These were the days of the Surface Design Association Conference, "Made/Aware". It was three solid days and evenings of great speakers, fantastic inspiration and really good people. The days were interspersed with workshops - mostly hands-on - and presentations. The presentations ran the gamut from very short talks by artists about their recent activities, to hour+ long presentations and discussion with key note speakers or panels. The subject matter dealt with examples, ideas and supply chains through which we could be more socially conscience while both doing our work and living our lives.
Three speakers of note were, Laura Sansone, Carole Lung, and Roland Ricketts. Laura Sansone is an educator and fiber artist who is working to promote the reuse and repair of clothing through street clothing labs at the farmer's markets in NYC. and linking in fiber artist and suppliers within her local Hudson Valley area. At the farmer's markets she dyes used clothing at the market using dye made from the available produce. She teaches people how to do this as well as how to remake the clothing they though they would have to throw away, or clothing they have purchased second hand.
Rowland Ricketts (pictured above) has spent his entire life studying and making blue. He is an indigo farmer. dyer and artist. He trained for many years in Japan, where his training started with working the fields and the daily stirring of the compost. He is now a world-renown artist who is presently in a show at the Boston Museum of Fine arts.
He was both passionate about what he does with Natural dying, but also realistic in his views about if they could ever replace the now prominent synthetics.
Beyond the Workshops and lectures, was an impressive show of fiber work in the hallway galleries of Arrowmont. Below is a slide show of some of my favorites from the show. I was impressive in both the craft and the content. Many of the pieces reiterated the social conscience theme of the conference. I have tried to include not only some of my favorites, but artwork that shows the diverse use of fiberous materials. From Susan Cavanough's Sheets, shirts, drapes and other textiles in her work "Ori-Kume", to the cyanotype imape on the strings of a mop in Howard Ptaszek's "Self Portrait". The effect of the fishing line and maps used in Mary Babcock's piece was outstanding. While Joyce Leatherwood and Molly Koehn used more traditional materials, their work was non-traditional in its subject and presentation.
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !