Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Information to Feed Your Artwear Ideas

Hello everyone! My efforts at healing are paying off, I feel like writing and sewing more than I did in the last few months. Great to be feeling back on track! In fact, I started attending a quilt class today to improve my skills. Nothing like some easy piecing to get my confidence back.

Lorraine Torrence/Grainline Gear Patterns
Lorraine Torrence is a clothing and Bernina designer who has steadfastly produced garment patterns through the years. I used to visit her large booth in Houston where you would find not only the patterns and samples made up to try on, but also special fabrics and buttons to match. Lorraine has produced a full-color, glossy catalog of her patterns, available for the asking at www.lorrainetorrence.com. This you have to see. Just flipping through the pages makes you want to make artwear. I'm always a sucker for lots of color and different ideas. If you've been getting Lorraine's or Grainline Gear patterns all along, then many of these will be familiar to you. I consider it a catalog of inspiration to remind me to make up more of these designs. I have gotten to touch most of these because I thought they looked heavy. Make them from silk and they are light as a feather and even drapey. Make them from wool and you have a warm coat or jacket. They're all versatile and very wearable. It's up to you with your fabric choices to make them visible from a mile away or just right for a meeting.

Here's the latest Grainline Gear pattern, Noren Ensemble #1522, designed by Ruth Vincent. At first I thought it was a version of Lorraine's Bernina coat that I liked so much--the one made in pastels with interesting embellishments (you can see it on her website). But no, this is entirely different and considered a jacket in two lengths. Ruth has added panels with an embellishment design included. I'm going to lengthen the panel in back or make the horizontal stripe from the same fabric as the lower part, because I don't want a horizontal stripe to cut my already short body, but I like the panels. You're getting a whole wardrobe in just one pattern: two jacket lengths, two pant lengths, and a blouse. At first I thought that the blouse was a vest so I will check fit to see if it will work as a vest. Either way it's a nice addition. I can't wait to try the pants. I like how the waistband is made with an elastic around the back, but has a flat front. Those angled pockets are among my favorites. Can you see the jacket closures? They're loops and buttons, but you can be as creative as you want in this area. Both jackets and pants have mitered side slits.

Do you want a challenge? If you make a Lorraine Torrence or Grainline Gear pattern, please send me photos and I'll put them up in the blog. If you want to stay anonymous let me know and I'll crop the face. As it is, I try to remove anything in the background that will distract from the garment. Send to me: rosekcooke at aol dot com. Of course you can write to me here too. I am getting so much spam these days that hopefully posting this to you won't make much difference. I do wish we could have a continuous dialog about artwear/wearable art and anything else you want to talk about.

John Marshall
I received an email from John yesterday: "I hope you're enjoying the summer! I'd like to remind you about my summer classes in Covelo, CA. There are a few slots still open (and he's farther north of me so you should know you're getting a country vacation with fresh food and fresh air). If you haven't seen my web site recently, check out the class information at: www.johnmarshall.to/J-1-aa-studioClasses.htm

"I'll be at Convergence next month, so I'm hoping to see many of you there. I thought you might like to have a sneak peek at what I will be bringing with me, so I've posted a few things online. If you'd care to pay for them now, I will gladly bring them with me to pass on to you, or for those of you who won't be able to make it to Albuquerque, you're welcome to do your shopping online.

"I've just posted three categories of fabrics:
kinran (silk and gold weavings); shibori (Japanese tie-dye); and urushiori (Japanese lacquer weavings). Please take a look when you have a moment:

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be filling in all the other categories listed on the page. Next up will be Japanese velvets, leno weaves, and bingata."

Editor's Opinion Piece--Send in Garments
Now that Quilts Inc. in Houston, Cincinnati (new location replacing Chicago), and Long Beach, no longer has a Bernina Fashion show, nor anything to really replace it (Yes, I know we still have the fashion show luncheon and the little IQA wearable art competition, but it's not the same big thing.), it's time to focus even more on the shows of the Mancuso Bros.
The Mancuso Brothers just put out a call for wearable art entries. Last year I noticed they had way fewer garments than before. As long as they're putting aside a big space for garments at the Pacific International Quilt Festival, and organize it so that we're able to see all around each piece, the least we could do is to enter their competition. I have to make two garments for a wedding this summer, but if I can manage, I'm going to put something in this show. Please come and join in so that we can keep artwear alive in public! Otherwise we'll lose vendors and the interest of the public, and no one will consider putting on fashion shows. quiltfest.com/

Happenings in the Textile Community in the San Francisco Bay Area
There are many things happening in the textile community as the weather finally warms:

The Art of Fashion: Experimental Textiles, an exhibition of work by Dr. Kinor Jiang May 13–July 18, 2010, University of California, Davis, Design Museum. Professor of textiles at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Dr. Jiang has collaborated with designers to produce innovative and futuristic textiles which also reflect their cultural and artistic heritage. www.designmuseum.ucdavis.edu

Trunk sale: Lao Textiles: The Spirit of an Ancient Culture
Saturday, June 19, 12 – 5 pm, The Folk Art Gallery, 1321–4th Street, San Rafael, CA. Meet Kongthong Nanthavong-doungsy, owner of the Phaeng Mai Gallery in Vientiane, Laos. She brings a beautiful collection of hand-woven, natural fiber, and natural-dyed traditional textiles. www.thefolkartgallery.com 415-925-9096

Weaving Women’s Empowerment: NIF and the Lakiya Negev Weaving Project, Thursday, June 24 7–9 pm in San Francisco. A special reception, exhibit and sale of handcrafted Bedouin weavings from the Lakiya Negev weavers. Abir Joubran-Dakwar, Israel-US Civil Liberties Fellow with the New Israel Fund, will discuss social change in Israel’s Bedouin community. Refreshments will be served and reservations are required. Address upon RSVP. $18 suggested donation. 415-543-5055 email: sf@nif.org

Plan to join the San Francisco Textile Arts Council for a mid-summer feast of ethnic textiles on the weekend of July 17–18, 2010:

Towards a New Horizon: Empowering Women Through Traditional Embroidery Saturday, July 17, 12 – 5 pm, The Folk Art Gallery, 1321 – 4th Street, San Rafael, CA. Meet women from the Ahir, Ribari and Sadha tribal groups of Gujurat, India and admire their vibrant needlework. They will show a film about SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association), demonstrate their embroidery, and give you a chance to purchase extraordinary textiles. A portion of sales will benefit TAC. www.thefolkartgallery.com 415-925-9096

Mystic Iban Textiles of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
7th Annual Carol Walter Sinton program for Craft Art
Sunday, July 18, 10 am, Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA. Artist and scholar Edric Ong, weavers Bangie Embol and Nancy Ngali, and musician Mathew Ngau will present the ancient arts of Sarawak, especially the powerful Iban textiles derived from dreams sent by the Weaving Goddesses. Free to TAC members, $5 FAMSF members and students, $10 for non-members www.textileartscouncil.org

New Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival in Oakland
Sunday, June 27, Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Splash Pad Park (Lake Park Avenue at Grand Avenue) This is the very first Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival. It is open to the pubic and is free. Local artisans will be selling their beautiful and original wares. For the fiber enthusiast--knitter, spinner, weaver, felter, quilter, there will be vendors and bargains. For the curious and kids, there will be demonstrations and hands on activities such as making your own yarn with a spindle made from a CD. Find out what to do with those annoying plastic bags that come with your daily newspaper. This is a fundraiser for the Oakland parks and arts programs. www.oaklandfiberfest.com Thanks to Carole Parker of Penwag for this information.

Hawaiian Textiles Exhibit at San Jose Quilt Museum
Everyone is raving about the Alfred Shaheen: Fabric to Fashion exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (ends August 8, 2010). It includes not only Hawaiian shirts and women's wear, but also explains the fabric printing/silk-screening and design aesthetic of the man who brought aloha wear to the world. I've heard people say "spectacular" and "very exciting." Two other exhibits are of kapa cloth and Hawaiian quilts. Read more at the website and the Mercury News article. www.sjquiltmuseum.org/exhibitions.html
Also: www.mercurynews.com/san-jose-neighborhoods/ci_15105729?nclick_check=1

Textiles at the De Young Museum,
To Dye For: A World Saturated with Color
Opening on July 31st at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. This cross-cultural look at resist dye techniques will showcase pieces from the FAMSF collection as well as loans, and track the use of these intricate methods as they emerge from historical tradition onto today’s fashion catwalks. www.famsf.org/

Continuing in this theme of dyes and color, last year I discovered the book, Color, A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2002. ISBN 0-8129-7142-6 www.atrandom.com. It was my reading of choice when I was resting in physical therapy. This is not the usual book about using a color wheel and that sort of thing. This is actually a highly entertaining and engrossing book about where colors come from, what painters have used through the centuries (they couldn't just go out and buy a bottle of this and that), and some of the cultural stories around color. It gives you a whole new perspective on color and the difficulties in creating the dyes. She takes you around the world getting these stories, and draws on both historical and scientific facts. Best of all, it's written in a conversational style, nothing professorial-sounding about it. This book was originally published in England as Colour.

Color Examples
While I'm on the topic of color, I thought I'd bring you examples.
I'm surprised at how much text I've written today, because I was finding it hard to think and express myself. Because the words weren't coming, I went outside with my camera for examples of color in nature. I live on volcanic foothills, so we have only tiny wildflowers but here's a sample. Notice the proportions of the different colors you see. There's only a tiny bit of the bright yellow in the blue flower. Same for the lime green in another photo.

Can you make a garment using only the colors in these photos and in the same proportion?

What do you think, a charcoal gray jacket with white/gray and trim of lime through copper?

The sunset is from last night. It was spectacular--look at all the different colors in it.

I took these from our deck so you can see the reflection in our lake.

Then because it was the start of spring when I started writing this and collecting photos, I have to share this year's twin fawns. This was the first day they were out in my yard and mom brought them right up to my studio gate. The deer have been gone all winter but I see that like any animal that has come to recognize someone, they sure remembered me. This doe has no fear of me though I have never touched her. But I suppose she knows my scent because I sit quietly watching them. The great news is that the little male, Hoppy, who had a smashed leg last year, survived the winter. I had expected coyotes to get him, but no, here he was at my gate. His antlers have started to grow. The leg doesn't work perfectly, it's twisted, but the skin has healed and he's able to walk and run when necessary. He does rest it often. But my boy is back! It was worth the effort to make sure he had shelter and water. John had nicknamed him.

Making Trinity's Doll
These days I also have the company of 7-year-old Trinity. She lives across the street, is often bored, and is both intelligent and artistic. Last year we tried hand-sewing a doll but that took too long. The hand embroidery will come with time. I took a different tack this year.
First Trinity colored in the body shape on white cotton, using her wax crayons. She started with a skin tone and then went over that to make her final design. The back is colored on the bias. Once the coloring was finished, I put the fabric between two pieces of parchment paper and ironed gently with a hot iron. After a few minutes, we tested to make sure the fabric didn't feel waxy. The color just sank right into the cotton. Next I stitched, turned the fabric inside out, then we stuffed it, and voila, a doll. I am amazed at Trinity's sense of style and her color choices. I want her to color my next vest fabric! The only boo-boo was putting eyes on the back of her head. I covered it with loopy yarn hair and then decided to turn it into a long braid so everyone knows this is a girl.

My Cat & Dog Photos
And finally, I can't pass up sharing photos of Lolalee and Paloma. Lolalee has grown to immense proportions.

Her fur is so long that I can't tell if she's skinny inside. She eats well so I don't worry. But she doesn't fit inside her fleece donuts comfortably anymore.
As for Paloma, the dog, I found out she doesn't like to have her picture taken. Where Lolalee poses, Paloma runs away. These are two of my constant companions and a great comfort. Yes, Lolalee still bites, but has moments of lap time and snuggles and sweet affection. Paloma is sweet as candy except when she's guarding me. Lovely sweet dog!

Free Dragonfly pattern
I thought you might enjoy this pattern. I'm inclined to embroider this design onto a jacket or blouse. It will be just as lovely as a pin or hairclip. www.annieskeepsakes.com/freepatter1.htm

Until next time, keep sewing! Rosalie


Mandi said...

Thanks for posting the info about the Mancuso show. I was waiting for the info as I want to enter a garment this year. I think I have enough time!

Oh, I attended the Artwear Symposium in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago. It was fun. I took the Vionnet draping class which was very informative and inspirational.

Rosalie Cooke said...

Mandi, glad to help. Please do tell me more about the symposium and Vionnet draping class. I'm still thinking about taking the class with the Brit designer and Sandy Ericson. Everything is happening at the end of June! My email address is in this blog update, would love to hear from you directly. Or how about Facebook?

Mandi said...

Rosalie, I couldn't find your email in the blog. And there are two Rosalie Cooke on FB.

If you're thinking of going, and it's close (I assume you are because she mentioned she was in St. Helena), then you should go. She was great and I could tell that with more time I would get a ton more info. The class with Julien sounds really fun. She showed us just a bit of his ideas and a few that she'd completed herself. Really unusual and inspiring!

Rosalie Cooke said...

Hi Mandi, you are the second person to tell me how hard it is to reach me via email. If you read the last paragraph--about the Lorraine Torrence challenge, you will find my email address. But it's also front and center if you Google on artyouwear, as one word--someone put it up. I had no idea that there were two of us on FB. I'll have to look. I'm signed up for Julien's class, have to prepare my supplies today, and yes I'm excited! Always stimulating and challenging and very interesting classes with Sandy. Yes, I'm an hour away.

Rosalie Cooke said...

OK, for now on Facebook I'm the Rosalie Cooke without a photo. I need a good photo taken before I'll put it up but maybe I'll put in one of my birds--or the dog so you'll know it's me. Thanks to your info Mandi, I have now connected with the other two Rosalie Cookes. Maybe I should revert to my maiden name but then no one at all will recognize me. cheers!