Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wearable Art Produced by TextielLab in 2013[1-2]
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The TextielLab (Tilburg, The Netherlands) is a well established art weaving and knitting institution in Europe. It appeals to students, designers, artists, and architects since it is a one-stop shop experience. It is a well-equipped laboratory and so is home to the latest high-tech weaving looms and 3D-knitting machines. It has a well stocked yarn bank and has in-house expertise so that suitable materials may be custom dyed.

Knitting machine in action at TextielLab.

The TextielLab has previously featured on this blog spot – see:
Textile Museum in Tilburg (The Netherlands)
TexteilLab & TexteilMuseum - 2013

Todays post will concentrate on giving a glimpse of TextielLab’s 2013 wearable art output. Stef Miero who has 30 years experience in textiles believes that creativity should rule the design process. He is now a senior product developer at TextielLab specializing in weaving. He believes if you go beyond what software and looms are programed to do, that is when you begin to straddle the edge of creativity. It all comes down to research and experiment, which is not always possible within the mainstream textile industry for production pressure. For Miero the real satisfaction comes from working with designers, some of who have never worked with textiles before, to help them translate their creative vision into fabric.

Stef Miero.

Wearable Art from TextielLab in 2013
This post will only give a glimpse of five wearable art projects that were completed in the TextielLab in 2013. For a more detailed review please see reference[2].

Name: Virginia Burlina[2]
Title: For Wonder.
Technique: Laser Cutting/Digital Printing.

Flower-decked swimming caps have become icons of 1970s style. Virginia Burlina, a third-year fashion design student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, was inspired to expand the look for her whimsical women’s wear collection.

Digital printing in action for Virginia Burlina’s designs.

Design sketch.

Another design sketch.

Hundreds of flowers of different sizes were laser cut from latex sheets and painstakingly washed before being applied to the underlying fabric. Virginia’s aim in adding the 3D floral elements gives the feeling of a “controlled wildness”.

Floral prints and a laser cut layer.

A series of scarfs was also printed with watercolour impressions of topical forests.

A typical look.

The collection was launched at the academy in Antwerp.

Name: KRJST[2]
Title: K2.
Technique: Digital Printing and Weaving.

Sub-culture heroes such as Jim Morrison, Frida Kahlo, Joan Baez, Catholic iconography and male-female antagonism are among the influences drawn on by Krjst, A Brussels-based fashion collective founded in 2012 by Justine Moriamé and Erika Schillebeeckx. In characteristically complex digital prints and weaves, these eclectic influences burst across the fabrics like colors from a prism.

Design sketch of Krjst.

Digital printing Krjst design.

Weaving in progress of Krjst design.

The labour intensity of the production process means collections are kept small, but are updated each season. New collections are often developed with the input of guest collaborators from other disciplines, including graphic designers, illustrators and photographers.


Name: Pauline van Dongen[2]
Title: Hyperspace.
Technique: Knitting.

Pauline van Dongen took advantage of wool’s resilience by creating a pleated fabric as a basis for a sculptural dress.

The designer selecting a yarn.

In addition, she fashioned a top with woolen trimmings made on traditional looms. The trimmings allow the garment to be worn in different ways.

Sculpture knitwear.

This capsule collections features three woollen outfits.

A dress.

One of three outfits.

Name: Fashion Museum. Hasselt Mass Architects[2]
Title: Skyline of Florence.
Technique: Knitting.

The signature stripes of Italian fashion house Missoni are recreated here in the knitted skyline of Florence. This colorful mix of cotton, acrylic, mohair, linen and organic wool provides the backdrop for a special exhibition in tribute to the history of Italian fashion. The bright stripes and scale of the design transform the décor into a work of art in its own right.

Knitted panels.

Panel in detail.

It is rare to make use of such large knits, so filling the exhibition space was a challenge. The different panels had to form a seamless fit. The scenography was a joint collaboration between Fashion Museum of Hasselt and MASS Architects.

Exhibition in Hasselt.

Name: Studio Marcel Wanders[2]
Title: Phoebe.
Technique: Knit and Wear.

A 3D-knitted lampshade is one of Studio Marcel Wander’s most recent creations.

Close-up of the knitted mohair spheres.

Made from knitted spheres of mohair, strong monofilaments and elastic, the result is highly tactile, emitting a diffuse light.

Form studies.

The monofilaments add strength, giving the whole a sculptural quality. Much research went into finding materials that were suitable for knitting. The tougher the material, the harder it is to knit.

Transparency test.

The research succeeded and circular knits came rolling off the machine.

Final shape of spheres.

This limited-edition lamp was on show at the TextielMuseum’s “Talking Textiles” exhibition curated by Lidwij Edelkoort as well as at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Video still of soft radiance.

All circular knits aglow.

[1] TextielLab – 100% Innovation.
[2] TextileMuseum and TexteilLab 2013 Year Book.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

TextielLab & TextielMuseum – 2013[1-2]
Resource Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The TextielLab (Tilburg, The Netherlands) is a well established art weaving institution in Europe. It occupies a unique niche where expertise, craftsmanship and innovation meld. It appeals to students, designers, artists and architects since it is a one stop shop weaving experience. It is a well-equipped laboratory and so is home to the latest high-tech Lindauer Dornier weaving looms and Stoll 3D-knitting machines. It has a well stock yarn bank and has in-house expertise so that suitable materials may be custom dyed.

DORNIER loom in the TextielLab.

The TextielLab has previously featured on this blog spot – see:
Textile Museum in Tilburg
Wearable Art Produced by TextielLab in 2013

Todays post will concentrate on giving you a glimpse of TextielLab’s 2013 artistic output. However a glimpse of their workflow and workload in 2013 may be of interest to prospective students, artists and clients.

Modern machinery in a heritage building of the TextielLab.

The most difficult stage for students, artists, architects and clients alike, is how to begin to transform an image into an artistic object. Not all images can lead to an effective reproduction in terms of a weaving or knitting process. Some images are far too subtle in terms of color variation that no bank of custom dyed yarns can effectively reproduce. Other images require a resolution (i.e. intricate detail) that is far beyond the capability of even the most sophisticated computerized machinery. Some images have a depth perception that is impossible to duplicate with yarn. Due to the workload constraints of any artistic laboratory, some images are just not interesting enough to waylay more pressing work. Hence any artistic laboratory must have an initial filtering process. If the project submitted contains little interest or is not possible to produce, then the enquiry by a client on submitting an image will be politely declined. However, if the project/image is of interest to the TextielLab and there is a feasibility that the artistic integrity of the image can be preserved as a woven or knitted art object, then the laboratory will move to the second stage – the intake stage – where design and yarn specification will be explored and a cost estimate will be delivered to the client. The next stage is the development stage, where the laboratory will undergo programming of equipment, testing of techniques and selections of yarns to yield the most accurate reproduction as woven or knitted samples. At this point, the client or laboratory may reject going into the production phase since the submitted image cannot be effectively reproduced in this concrete operational rendering of the image. If however it can be effectively reproduced the process will move into the production phase and then into the completion phase.

Workflow procedure of a submitted image by a client to the TextielLab.

The output of the TexteilLab in 2013 in terms of techniques gives an interesting insight the context of its workload. In percentage terms the weaving process was approximately six times more popular than its nearest rivals, namely, knitting, embroidery and digital printing, the latter three hovering around the 9 percentile. The least demanded techniques were laser cutting and tufting that hovered around the third percentile.

Techniques in percentage terms performed by the TextielLab in 2013.

The usage of yarns also reflects the textile outputs with organic cotton (warp and weft) 6308kg in total being used. Wool (Merino) is approximately a sixth of that total with the next three - linen, mohair and acrylic - trailing in the rear.

Usage of yarns in kg in 2013.

The TextielLab not only creates textiles but one of its important functions is that it exhibits some of the textiles it has reproduced from client’s images. Lidewij Edelkoort curated in 2013 - “Talking Textiles’ Exhibition” - at the TextielMuseum together with Philip Fimmano.

Lidewij Edelkoort.

On display were many projects developed at the TextielLab including Kiki van Eijk’s “Townhouse Rug” and Bertjan Pot’s “Pocket Light”. The carpets, curtains, lighting, digital prints and multimedia installations selected for the exhibition reveal that today’s designers are embracing modern lifestyles and moreover, are moving textiles from a merely functional purpose into the realms of wearable art and moreover, into artistic mores.

“Talking Textiles” exhibition in the TextielMuseum.

Vignette of Creative Outputs from TextielLab – 2013[2]
Only five creative outputs in 2013 from TextielLab will be highlighted below. For a more in depth survey please purchase reference [2].

Kloppenburg and van Egteren
In 1645, Rembrandt van Rijn sat along a bend in the Amstel River to sketch the scene for a small, atmospheric etching. Over 350 years later, the work was hand tufted to a size of 2.5 x 3.5 meters in order to add warmth, color and texture to the offices of Norton Rose Fulbright, a law firm based in Amsterdam’s Rembrandt Tower, near the site that had inspired the Dutch Master. The designers translated the original grey tone etching into a pointillist image incorporating up to six different colors per square centimetre. The image was extremely detailed and took almost a year to tuft.

Title: De Omval
Technique: Hand Tufting.

Close-up of the finished work.

Close up of the painstaking tufting process in action.

Kustaa Saksi
Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi takes jacquard weaving to a new level with “Hypnopompic”; a series of vivid large-scale tapestries employing Jacquard weaving. A hypnopompic state is a dream-like consciousness meandering between waking and sleeping. The artist evokes this with intricate and colourful images of nature’s surreal side in the form of psychedelic spiders, monkeys and insects interwoven with exuberant flora and fauna. The patterns also reflect the visual disturbances that the artist experiences during frequent migraine attacks. A wide range of natural and synthetic materials, from viscose, Lurex and metallic yarns, to alpaca wool and mohair, add extra depth.

Title: “Herbarium of Dreams”.
Technique: Jacquard weaving.

Title: “Grasshoper”
Technique: Jacquard weaving.

Title:“Arachne’s Web”.
Technique: Jacquard weaving.

Creneau International (Design Studio)
Bar Marie is a new café in the Belgian headquarters of publishing firm Sanoma. Creneau International based its interior concept on magazines, aiming to tell stories, inspire and inform. The café needed a partition for the meeting area; a powerful visual in its own right. The result was a large woven curtain with a classic floral motif symbolising the focus on organic produce. In the fore ground are sketches of food in a contrasting yarn, but from a distance, the sketches form a face. The highly complex design was translated into 24 colors. Color testing help select the right mix.

Color study.

Woven curtain in place at Bar Marie.
Title: “Café Sanoma Belgium”.
Technique: Jacquard weaving.

The pattern forms a face.

Karin de Waard
The growing interest in corporate social responsibility is manifesting itself in some intriguing ways. Karin de Waard’s “Dstruct” concept is aimed at CSR-committed companies interested in turning their waste into new and potentially viable commercial products. The extension of this concept is “Collection 2”, a room divider and two carpets made from synthetic leather. The room divider’s intricate laser-cut components make optimal use of the material available and any off-cuts used in equally intricate carpets. The highly efficient design can be transferred to other materials such as denim or rubber, and scaled to produce larger or smaller textiles for cushions, bags and clothing.

Title: Dstruct: Collection 2 – Room Divider.
Technique: Laser cutting.

Synthetic carpet.

Assembly of product.

Studio Job
In Miami’s illustrious beachfront is the new Faena Saxony hotel development. No expenses are being spared for this luxurious complex, which encompasses an art center, theatre and luxury housing project in addition to the hotel. Studio Job designed six pennant flags for the hotel entrance. Each custom-embroidered flag features one million stitches. With thousands of stitches available in embroidery software, each stitch was carefully selected based on samples at the TexteilLab. The size of the flag meant that each section had to be embroidered and assembled individually.

Title: Faena Pennant – one complete pennant.
Technique: Embroidery.

One million stitches per flag.

[1] TextielLab – 100% Innovation.
[2] TextielMuseum and TextielLab 2013 Year Book.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Musings of A Textile Tragic -
Be Brave, The Rest Will Follow
June, 2015 - Issue 118

Art Essay (TFF Column)

Co-Editor: Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The largest selling textile magazine in Australasia is Textile Fibre Forum (TFF). I am the co-editor of the magazine (its founder - Janet de Boer - being the other co-editor). Hence I have created a column within the magazine titled – Musings of a Textile Tragic. This column will appear on this blogspot together with a link and contents page of each new issue of the quarterly magazine once it is available from magazine outlets and on the ArtWear Publications website.

Front Cover of TFF (June, 2015 - Issue 118).

For your convenience, I have listed links to other Musings articles:
Musings of a Textile Tragic
Co-Editor of TFF
Of Fires and Flooding Rain
Lost in Translation
Venusian Men
The Artwork of Youth
Textile Tasters from My Workshops

Contents Page of TFF - June 2015 Edition (Issue Number 118)

Musings of A Textile Tragic - Be Brave, The Rest Will Follow
The older we get the more risk adverse we become since we want to protect the reputation that we have built over a lifetime. Dabbling in “indie” art may be a good idea at the age of 80 for some, but not for most! When these strange thoughts emerge I remember the advice Jawahalal Nehru gave to his daughter Indira Gandhi - “Be brave, the rest will follow”. It became my credo throughout my life and so when I have become too comfortable with my work, art practice and life in general, this credo makes an appearance in order to remind me that life should be a challenge and not just a “dottle”. Consequently, I would do something risky - not just for the sake of it but rather for the thrill of it!

I have worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for some of the largest advertising agencies in Australia. In the 1980s my husband informed me that he was offered a job at the University of Newcastle and wanted my input if he should accept it, after all I would have to relinquish my graphic design job at George Patterson Advertising (Melbourne). I gave it some thought and said to him “Let’s go” and before too long I was the senior art director/senior graphic designer for the Medical Communication Unit at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle/Hunter Area Health Service.

After ten years in the job, I had a “Nehru” epiphany. I fronted my husband at breakfast and announced that from this day forth I was elevating him to an even greater status, namely, to that of an art patron! He look confused but slowly understood what I meant when I resigned from my lucrative senior art director/senior graphic design position and enrolled as a part-time fine-arts undergraduate student at the University of Newcastle. For the first year of my degree I experimented with painting on canvas (a ballerina on fire doing a poised leap into oblivion - of all things!), sculpture (a striated structured dome), prints on paper (limited edition prints) and finally, prints on cloth. I decided to concentrate on the latter two and slowly as my art evolved, my use of textiles started to dominate my artworks. I did a workshop and a year long master class program with Jane Dunnewold in the USA and the rest is history.

I have already detailed how I became co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum (see Issue 112). I stated right at the beginning that my co-editorship would be inclusive, attempting to enlarge the textile community. To that end my “Musings” juxtaposed: (i) experienced textile artists such as Els van Baarle (Lost in Translation) with those at the beginning of their art journey (The Artwork of Youth); (ii) those facing hardships of the bush (Of Fires and Flooding Rains) with those attending country and city workshops (Textile Tasters of My Workshops); great women textile artists (littered most of my musings) to those few men in the field (Venusian Men).

I also stated in my first issue as co-editor that some of my selected articles and covers would be “edgy” (ah, my “Nehru” moments!). I believe there are a number that easily fall into this category, but I will allow you to decide which ones they are, since what is “edgy” to one person is “mainstream” to another.

My co-editorship was always a year-to-year proposition as I stated in Issue 112. Nevertheless, this will be my last “Musings” and the last issue that I will be co-editor of TFF. I am leaving in order to pursue my artwork so that I can exhibit more nationally and internationally without the restrictions of publishing deadlines. Of course I shall still blog on various topics - essays, art resources, reviews, guest editorials etc. ( and write the occasional article for ArtWear Publications.

I am very grateful to Michelle Moriarty for initially installing me as co-editor and to Lynda Worthington for having confidence in me to continue in that role for another year. I enjoyed working with the graphics team at ArtWear Publications: Kylie Albanese, Hannah Mary French and of course, my closest graphic associate Cilla Poa-Heighway. I loved working with so many of my contributors to TFF but the two writers that worked hardest and closest with me were Inga Walton and Ian Penrose. Finally, what can I say about Janet de Boer that has not already been written in print. She was a great mentor, and very generous in leading me to interesting contributors. I have been co-editor for only a blink (two years in all) whereas Janet was the sole editor for a lifetime. She has forged TFF’s heart and soul.

The baton has been passed on to Neroli Henderson. She is an experienced textile artist, a graphic designer and has a following on social media sites. I have every confidence that TFF is in great hands and look forward to reading her future issues as editor. I know she will bring her formidable imprint to the magazine.

This is your time, dear reader, to seek opportunity, to unfurl your aspirations, to operate on your imagination and dreams with your art practice and so create new horizons, new realities and new frontiers - for you and others to explore. This reader is your time to - grab it, shake it, change it! Remember the words of Nehru - “Be Brave, The Rest Will Follow”.

All photos below by Ellak von Nagy-Felsobuki unless otherwise stated.

Marie-Therese curated the inaugural, international touring exhibition, "ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions", which toured Australia from 2009-2011. Here she is giving the curator’s address at Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Qld. 2010. Photo courtesy Karen Tyler, Redcliffe City Art Gallery.
Photograph credit: Al Sim.
"ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions" was initially exhibited at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Fairfield, NSW, Australia, 29th August - 11th October 2009.
The exhibition then toured nationally to:
Orange Regional Gallery, NSW, 9th April - 30th May 2010 in conjunction with the international Orange Fibre Forum Conference.
Redcliffe City Art Gallery in Queensland, 11th - 28th August 2010 as part of the gallery's 10 year celebrations.
Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria, 11th December 2010 - 23rd January 2011 as part of the gallery's contemporary textile arts exhibitions program.

Marie-Therese’s "Velvet ArtCloth Scarves Collection" was nominated as a Finalist in the inaugural 2013 Australian Craft Awards by design100 Pty. Ltd.

In 2009 Marie-Therese was one of twenty-one artists invited to participate in the 2011 Exchange Partners in Print "Unique State" 20th Anniversary Print Project. Pictured is edition no. 8/40 from the Artcloth work "Wangi’s Djirang", which employs her signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique on synthetic fiber.

Artists were asked to make 40 x A4 unique state artworks using any form of print media. These artworks had to be a signature work, consistent with the artists practice. The size of each artwork had to be A4 in size (i.e. 29.7 cm long x 21 cm wide). All 40 works had to be different in some respect and the 40 artworks, when pieced together, had to rebuild an artwork in its own right. Artists were asked to use acid free materials and long lasting archival inks. Artists could use textile materials or different papers and media.

The portfolios/prints have been collected by the Australian Print Council, Melbourne, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia, Castlemaine Regional Art Gallery, Australia, Lower East Side Print Shop, New York, USA, California Society of Printmakers, San Francisco, USA, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, Chicago, USA, London Print Studios, London, UK, Artichoke Printmakers, London, UK, The Cambridge Curwen Print Studios, UK, East London Print Work Shop, UK, Spike Island Studios, Bristol, UK, Limerick Printmakers Studio, Limerick, Ireland, Edinburgh Print Workshop Edinburgh, Scotland, Glasgow Print Workshop, Glasgow, Scotland.

Marie-Therese screen-printing multiple image layers at her Art Quill Studio in Arcadia Vale, NSW, Australia.

Marie-Therese with her "New Landscapes Using Disperse Dyes & Transfer Printing" five-day workshop class at the Surface Design Association’s Confluence conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, 2011.
Back left to right standing: Sheryl Schwyhart, Dotti Day, Katherine Dunlevey, Lesley Turner, Camy Kilmer, Jennifer Libby Fay and Marie-Therese. Centre left to right standing: Ingrid Lincoln, Dar Brooks, Karie Amstutz (workshop assistant). Front left to right sitting: Barbara Martinson, Liv Samset and Helda Klouth.

A view of Marie-Therese’s "When Rainforests Ruled" ArtCloth exhibition at Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery, Freemans Reach, NSW, Australia, 7th July - 31st August 2012.

Marie-Therese with art patrons and artists at her "My Southern Land" ArtCloth exhibition at
‘t Haentje the Paart Gallery, Middelburg, The Netherlands, 5th October - 4th November 2014.
From left to right: Els van Baarle (artist), art patron, art patron, Marie-Therese (artist), Marijke van Welzen (artist), let Snoeij-van Pelt (Gallery Owner and Director of ‘t Haentje the Paart Gallery), Monika (let Snoeij-van Pelt’s daughter and Gallery Assistant), three art patrons.