The Beauty of the Weaving Mill

I’ve spent many hours standing in front of vibrating shaking rumbling industrial weaving machines during trial runs watching, with fascination, how the fabric comes together. Paramount Textiles must have been watching the same thing, because they put together this excellent video of the beauty of the weaving process. They thankfully removed the loud rumbling rattling shaking of the mill and replaced it with a classy soundtrack.

(if you can’t see the video above, you can click here:

[thanks to Lynne Bruning for the link!]

Posted in machines, Textiles, woven | Leave a comment

Oslo Opera House Curtains

To be honest, my appreciation of Opera is limited to Looney Tunes parodies and Fitzcarraldo‘s obsession with bringing Enrico Caruso to Peru. I make my annual Valentines day trip to the Opera, but never really have been a super huge fan. However, for years I’ve been wanting to go to the Oslo Opera House, just to see this curtain designed by artist Pae White. Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art, Curtains, Customization, design, site specific, Textiles, woven | 3 Comments

Bicycle Tires are Rubber Coated Textiles

Its finally spring here in the Mitten State after a number of fits and starts. We never quite just ease into spring but its finally (mostly) here. So I’ll say it now, the Blogging is probably going to suffer a bit because I’m heading out to the Carriage House Workshop to make stuff. I’m also going to be outside playing a lot more, so less time in front of the computer is the consequence. I’m not going to stop blogging, just less. Maybe. We’ll see. You’ve been warned.

Its been a long winter of pouring through catalogs and annual gear guides looking at equipment I can’t afford, but somehow need: Wetsuits and Drysuits for kayaking, Bibshorts and Jerseys for biking,  Rainpants for camping, Drybags, sleeping bags, backpacks, tents…. I’m dreaming of heading back outdoors and using the textiles that are vital to helping me cope with the elements.

So Its time to change gears here at Textilesmithing. I’ve been looking at and writing about a lot of Art lately here on this blog and I’m sure there will be more writing about Art. However, one the reasons I started this blog was to look at textiles that are functional, textiles that enhance performance. Engineered textiles.

Last week over at Velonews there was a story about three things I love: Bicycles, Handmade Equipment, and Textiles. It was a story about FMB, a company that hand builds tubular tires that are so good, they’ve been on bikes that won Paris-Roubaix. At this point many of you are probably already asking “wait, what is a tubular tire and what is Paris-Roubaix?”

Continue reading

Posted in craft, Customization, cycling, pavement | 6 Comments

Sheila Hicks: 50 Years

Sheila Hicks at the ICA Philadelphia

Being a textile blog, I would be remiss to not mention this show. THIS retrospective almost requires a trip back to Philadelphia. Sheila Hicks is a Sculptor working in the medium of Fiber. She took a wrapping technique that I had only known as a way to make crafty baskets and used it as her own expressive sculptural medium. You should check it out if you’re on the East Coast.

Sheila Hicks: 50 Years at the ICA Philadelphia until August 7, 2011.

Posted in Art, craft, Textiles | Leave a comment

Sol Lewitt: Recent Installations

I’ve been an uncomfortable fan of Sol Lewitt ever since I discovered him in college. I’d pour through his catalogs and books, enjoying the way he created systems and worked them through to the end. The books were intimate looks into the working of the artists mind; Meticulous sketchbooks that read like multiplication tables. (Since then I’ve had it in my head that a similar exercise could be played through with weaving.)

His large wall installations were what made me uncomfortable. They seemed arrogant, sadistic, and lazy, especially when I was much closer to the hand crafted processes. In hind sight, I was over reacting, now I quite enjoy it. What Lewitt did was to write excruciatingly detailed instructions of how to do his installations, then left the bulk of the work to the “draftsmen” he employed to realize the piece.  Continue reading

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Noiz Architects: Honeycomb!

I want to play with this honeycomb furniture/art/textile/construction by Noiz Architects. This was designed and constructed for the lobby of Le Méridien Taipei in Taiwan. It is the corporate mandate of Le Méridien to attract the ‘creative guest’ and this would definitely pull me in.

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Posted in 3d textile, Architecture, Art, craft, design, engineering, structure, Textiles | Leave a comment

Sayed Alavi: Flying Carpet

Sayed Alavi’s Flying Carpet installation at the Sacramento Airport combines many things that excite me: Mapping, Textiles and a good play on words. I also imagine that it elicits a certain sense of vertigo in the right mindset.

More here: Sayed Alavi

Posted in Architecture, carpet, Customization, design, Landscape, site specific, Textiles | Leave a comment

Tara Donovan: Constructed Surfaces Volumes and Landscapes

Tara Donovan manipulates mundane materials into massive constructions, landscapes and volumes that transcend the material they are created from. Paper plates, plastic cups, pencils and the like become the individual motifs of a larger naturalistic pattern.

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Posted in Art, constructed surface, Landscape, pattern, structure | Leave a comment

Lanny Bergner

My guess is that Lanny Bergner has thick fingertips after all his years of cutting, twisting and bending wire screen. I’ve worked with wire screen and its a bloody affair. So I’m imagining that ‘aha’ moment where he thought “this work I’m doing is insanely brilliant, could make my career, but I’m going to need a lot more band aids, possibly a tetanus shot.” (he didn’t say that. I just made it up)

Continue reading

Posted in 3d textile, Art, craft, screen, structure | 1 Comment

Girli Concrete

I love this textile patterned concrete from Girli Concrete, which is a R&D project of the Tactility Factory in Belfast, Ireland. What’s really interesting here is that the fabric has been embedded into the surface of the concrete to both strengthen and decorate. The fabric is a visual softener of the concrete, but the concrete is still a major aesthetic player. Through the use of stitching, sequins, flocking and other techniques, they have successfully added softness, pattern, and texture to this rigid material.

Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, concrete, Customization, pattern, Textiles | 1 Comment