Sunday, October 17, 2010

Textile Society Symposium in Lincoln, Nebraska

(Warning: this post is full of intriguing links - you could get sucked into a textile abyss for hours on end.)
Quilt made by Nika Feldman and women from a beggars' encampment outside Kathmandu, Nepal
Two quilts made by the women in Nepal, and purchased by me - decorating my hotel room in Lincoln.
There was entirely too much going on in the space of three short days, 
all of it highly stimulating and full of beauty.  
I'm so glad I was accepted to present at this symposium, and thus stayed in the US to attend.
(My presentation was Spin Artists, and How the Internet Fuels the Art Yarn Movement, and it was very well-received.  So happy to have represented these artists to the greater textile-studying community.)

The image above is a stunning contemporary sari woven in Orissa - a combination of raw silk and blue-gray fine silk, with a metallic gold double-ikat pallav.  This was the best photo I could get in low light.
 The ikat saris and the work below were in various gallery shows pertaining to the textile theme.
 Jacquard-woven shibori by Catherine Ellis.
 Detail from Pauline Verbeek-Cowart's Jacquard-woven Silk Vortex.
Anna Von Mertens - Bachhus, after Caravaggio - hand-dyed, hand-quilted, quilt painting
(I knew Anna back when, before she was famous!  We used to talk about quilting, when she was just getting into it.  It's so great to see her work now, and hear people gushing over it.  
She is brilliant with color.)
During the day, we had concurrent sessions, which were very hard to choose from, including presentations by artists such as Kyoung Ae Cho and Rowland Ricketts, in addition to ethnographic studies of aspects of Muslim dress, felt-making in Kyrgyzstan, and Central Asian patchwork (mentioning all the ones I enjoyed the most, plucking them from among dozens.)
The brain was too full for words after a while, and this was a good time to go watch the Navajo women spin and weave.  This was a great opportunity to observe Navajo spindle technique in action, particularly the double-drafting method I've only seen in videos.
Grandmother spins.
Granddaughter weaves, her own striking design.
Continuing the Native American theme, we were treated to a dance performance by the Many Moccasins dance troupe, which was rich in textiles, impressive and educational. I enjoyed taking blurry photos of the dancers and their regalia in motion.
Finally, I attended a felt-making workshop taught by Janice Arnold, in which we learned basic press-felting, as practiced for ages in Kyrgyzstan, in addition to hybrid felting, which combines wool and a base fabric such as organza.
This was a fun and physically intense way to end the symposium.
 (we were working hard - 4 x 100 rolls, just to start!)
I finished the felting after returning to Doha,
and now it's drying in the hot sun.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall thrill

I'm enjoying the beginning of fall more than I can express, having spent the last couple Octobers in Doha, where it's still over 100 degrees (38 C).
Wearing a sweater, breathing cool air and seeing pumpkins
 - all minor thrills.
Fall decorations look particularly charming when they're outside a tidy Mennonite farm along the open Missouri highway.

And I like the light quality for knitting, too.