VESSELS (Sandra Wagner)

I have spent a lot of time looking for a Russian artists whose medium is oil but using period costumes or stage costumes with samples of the cloth that the garment was designed in. BUT could not find him so will work on it for next month.

But in the meantime my FiberArts magazine came and I was impressed with the display of vessels on page 28 -30. The one that caught my eye first was by Marcie Schwartzman – she combines fabric and clay. She worked each medium separately for years, after seeing Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party realized what she could do when combining each. There is not a lot of information on her but she can be found at Her statement is “I have worked with fabric and clay for years and after seeing how my garments could form vessels and the boundaries of my clay vessels could continue further evolving to a softer shape. Combining the two-came easily as I saw how certain fabrics and glazes were natural complements to each other”.


Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette is another artist listed in this article and her work is revolving around her need to collect. She has a piece at http://elmarisette.blogspot.comthat is called “Her Domestic Helmet” it is made from hair curlers and is wonderful. the two that are in the FiberArts magazine are made from zippers and pages from textbooks. She spent many hours sharing her talents with all ages teaching classes using collectibles of all kinds.


Dee Durkee makes her vessels from fabric and calls them fabric collage vessels. She collects from estate sales, warehouses, family and friends – working fusing, pieces stitching etc. They are made to be reversible and self-supporting. She lives in AZ and her vessels can be seen at


Also check out:

Amanda Salm she uses horsehair and textures found in nature.


Sarah Hewitt using nail, leather, rattan, jute, tar just name a few of the materials – creates wonderful and unusual vessels.


Christine French uses reed baskets, driftwood, paper pulp, gut, satin, feathers to name a few. Her work is fun and would generate many comments.


They are all wonderful examples of what can be done with all the things that we love to fondle. I think that Christine’s are such fun but love the elegance of Marcie’s. Have any of you tried your hand in this area?



10 Responses to “VESSELS (Sandra Wagner)”

  1. 1 Sheldon Breiner February 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Amanda Salm,
    I was one of the geneltmen who greeted you Feb 1st as you swam onto the beach at Pacific Grove, hardly cold from the 52 degree water. I am the one who lives in Portola Valley and the lady (Mimi) who was with me, is my wife. The older man, who lives in Philadelphia and knows the owner of the Snyderman Galley was Barry (Baruch) Blumberg. He is a man of some note, having discovered the hepatitis antigen three decades ago (and appropriately feted for that breakthrough — Google him as Baruch Blumberg)
    I looked at your work online and it is marvelous for its form and design as well as your creativity in using such natural fibers. How you pluck your raw materials from a fast moving animal with powerful legs, I’ll never know.
    Keep up your exercise and your wonderful spirits. It’s a winning combination.

  2. 2 amanda salm November 8, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Greetings, thank you for displaying my work from the Nov/Dec issue of Fiberarts magazine. in the translation my statement got rather garbled, so I thought i would take the opportunity to give your readers the statement of my work as I wrote it:
    I use the tail hair of horses, some of which I dye with plants I grow, to create sculptural forms. This lustrous material allows me to pursue the properties of translucency and light, yet achieve a solid, architectural shape.
    I am attempting to interpred shapes and patterns from the natural world in a creative and elegant manner utilizing the coiling technique of basketry….
    thank you for your interest. Amanda Salm

  3. 3 eileen doughty October 24, 2007 at 4:51 am

    Natalya, i will paste some relevant URLs and quotes below. Unless it is a starling or English sparrow nest, it is unlikely you can legally use it.

    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act became law, making it unlawful to
    take, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird, including feathers, parts, nests, or eggs.

    It is easier to tell you what feathers are legal to have: all parrots and cockatoos with one exception: Thick-billed Parrots. All domestic fowl, meaning swans, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, peacocks. All ratites; emus, ostrich. All game birds—wild ducks, wild geese, wild turkeys, quail, pheasants, prairie chicken—if there’s a season on it, you can have the feathers. Starlings and English sparrows. That’s it.

    Now it’s time to get creative. If what you want is a raven feather, try a black chicken or swan. Eagle, hawk, or owl—there are painted turkey feathers so realistic that they can fool experts quite close up. Or, you can trim and paint a white turkey feather yourself; you’ll want to use fabric paints and a good photo-reference. Another option is to cross-stitch or embroider a feather; do two mirror-images and mount them wrong sides together. By the time you are done, it will be really and truly yours!

  4. 4 Natalya October 23, 2007 at 11:57 am

    I have just made a shrine and am itching to make some vessels. I think the 3D bug has bit me. Thank you for these pictures.
    Eileen, if you could direct to that bird law please, I have a nest that I found on the ground in our yard that I would like to work with.
    Sandra, what Russian artist were you looking for, I have quite a library of Russian art books.

  5. 5 eileen October 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I think geese feathers would be ok since there is a hunting season on them (isn’t there?). It makes me crazy now to see a blue jay feather just laying there on the sidewalk and i can’t take it home! It comes out of migratory bird protection, and going back decades earlier, to the hat fashions using bird feathers that nearly wiped out some bird species. There are always bad eggs (pun intended) who ruin it for people who aren’t out there to kill a flock of birds for a few feathers; but the law did seem to go to extremes in this case. If anyone wants to see the law about this i can direct them to it – took me a little while to google it.

  6. 6 sandyw October 22, 2007 at 11:20 am

    It’s exciting to have Elizabeth on the site. Do go and visit her blog.

    We have a LOT of geese on our golf course and among one of the things that they manage to leave on the course are their feathers. It is tempting and some do take them home but I cannot see what the problem is in making art with them since the geese drop them every year.


  7. 7 eileen doughty October 22, 2007 at 5:26 am

    I have been making “bowls” (cupped shapes) out of thread for over a year and am now exploring transparent textiles. I had started to incorporate found feathers of birds in my neighborhood, but unfortunately found out that it is illegal in the US to do that! There is a law prohibiting collecting any part of a bird, eggs or nest of just about any wild bird species. Domestic fowl and birds with a hunting season are ok. Seeing the vessels above with feathers is why i am posting this.

    I love making the ‘bowls’ because it is a great way to take advantage of the nature of textile.

  8. 8 Elizabeth Morisette October 21, 2007 at 3:15 pm


    Thanks for metioning my work. My blog is at and my flicker site is


    Let me know if you have any questions

  9. 9 sandyw October 21, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Arlee and other – Sorry the links did not work I did Google them maybe you can reach them that way. I will check out Patricia Chauncey also.


  10. 10 arlee October 21, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Unfortunately, neither link for Morisette works!
    Another intriguing artist using gut and unusual materials is Canadian artist Patricia Chauncey
    Thanks for sharing these fascinating images—one of the pleasures of “subscribing” here, is the new and intriguing directions it can take one as an artist.

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