Thursday, October 30, 2014

Having fun with mixed media - the World of Wearable Arts (WOW)

Although the history of using the human body as a mannequin for art display surfaced occasionally in the twentieth centure with Atsuko Tanaka's Electric Dress in 1956, it was not until 1987 that Wearable Arts became celebrated in New Zealand as an annual extravaganza. It was the brainchild of Susie Moncrieff and for the first few years it was held in the small, artsy city of Nelson. Once it had become more and more popular, it eventually transposed itself to the capital, Wellington, usually around the end of September and early October, spring in our hemisphere.

These days, Wow is an internationally known spectacular that attracts designers from all over the world such as Canada, Japan, USA, India, Thailand, UK, the Netherlands, Israel, Fiji and Germany.

Even though the art costumes are the reason for being, WOW has become a cross between an art show, a fashion show and the Cirque du Soleil. Lighting, acrobats, music, ballet and other media all combine to make the show truly spectacular. The downside for people who want to see the art costumes up close, is that they become ever more remote and incorporated into the 'fabric' of the show. The only way to see some of the costumes in detail is at the permanent exhibition in Nelson.

There are several categories: Pacifica, Children, Bizarre bra, Avant garde, and sometimes lighting or this year it was inflatables!

The entrants have instructions about the garment and any accessories having to be robust to stand quick changes and several shows, with maybe a tour at the end. Any material can be used, including metal, wood and plastic. Paper can be tricky, and needs lots of reinforcement.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Lettering and Bookmaking

I was thrilled when I saw our new challenge: Lettering. This, because I am so fascinated by the shapes of letters, from the earliest Cuneinform and Hieroglyphs, up till our time with thousand different fonts.
And comming from Norway, I am so fascinated by the exotic elegance of Arabic and Asian writing.
I have used lettering many times in my quilts, like here in our challenge: Every single day, where I used the Chinese sign for Tea:

But, the earliest form of lettering in Scandinavia, Runer, are just as fascinating. I used them in one of my quilts about our Viking-ships, here is a picture of my Design-board, where I'm trying out different texts.
And this brings me to my second topic, bookmaking. 800-1000 years ago, at the time of the Runes, there were no books in Scandinavia that we know of. Writing were done in Runes on stones or wooden sticks, Runepinner. A few of these have survived, one of the most fascinating is one tiny piece of wood, about 12-15 cm long, where the row of boats you see at the bottom was engraved. At the back of this piece of wood, were the text you see to the right. These dates to around 1250, while the text at the top left was found at the Oseberg ship and is from around 820.  

In 2010, Laura had a show in DMTV, where she talked about bookmaking, and this show opened a new world for me.  So I made my first sketchbook, filled with many kinds of paper. 

On the covers, I've used Silk paper I had made . On the front, I had laminated in a leaf from a plant from my garden,

and on the back, I tried to use some golden flakes:

Later, I've made this one, a concertina book

 The cover is lino print on cotton rag paper, and it is, as all of my books are, filled with decorated paper, photos, prints etc.

 The next is a long stitch binding, the cover is hand made paper with embedded leafs:

And this last one I made, with soft leather cover:

If you want to have a try, the videos from DMTV are in Archive Two (you have to subscribe to DMTV to get access). You can also find a few instructive pages here:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

November challenge

Theme for November challenge:


In last time I often see letters on quilts. I don't know if it's fashionable or if it's only because I like it. 
There are so many different possibilities to use letters on quilts:
calligraphy, monograms, handwriting or the fonts of the computer editor.
You can write nonsense or use words or a text which is important to you.
The letters can be     - printed
                                       - painted
                                       - handwritten
                                       - embroidered

I am inspired by:
- Jette Clover
- Sara Impey
- Deborah Boschert