So, as Grace mentioned yesterday, I met her a few years ago when I was still a student in Savannah, Ga. I was finishing up my studies in the Fibers Department at the Savannah College of Art when Grace came to speak to our class. We all learned a great deal from Grace. She shared her experience as a design connoisseur and a young entrepreneur and was very generous with her wealth of knowledge on both subjects. We all felt so lucky to have her visit.
The fibers department is where I learned the importance of quality and craftsmanship. I learned from an amazing collection of professors, each giving a new perspective on art, but collectively supporting us students by giving the best critiques and honest advise. Fibers is a very broad subject teaching many skills and techniques for the manipulation and construction of fibers and or surfaces. . I learned things like hand weaving, natural dyeing techniques and surface design skills. These techniques can then be turned into surface applications such as textiles, wallpapers, or flooring, for example. The same techniques can also be used in fine art applications.
I have always felt that the art of fibers lends itself nicely to details, which is great for me, a lover of all things small and fine. I am currently in a transitional stage of my life as an aspiring designer and artist. My dream is to have a small company with my dear friend, Emily, producing goods that we design. We want to combine our surface designs and Emily’s illustrations with a variety of products for the home. It is a scary but exciting venture. I still feel so young and naïve, and I know so little about running a business, but our goal is to start small, slow, and steady.
Here are a few of my favorite fiber artists of the past and present. I am often drawn to the simplicity of materials and fine craftsmanship. These women and their work are so inspiring to me. I often reference their work when redecorating or styling my home. Like myself, these artists all focus on detail.
First up, is Anni Albers, the classic Bauhaus designer who turned strings of color into beautiful woven textiles. Anni and her husband, Josef, were a remarkable design team. My favorites are Anni’s woven designs laid out on paper with gouache paints.
Hildur Bjarnadottir, is an Icelandic artist that I discovered in college and still find rather inspiring. She hasn’t any recent work on her site, but what she has is so full of exploration and fun. She uses several different techniques to express her cheekiness. Her work has a certain novelty to it, yet the quality is flawless. This, to me, is an important balance.
You may know Laurie Faggioni as the production designer for Michel Ghondry’s The Science of Sleep. She is an amazing talent that creates from within, and I find her so inspiring. I love every little stitch in Lauri’s work. Click here to see a clip of Faggioni in her studio.
Selvedge Magazine, is the greatest fiber art and textile resource that I have ever come across. I worship my collection of issues, and reference them constantly for both knowledge and inspiration! It is a beautiful publication. You can find it at nearly any magazine stand now, I know my mother finds hers local bookstore. Also be sure to check out their new blog, here.
While exploring my new neighborhood last week, I happened upon this great little shop of notions in Park Slope called Fiber Notion. It is so difficult to find a good source of quality materials to work with, without going into the “big city”, and even then- it isn’t easy, so when I found this little treasure of a shop and store owner, Kat, I wanted to share it with the rest of the world. At Fiber Notion you can find everything from beautiful felted wools, great sewing and crafting tools, a small collection of fabrics, and trims. Kat also features something called fashion tidbits; they are fat quarters of recycled designer fabrics, meaning the quality is superb. They are great for quilting or for small home projects and crafts. If you are ever in the neighborhood, be sure to check it out.