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ART & CRAFT cannot be separated – Kate Themel

Since this debate comes up time and time again, it seems clear that no one can win this argument. However, not every argument is meant to be won or lost. I submit that some comparisons are not logical and the argument itself only serves to limit our imaginations and fuel resentments that divide the creative community. It’s not like comparing apples to oranges. “Art vs. Craft” would be like comparing “Cuisine vs. Recipe” – we are attempting to define one exclusive of the other, which is impossible.

Art is not a separate “world” from Craft. These two things are not entities themselves but rather they are specific aspects of all creative work.

Continue reading ‘ART & CRAFT cannot be separated – Kate Themel’

Private Pleasures at the Textile Museum (Eileen Doughty)


John McQueen, “Beside Myself”

The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, recently had an aptly-named exhibit, “Private Pleasures: Collecting Contemporary Textile Art”, showcasing over fifty pieces of textile art from eighteen Washington-area private collectors.

Thumbnails of some of the art may be seen here. Continue reading ‘Private Pleasures at the Textile Museum (Eileen Doughty)’

Painted and Quilted: Up for Discussion, by June Underwood

A quick and dirty post this morning from June, since Kristin was unable to do one. I would like to have some continuation of a question that Terry’s last post and subsequent comments suggested. The question is — what are the differences between painting media and stitched textile media? Olga pointed out that making curves in textiles is less physical than doing so in paint, and I think that it’s much harder to make curves with textiles than with paint, and that the effect of the finished work differs subtly in the different media. Continue reading ‘Painted and Quilted: Up for Discussion, by June Underwood’

Hogarth’s Line of Beauty – Terry Grant

Awhile back I went looking for other people’s thoughts about curves in art. At some point it occurred to me that the way curves are rendered , makes the difference between whether a work of art looks fluid and natural as opposed to stiff and labored. But what is it that makes one curve ‘good’ and another ‘bad’? I never did find any scientific or even philosophical answer that really satisfied me, so I am stuck with just knowing it when I see it, but in the course of my search I came across Hogarth’s Line of Beauty.


The artist William Hogarth wrote a book called The Analysis of Beauty. You can actually read the entire text online here. (Disclaimer: I have not read it) Hogarth proposed that the essence of beauty of line in painting, drawing, nature and design is not the simple geometry of a straight line or circle, or more subtle shapes such as the ellipse, but of curves that modulate from one gradient to another. Such a curve, the “S” curve is such a structure and he called it “the line of beauty”. According to his theory, S-Shaped curved lines signify liveliness and activity and excite the attention of the viewer as contrasted with straight lines, parallel lines, or right-angled intersecting lines which signify stasis, death, or inanimate objects. He goes on to say that the S curve is the basis of all great art. Continue reading ‘Hogarth’s Line of Beauty – Terry Grant’

Yvonne Morton – Artist – Sandy Wagner

Ian Wilson writes “A great distance, and that not only physical, separates the heart of Africa from fiber artist Yvonne Morton’s studio in Dorset in southern England. Morton makes the cloth whose inspirational source lies deep in the Congo. Her early medium was armor – her works is shown in Salisbury District Hospital and is based on the medieval surcoat which knights wore over their armor. While she was bedridden and concerned that the imagery that she was using was in danger of becoming “too cozy” she saw a catalogue from a London dealer – she was introduced to Kuba cloth. These are fine pieces of linen-like lengths of cloths. They are embroidered by the women with applique designs after the fabric has been woven by men from raffia which they had harvested from the African Palm tree – Raphia ruffia. Other fabric that are associated with this part of the world are the widely known cut-pile raffia often termed “Shoowa velvet” – this is characterized by dazzling geometric designs and the bark cloth produced by pygmy tribes-people. The Kuba empire is in currently the central Congo area and is the home to a variety of tribes. Continue reading ‘Yvonne Morton – Artist – Sandy Wagner’

A Ramble through Shadows, by June Underwood

Shadows don’t play a very large part in quilted art.

In looking over SAQA’s Portfolio 14 (a fairly representational collection of quilted art work by professional artists), I find little in the way of shadows. Value ranges and darks/whites used to establish foreground/background are everywhere, but shadows as an important part of the conception, even when the SAQA work is representational in nature, don’t much appear. A 2003 quilted piece that I did, which shows a leafless tree shadow on bricks, might provide personal insights, but it is more pattern than shadow.

phillyshadowwap.jpg Underwood, Philly Shadow, quilted silk. Continue reading ‘A Ramble through Shadows, by June Underwood’

Picasso: The Blue Period and Comments on Working in Series apologies for the late post. Taught and lectured in California last night and went brain dead when I returned to the motel. However, tonight I lectured again on working in series which got my wheels turning. There are numerable quilt artist who work in series and whose work is known immediately upon viewing. On the other hand, there are far more quiltmakers who jump from image to image, style to style than those who do series work. Continue reading ‘Picasso: The Blue Period and Comments on Working in Series’

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