Entries in craft (23)
Every since I started making needlepoint paintings, it's been hard to define what they are. People behind the counter in craft stores have rolled their eyes at me as I explain that I want to sew Notre Dame Cathedral. The art world seemed to see sewing as "cute" but not belonging to the high-concept collective of design. All that started changing ago.
Now, I have nothing against folk arts, in fact I collect some. Try reproducing the simplicity of a good sampler or the delicate (and unforgiving) embroidery on a tea towel and you will understand that stitching is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of precision, patience and a good eye. With these skills in hand, I decided a number of years ago to create my own patterns and push the boundaries on the handcraft.
In their book By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro document a number of creative artists who have successfully bridged the gap between craft and art. Some use creations are high-concept, while others play on simplicity. Aesthetics, scale and mediums differ widely, but the common thread (pun intended) is that these artists have taken hand-crafts the next level. From clothing to glasswork to plush landscapes, the work show in this book are gorgeous and thought-provoking. When you take into account that all of these visually stunning pieces are hand-made, the appreciation just grows deeper.
Park Slope illustrator Diana Schonebrun has true creative insight. Her Beasties are imaginative, playful, and a bit tongue-in-check. To be perfectly honest, they’re right up my alley. In her book, Beasties, she provides sewing patterns for 22 of her creatures so you can sew yourself. The accompanying illustrations are irresistible as ach finished piece is photographed in a setting that tells a story and something about its personality. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, and allow room to for you own creative input. If you are new to sewing, this may be the perfect book to build up your skills. With the book’s no muss, no fuss attitude, you will feel like one of Santa’s elves when you complete The first one. If you have been sewing for a while, it offers a refreshing break from the standard. Just try and decide which one to make first.
And now you know what everyone is getting for Christmas this year.
You can see more of Diana's designs on her Web site.
There's the slightest chill in the air and the days are getting darker earlier. I'm not complaining, in fact I relish this information. They just give me more excuses to fill the bathtub with warm, scented water and indulge in some bubbles. As the holiday shopping season approaches, I already know what's at the top of my list: bath products. Luckily, Braggin' Rights Bath has everything I need. You can read more in my interview here.
It's getting cold out there (it snowed in Cleveland over the weekend!). So admit it, this beautifully knit scarf is looking like the just the right thing. Well, you're in luck, Made For Me By Oaklie creates knit accessories in just about every color and texture you can imagine.
Read my interview and meet the woman behind Made By My For Oaklie, and learn a little bit about the online crafing community while you're at it.