildings or not: whatever you do, do it passionately!

Above, a detail of Bulbach’s prayer carpet titled “Sumac Auspices”.

Roberta Roller Rabbit –

Jul 17, 2009 | 1 Comment

RRR’s website is now up and running (or rolling I should say!) and full of great patterns and colors at prices that don’t hurt to look at, budget priorities and disposable income aside. All of her fabrics are hand block printed in India and dried in the sun.

Above, a “fish orange” quilt.

Mansour Vintage –

Jul 15, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Above is a detail shot of a vintage 12′ x 15′ carpet from the Agra region of India,  for sale at Mansour. Both the intense color and all-over symmetrical pattern make the piece quite striking and fresh. (Maybe it’s the summer heat but deep cool colors like this seem especially irristible at the moment.)

It’s been almost exactly a year (already!) since my first post on Mansour carpets and I find myself doing a second post now on another of their vintage  (rather than contemporary) pieces. Their Mansour Modern division has some wonderful designs but it always seems to be the older one-of-a-kind items that feel more like a find, though of course without custom capabilities.

On another note (practical but useful): Mansour has a section on “Regional Histories” worth checking out.  Here you can read an explanation of “Agra” as associated with the carpet above.

Barbara Wisnoski –

Jul 11, 2009 | 3 Comments

Barbara Wisnoski’s pieces (better viewed in larger scale on her website) make a wonderful bridge between notions of craft and abstract art. On the one hand her work is aggressively organic, tactile and handmade but the overall effect is something more ethereal. Here’s an excerpt from her artist’s statement:

I am interested in the relationship between texture and time. The process of building a piece, whereby a fabric loses its singular quality and becomes part of the whole, reminds me of how time washes a harmonious patina over objects and memories. The prospect of decay is key to the work: seeing how pieces done long ago have changed over time reminds me that they were made from living fibres and, like us, evolve and deteriorate. Also like us, these pieces become more themselves, therefore more beautiful, with age.

Though very different overall her work reminds me of the quilts of Gee’s Bend, Japanese Boro textiles, and El Anatsui.

Les Toiles Du Soleil –

Jul 7, 2009 | 1 Comment

A new stateside source for stripes, stripes and more stripes: the 150 year old company Les Toiles Du Soleil just opened in NYC.

Via Cool Hunting.

Quilt Art & Inge Hueber –

Jul 4, 2009 | 1 Comment

For a concentrated dose of amazing stitch-work visit the website for Quilt Art, a collective of twenty professional quilters from Europe and the United States. German Inge Hueber is among them and her quilt High Tide Low Tide (162 x 178 cm) is pictured above. To see a detailed image of the quilt click here, then place your cursor over the image.