October 11, 2014 |
A blue-tinged dog guarded the perimeter of a Bryn Athyn backyard on a warm afternoon in September. Beyond, vats of logwood chips and fermented indigo flowers steeped on the lawn, and swaths of fabric in shades of navy, lavender, and cornflower dried in the sun, draped over drying racks, bushes, and lawn chairs. At the center of this blue streak were Mira Adornetto and Elissa Meyers of BlueRedYellow, Philadelphia's natural-dye house. They were running a "blue" workshop, the first in a tricolor fall series.
June 22, 1989 |
In a late-1960s trend toward loosening the rules about technique at the Rhode Island School of Design, professors encouraged student sculptor Kay Ritter, formerly of Levittown, to be free. She was. "It was a very strange time. I wasn't getting technique, so I fell back on something I did in childhood," she said of her "fabric mache," nearly life- sized, caricatures. However, when her teachers saw the result of Ritter's imagination they disapproved, and in an artistic difference of opinion she left the school in 1971 after three years.
January 20, 2013 |
Previously best known for his entertaining YouTube skewerings of the art world, "Art Thoughtz With Hennessy Youngman," Jayson Musson, now having his first show with Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, has since become an official member of that sector. He's been cutting up Coogi sweaters (the colorful patterned cotton knitwear sported by Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show and more recently by various rappers) into strips of fabric that he assembles and stitches into patterns of his own. Pulled over stretchers, the finished tapestrylike works look as though they must be based on particular paintings, and their titles hint at such connections, but Musson's fabric manipulations are so subtle it's difficult to pinpoint specific forebears.
December 22, 2012 |
For years, Ivy Gilbert cringed at the pile of crumpled wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon in the middle of the living room after birthdays, Hanukkah, or other gift-giving occasions. All of it was destined for a landfill. "There was just this bag of trash," said the writer and mother of two, who lives in South Philadelphia near the former Graduate Hospital. "It bothered me profoundly. " In the United States, annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags totals four million tons, according to RecycleWorks.
August 12, 2005 |
If you want curtains for the Oval Office or wallpaper for the White House's Blue Room, you might call the venerable fabric house Brunschwig & Fils. But if you want wonderful tales about decorating, sit down with Murray Douglas, Brunschwig's taste-maker for the last 50 years and coauthor, with Chippy Irvine, of the new decorating book Brunschwig & Fils Up Close (Bulfinch, $50). "I remember when my Aunt Zelina took me to see a French woman who'd done her drawing room up entirely in black-and-white chintz," Douglas recalls.
April 14, 2000 |
Snyderman-Works Galleries are responsible for the most impressive of the half-dozen or so fiber-art exhibitions around town this month. Organized by director Bruce Hoffman, this museum-quality presentation of international scope reconnoiters the front lines of fiber art through the work of 48 artists. Judging by the approximately 130 pieces that Hoffman has selected, the exhibition affirms that fiber art has long outgrown its traditional boundaries of weaving, needlework, basketry and papermaking.
September 11, 1995 |
Embroidered fireworks burst in a riot of color across the midnight background, spraying brush-stroked sparks near the hand-stitched railroad tunnel. Exploding from that first eye-catching scene is a collage of portraits depicting bundled-up children dodging snowballs and shoppers strolling by Haverford Avenue's five-and-dime store and movie theater. This mosaic of daily life, in the form of a 7-by-8-foot quilt, took 11 local women more than a year and a half to sew, paint and applique.
June 26, 1988 |
There is Jack Lenor Larsen fabric in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in a Braniff 747 as well. He has designed affordable sheets for mass consumption and leather custom interiors for Eleanor Clay (Mrs. Edsel) Ford's Palm Beach, Fla., convertibles. This is as Larsen would have his business; beautiful designs for everyone. "We have not yet resolved design for an egalitarian lifestyle," says Larsen, one of the country's pre-eminent fabric designers and a recent visitor to Philadelphia.
November 29, 1996 |
Beneath its two-story-high cathedral ceiling, Jack Lenor Larsen's living room in Long Island, N.Y., could have seemed too vast for comfort. Instead, it's almost intimate because Larsen upholstered the entire space, straight to the ceiling's peak, with straw-colored Egyptian damask. Interior designer Marjorie Shushan also grappled with visually cool surroundings: a Manhattan apartment with white-box rooms and no distinguishing architecture. To give the place character, she assembled an orchestra of textures: silk taffeta on the sofas, antique tapestry on the ottomans, 18th-century embroidery on the pillows.
May 5, 1989 |
Fourteen-year-old Shelly Benton stood carefully erect yesterday morning as Tahira Amatullah draped a length of brilliantly colored, intricately woven fabric on his lanky frame. He turned slowly as she twisted and gathered it around his waist and over his shoulder. When Amatullah finished, the youth threw back his shoulders, folded his arms across his chest and looked proudly, if a bit nervously, at his McMichael School classmates. There stood not a typical eighth grader but a spiritual heir to those who first wore the "kente" cloth centuries ago - the kings of the Ashante nation of Ghana, in West Africa.