Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave.....

Someone gave me a very nice, large loom and spinning wheel awhile back but I have yet to learn to use them. I have long been attracted to woven fiber arts, however. From basketry to blankets, woven arts have a deep cultural history that traces back to ancient times. Weaving focuses on the materials and on the manual labor involved as part of its significance.

Twylene Moyer, in her article, Handle with Care: Loose Threads in Fiber, is paraphrased to define woven fiber art as, "When the conscious choice of fiber as medium sets the agenda and the visceral and tactile import of fiber materiality forms an end in itself."

Today, I would like to highlight three contemporary fiber artists whose work caught my attention the last time I was in Santa Fe.

Kate Anderson uses Art Appropriation to create her beautiful, woven contemporary teapots. Inspired by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wessleman, Anderson knots waxed linen images that grab the viewer with dynamic shapes and color. Each piece is cleanly finished with stainless steel which compliments the overall design.
Kate Anderson

Anderson states, "Making sculptural art forms by utilizing the repetitive basketry technique called knotting forms the basis of my work regarding content and the blurred edges where art and craft meet. High-art/low-art references come into play by utilizing the teapot, a common craft object, as my sculptural archetype juxtaposed with images appropriated from the world of “high art”. Quotation, allusion, abstraction, and art/craft references all play a part as the knotting process simultaneously creates both structure and image."

Lanny Bergner makes large scale woven sculptures that are an exploration of the unique and infinite variety of forms and patterns found in nature. They are a testament of his love of the natural world. To create his glorious odes to nature, Bergner coils, twists, wraps and knots the materials, with skill and control. He often pairs natural materials such as gourds with industrial metals like screening, wire, silicone and monofilament. Bergner’s work ignites the child-like curiosity in all of us, each piece a celebration of the wonder of the world.

Lanny Bergner

"By using hands-on processes of coiling, fraying, twisting, wrapping, glueing and knotting, I transform industrial screening, wire, silicone and monofilament into organic constructions. My desire is to create works that appear to have grown into being. I love the natural world and am constantly inspired by its beauty and infinite varieties of form. This, in combination with my fears, quirks and joys, results in works that celebrate the wonder of it all."

Lanny Bergner

Jill Nordfors Clark is inspired by the native people of the far north who historically used seal and walrus gut to make functional items such as clothing, bags and hats. She borrows from these tradtions to form her intriging non-traditional baskets. In these unique sculptural pieces, Clark uses elegant needle lace stitches in hog gut. These stitches bind together an array of natural and synthetic materials such as apple tree branches and parachute cord. The resulting forms are incredibly dynamic, luiminous scultures that straddle the line between natural and man-made.

Jill Nordfors Clark

Jill uses hog casings as one of the media for this piece:

"Because of my embroidery background, I often use needle lace stitches (sometimes in combination with twigs), threading the wet casing on a needle, then stitching over a mold to form an open grid-like structure. In other work, I layer sheets of wet casing in a process similar to papier mache', sandwiching threads, wire, and found materials between layers. More recently I dye the casing before stitching, but I still prefer the warm caramel color of the dried natural material."

Jill Nordfors Clark

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