Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Blue" -- 1970's velour pants, silk scraps, and tea-dyed burlap

Wall hanging made from Clara's (aka Mom's) 1970s cotton velour pants, silk scraps, tea-dyed burlap, and various threads. Inscription labels on back made from 1960s cotton curtain lining. 


For my friend Julie Cohn  who designs and makes beautiful jewelry

and loves....

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Adelina's Alley: take 1 and 2

This screen shot from "Adelina", one of a trilogy of three short stories in Vittorio de Sica 's 1963 film "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" [Ieri, Oggi, Domani] was the inspiration for the pillow design. The combination of neutral colors with bright colors and white, the patterns, the weave of the man's suit, and the architectural lines of the alley all play into the design.

        A couple of the fabrics are even in sync with the time period of the film-- the woven beige cotton was the curtains from our 1960's patio home, the green plaid was my dad's shirt from the same time period.

                This is my dad in 1959 with my two oldest sisters here in central Texas.

The raw silk is cut from a tunic top my sister made for herself in the late 1980's- early 90's, a Claude Montana design.  The fabric is breaking down from age and it causes me pain to cut up her hard work, but once the material is backed with fusible inner facing it's usable again, so why not?


Edge strips

Here are the edge strips trimmed from the pillow cover and sewn together to create a new textile.
The process of framing and trimming is self-generative.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Monica Vitti's existential crisis and my grandfather's long johns - it's hot and cold in "The Red Desert".

The Girl on the Beach clip from "The Red Desert"


Monica Vitti in a still from Michelangelo Antonioni's film The Red Desert (Il Deserto Rosso), 1964.
The blocks of color, lines, and fabrics in this photo inspired the pillow design.


           Fabrics used include my grandfather's woolen long johns-- ca. 1960 or earlier-- with his last name, Hermes, handwritten on waistband; 1970's corduroy Levis;  red cotton batik remnants from the lapel of   the poppy robe I designed and made . Other scraps include digital print silk I made into a scarf, an orange cotton print sample brought from India years ago by the husband of a friend of mine, 1980's curtain fabric from my sister, and red plaid silk upholstery sample.


The random sizes and shapes of the scraps form the basis of the composition.

A few weeks ago I stitched together pieces of the Levis to make a pigment sheet with no idea how I would use it;  the irregular piecing and layers reminded me of Serge Poliakoff  's paintings, which I love:

in progress 

The first mock-up was a series of mostly vertical lines, much like the film photo.

The texture and color of Monica Vitti's sweater made me think to add in my grandfather's woolen long johns-- the triangular shape of the waistband shifted the composition, broke up the grid.
The manufacturer's label and my grandmother's handwriting inside were a surprise that begged to be exposed.

Hans Hofmann

I was thinking of Hans Hoffman 's early to mid-1960's color block paintings, which he was doing at the same time Antonioni was making this film.  In the photo below, you can see how art of the period was influencing film set design, in the use of blocks of color, and even the attention to the paint-- the unevenness of the layers, and the texture of it peeling away from the surfaces.

Here's Tillycat doing her best Monica Vitti impersonation.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Venetian silk meets oil rag [nee 1960's man's shirt]

... thinking of architectural details and proportions... 
Steven Holl's design for the Pace Gallery, NYC, early 1990's.

oil stains and shirt tail hem

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Collage Pillow 1, plus "Ieri, Oggi, Domani"


Film and fabrics:

This week I watched Vittorio de Sica's film "Ieri, Oggi, Domani"  , a trilogy of short films within a film starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. I was struck by the colors, patterns, and textures in the clothing, architecture, props-- everything so beautifully thought out.  

It's a comprehensive approach that brought to mind the diverse group of fabrics in my collection, which span a wide range of time periods, various family members' personal tastes, functions etc.-- interesting to think of each group of fabrics as a scene, a place, an event.  Some of the fabrics in the collection, such as the green and gray windowpane plaid shirt-- a rag which I recovered from my dad's work shed--  are from around the same time period as the movie, mid-sixties.  

Love the Lipton boxes and other products, the pop of turquoise in the doorway.
Note the occurrence of blue in this series of market scenes.

.. and the geometric patterned dress that strolls through.

LOVE this one-- the linear structure and use of shadow to reinforce it, the texture of the wall at the back, the pop of orange amid grays and beiges.

I was reminded of this painting by Nicolas de Stael .  The monochrome image above emphasizes the lines and spatial composition.  Below is the original painting with all of its glorious colors.

back to the film....

Is that a pile of giant lemons?

You can't miss the yellow in these frames.

So small that red license plate, but what an impact.

and a pop of red again in this one.

Crazy colored cabinets!  Note the blood-red pot with the turquoise bowl back left.