Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This is a place to lose yourself turning the pages of books and examining the art of the various periods which found its way into textiles as well as onto the pages of books.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I was a member of CompuServe back in the day and a sysop for one of the content forums (Fibercrafts). We originally moderated message boards using ASCII commands. Amazing!
CompuServe pioneered several communication gadgets for us ordinary keyboard enthusiasts. They made it possible to tap into SpryMosaic, Live Chat Rooms, the start of the social network. They fostered invention of the GIF format, and yes it is pronounced "JIF" folks.
On one of the anniversaries of the GIF's invention, I wrote a bit of doggerel for the inventors:
Oh GIF so sweet
Oh GIF divine
You show me yours
I'll show you mine.
Hooray for all the hours extremely talented folks have invested in making cyberspace so rich for all of us. It is hard to believe how far we have progressed in such a relatively short span of years.
love your little verse almost worthusing on a sampler!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Their work is not just hobby quality however. These stitchers are trained to professional workshop level of skill by the Embroiderer's Guild and tutors from the Royal School of Needlework.
They are paid significant sums for their work and thus often avoid one of the worst problems faced by ex-offenders - inability to establish themselves when released from prison. They are also able to use earned funds to assist their families or buy items to improve their quality of life while in prison.
They undertake commissions and will even complete your WIP's for a fee. Get lost in the site, take a look at their quality work, read the comments by tutors, wardens, prisoners and customers and if you feel moved, commission a cushion and provide the funds to train an inmate in embroidery skills.
Labels: Needlework Prison Schemes
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I'm doing some heavy duty thinking about some plans for 2008. Working on the format, location and details of a couple of needlework retreats for next year.
An English friend has promised to visit and do one of the events and I've been discussing another weekend, in a different city with another designer friend.
Of course they will be very historical and a little bit hysterical, and seriously stitchy.
More later - watch this space
Labels: Needlework Retreat
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
However, the medieval tapestries with their rich colors, big-screen costumes, gripping storylines set my textile antennae into a frenzy.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (my home away from home) has recently added a micro-site to their cyber world. It features some of the material from a 2003 Gothic exhibit which was extremely well mounted. I highly recommend the catalog of this exhibit.
This site is dedicted to tapestry weaving and is concise but also offers a bibliography and a links list that can take you further and further into the medieval world.
Check it out for a bit of information on tapestry weaving and to see a modern weaver's journey into early tapestry weaving techniques.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Very early on these artisans formed professional workshops and produced textiles for both the domestic and export markets. They produced export textiles in various styles to please their international customers and wove humble garments for their local communities.
The California Academy of Sciences, Department of Anthropology has a well presented site featuring their history and collections.
Click on the link to their Coptic Textiles Collection and you will find sections covering history of the Copts, weaving technology, stylistic groups, etc.
A good, concise presentation that makes an excellent introduction to these textiles.
Once a month the Shelbyville Satellite group of the Nashville EGA chapter meets for a Saturday of stitching and lunch. This is the sort of stitching in a group that I like. Very short on formal business (just enough to get by) and very long on stitching, friendship and good food.
This week we started on a group project we need to have finished by November. Christmas ornaments for a tree in a local bank. Each year a different local Shelbyville bank is chosen to have the use of the ornaments during the holiday season. This year's theme - snowflakes in blue, white and metallics. So, I get to stitch something besides a model. What a nice change.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The Minnesota School of Botanical Art offers classes and certificated courses of study. Dedicated to the beautiful art of botanical illustration, their site offers galleries of students and instructors. Be inspired to turn them all into needlework designs.
The Ngurratjuta Iltja NtjarraMany Hands Art Centre in Alice Springs, is another art school and center that inspires their students and artists by preserving aboriginal art and encouraging local artists. Again, their galleries are a delight.
hope you are over your sniffles or have found some drug to combat the season
Friday, May 18, 2007
Don't worry faithful readers - it will improve.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So even if they don't particularly pertain to textile arts (other than perhaps in the sail department), I was fascinated by Julian Dixon's PolylingualTranslating Dictionary and Glossary for Viking Ships and other ancient Sailing Craft.
Thanks to SCA Today for the link.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Labels: Life the Universe and Everything
Friday, May 11, 2007
For a basic intro to fractals try Jim Tucek of Washington University in St. Louis' page.
For an deeper dive into the subject take a look at The Fractory Be warned, the site uses a dark background. I find dark backgrounds difficult.
Paul Bourke has some interesting images including an interpretation series he calls "Buddhabrot."
You can find automatically generated images at the Fractal of the Day site at Sprott's Fractal Gallery. If you have any red/blue lense glasses around you can get a look at their 3-D examples.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Archaeology has long been a major industry in what is modern Egypt. And finds range from pre-historic to objects from modern conflicts. Egypt has been conquered and re-cultured so many times it is hard to keep track of the civilizations that have influenced textiles found there. To add to the diversity, Egypt has been a trading hub from time immemorial.
The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, of the University of Michigan - Historic Textiles from Egypt shares some of their collection of Egyptian textiles from the Pharaonic, Roman and Byzantine, and later Islamic periods of Egypt's pre-modern history. Their virtual gallery leads to presentations of past exhibits (1990's). Only three exhibits are currently available but hopefully they will continue to complete the site with images from other exhibits. I'm particularly interested in seeing the needlework exhibit.
From Riches to Rags: Indian Block-Printed Textiles Traded to Egypt is an exhibit rich in graphics and documentation.
The Early Islamic Inscribed Textiles offers only a few graphics but it is worthwhile.
Reconstructing Personal style in Late Antiquityhas interesting documentation but unfortunately rather murky illustrations of some of the items from the collection.
Greetings from Mexico
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I've put it as number 2 on my list of must do designs. I have to put the polishing touches on the new book of reversible bands from Hans Hofer's 1545 New Formbuch'len so that my friend CK can introduce it at Lillies War. She will have the first copies. I'll release it after that event.
Then the Queens' Sampler, I promise. It will be all blackwork.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Labels: Life the Universe and Everything
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Love your blog.
However, she does have an extremely talented staff and her online site has some rather simple but well done crafts. Some of them are pretty basic, but with a bit of your own genius could be "taken up a notch" or two or three and become something special. For example, there is a handy looking template for felt baby shoes that would lend themselves to embroidery, applique, textile paints, etc.
Friday, May 04, 2007
One of the best books available if you are interested in Medieval English History is Dorothy Hartley's Lost Country Life (ISBN 0-394-74838-7) This is an affordable book that I often turn to if I want to know the mundane, everyday life sorts of things about Medieval England.
It contains a good deal of textile information concerning the wool and flax industry, manufacture of textiles for market and uses of these goods, but all of this is put in perspective with the farming practices, architecture and other interesting subjects of the time. A good read and an invaluable reference.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Blackwork designs go from the very spare to the crowded as the ages passed. Crewelwork in England tended to be very thread heavy, but when many of the designs moved to America where materials were more scarce, they became more spare, more wide spaced more delicate.
Early crazy quilts, although full of Victorian excess did not approach the amount of embellishment we work onto examples today.
Question -- is more, more or is less, more? I tend to try to find a middle ground when designing and try not to put every stitch I know, every design I can think of into one work, but that is a personal preference, isn't it?
Labels: Needlework Design
Like with most things, it really depends on what it's for. And what one's expectations are. For me, the biggest "mistake" I see people making with Blackwork shirts for the SCA is not having enough blackwork, too much which space. But for other projects, its the space that makes it!!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
There are museums dedicated to shoes. A very large one is the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Its collection of over 10,000 shoes features footwear demonstrating the history of shoes, ethnographic examples, special exhibits and events and their site now offers photos of the top winners of the International Shoe Design Competition 2000.
In Belgium Shoes or No Shoes brings you an ethnographic shoe collection and shoe art.
In the Netherlands, the Klompen Museum brings you a better appreciation of wooden shoes as utilitarian footwear and as art. And Ziln boasts a shoe museum as well. Crave a little history of footwear - click on Solemates: the Century in Shoes.
Can't visit foreign lands to indulge in your love of shoes? Virtual shoe museums can be found on the web as well. Try the High Heel Shoe Museum. Talk about a walk down memory lane. My first "grown up" shoes had stilleto heels. It's no wonder women my age have feet that make podiatric surgeons crow with delight. Lots of glam graphics on this site as well as links to sites selling shoe themed products (not terribly up to date I fear). And for those folks needing cross-dressing -- large sized shoes with links to sources.
The Virtual Shoe Museum offers all sorts of footwear eye candy. I guess I've been out of touch because I was surprised to find that one of the latest modes of self-expression seems to be charms for your plastic/rubber clogs. You can search for shoe images by all sorts of keywords including shoes used in furniture design, materials used, etc. on these pages.
Want to know what the "trendies" of the world will be wearing on their feet? Check out Y Trends They'll even design some kicks for you.
And if you need to keep track of all the shoe events and news, try the ShoeInfoNet