T1-MMT-P1-Research More surface distortion

Janet Fieldhouse makes ceramics expressing her Torres Strait Island heritage. Those based on the tradition of woven fibre baskets, mats and armbands in that culture flow and meld into organic forms. The examples I have seen photographed are all in a pure cream porcelain, all the focus on the light and shadow of the forms.

Fieldhouse’s cultural investigations are concerned with female objects. She is working to maintain a history, sometimes one no longer in current use – for example wedding pendants and scarification. Her use of materials is experimental. The slumping is a result of the behaviour in the kiln of the Keraflex flexible porcelain she uses. Initially devastated by unintended results of firing, she decided to take advantage of it.

Stranger, L. (2014) ‘Janet Fieldhouse’, Artist Profile, 29, pp. 52 – 55.
Mark and Memory: Janet Fieldhouse (no date) Cairns Regional Gallery. Available at: http://www.cairnsregionalgallery.com.au/exhibition205.pdf (Accessed: 11 April 2015).

At a personal level Fieldhouse’s base of the objects of the women of her culture, even the name of the exhibition “Mark and Memory”, attract me. Beautiful forms attract the eye, but a continuation – a reclaiming – of history and culture of people is so much more.

The experimental approach to materials is relevant to the course, and some of the forms created by Fieldhouse are superficially similar to ones seen in the Tearing and Cutting project. The shapes also had me thinking of slumped glass, where the hard surface takes on the shape and texture of the mould beneath it in the kiln. Could that idea be used with melting sheets of plastic – either after ironing while still warm, or under the blowtorch. That was the beginning of the tray of damp sand, seen used unsuccessfully in a recent side exploration (10-April-2015).

The blog of Mrs Kamp, a teacher in the Middle School at Calvert, offers another possibility – this one inspired by the work of Dale Chihuly. The eighth graders used permanent markers to decorate clear plastic drinking cups. Mrs Kamp melted the cups in a toaster oven, then joined them using fishing line to create an installation piece for the school.

Kamp (2013) ‘Chihuly Inspired Chandelier’, The Calvert Canvas: Adventures in Middle School Art!, 19 April. Available at: http://calvertcanvas.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/chihuly-inspired-chandelier.html (Accessed: 11 April 2015).

Jo Deeley http://jodeeley.com/home/. Jane of Epocktextiles left a link to this artist in a comment. Wonderful!

Deeley graduated in Multi-media Textile Design (BA) at Loughborough University and has a Masters Degree in Textile Art. Her Summer Exhibition of her final year’s work is full of examples of folding and pleating in textiles, using an adventurous, experimental approach. I particularly like a hanging shown over a window – http://jodeeley.com/textile-art-galleries/summer-exhibition/attachment/ls6002808/, like a modern sculptural version of a lace curtain.

In her gallery of Woven Sculptures Deeley takes advantage of double weave and areas of exposed warp, combined with shaping and manipulation of the material off the loom. See for example http://jodeeley.com/textile-art-galleries/woven-sculptures/attachment/l101_0003/

The Folding gallery includes both paper and textile works. Some fascinating results, and it reminds me of the impact of repetition of shapes. One on its own is a curiosity, dozens create impact, a totally new surface.

Knotting, Tying and Layering – such wild, deep textures!

I find Deeley’s work very exciting. It brings the folding and manipulation exercises I’ve been doing in paper and plastic right back into the world of textiles – real outcomes of the studio/class explorations. She uses a lot of traditional techniques, especially weaving and knotting, which are particularly attractive to me. Her work can be wild and messy and is full of life and energy.

As a contrast, see the work of Susie Taylor, particularly her investigation of weaving and origami together (http://susietaylorportfolio.com/fiber-art-2/) (I found Taylor’s work via Tien Chu’s blog, http://www.tienchiu.com/2015/04/jacquard-study/). Susie Taylor is a textile designer, designing for jacquard looms. She also holds a Certificate of Excellence from the Handweaver’s Guild of America. Works such as Chrysalis, 2015, woven and folded linen and silk, and Silver Lining, 2014, woven and folded with linen & spun silk, are amazing and experimental and incredibly skillful. However they don’t inspire me personally. I considered the Certificate of Excellence before finding the OCA course, and definitely made the right choice for my own interests and aesthetics.

Coming back to Jo Deeley’s work, it is so directly inspirational and aspirational for me that it’s overwhelming. I have to take a grip on myself and believe that my current baby steps are leading somewhere, part of the process and not an end in themselves. I need to go back out to the garage and do the work.

T1-MMT-P1-Research More surface distortion
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Research: More surface distortion

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April 2015

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