Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

Fur lifejacket, for fabulous shipwrecks

Monday, January 18th, 2016

I made this fur lifejacket partly in homage to Meret Oppenheim, one of the founders of surrealism and most famous for her “Object in Fur,” a fur teacup and spoon. Oppenheim is yet another woman artist who did not receive the credit or status she was due. This lifejacket was exhibited in the “Material” exhibition at Toronto Harbourfront Centre in 2009 and in the “Cut/Copy/Paste” exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2010, curated by The Canadian Design Resource.

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Endangered 5000 year old ancient practice of making silk made from mollusc slime

Friday, January 15th, 2016

“Haste doesn’t live here,” says one sign on the door. Another inside says “Nothing in this room is for sale.” An Italian woman named Chiara Vigo is the last living master of the ancient textile tradition of spinning “baysuss” or silk produced from the fibres exuded by a giant mediterranean mollusc. The craft is referenced in the holy books of more than one religion and is said to go back 5000 years.

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More colonial craft

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Once you start seeing something, it’s suddenly everywhere  (and it doesn’t help that people keep sending me examples). After noticing that we seem culturally obsessed with our colonial settlement of this city/province/country/continent right now, and that this pioneer DIY craft style has spread as far afield as Brisbane and Berlin, based on what people have written me, I feel compelled to keep collecting it.

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Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014


Men in British Columbia, 1859, one in a newly discovered collection of early photographs of white settlers and First Nations in B.C. Via Vancouver Sun © Royal British Columbia Museum, reprinted with permission

An abridged version of this essay has been published in the May/June 2015 issue of Briarpatch Magazine

I am probably as bored of casual hipster-slagging as you are.

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Navajo chief’s blanket ends up on Antiques Road Show (2004)

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

This is for those who haven’t seen this decade-old segment which for some reason has been making the social media rounds again.

It is so nice to see a truly beautiful textile get this sort of attention (and from men too, which speaking as a textiles person rarely happens in North America, in contrast with other parts of the world).

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Arhuaca mochila bags of Colombia

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

I first noticed these cylindrical handwoven bags on a couple of delegates at the UN World Urban Forum in Medellín, Colombia. They looked unusually sturdy, very finely handwoven in wool, and all had unique and beautiful geometric patterns. A week later in Bogotá I realized they are actually quite common.

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