4 Weavers: Contemporary Expressions of an Ancient Craft

Reception: 2013-01-12, 2:00 - 4:00 pm  |  Open: 2013-01-11  |  Close: 2013-03-10

January 11 through March 10, 2013

Multi-dimensional, textiles, clothing and costumes by four contemporary artists: Candace Crockett, Ulla de Larios, Suki Russack, and Barbara Shapiro with Sandra Erickson of the Center for Pattern Design in St. Helena.

Sponsored by Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Thai Silks, Exotic Silks and our program partner Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP 

Reception for the Artists: January 12, 2 – 4pm
The reception includes dancers modeling dyed, printed and woven costumes and contemporary clothing created by the artists.

Demonstrations by the Exhibition Artists in the Galleries

Saturday, January 19 and February 16, 2 – 4pm
Ulla de Larios
– spinning, knitting “entrelac” with handspun yarn
Candace Crocket – card weaving for adults and children
Barbara Shapiro – basket weaving
Suki Russack – double weave technique

Event Schedule Workshops, Lectures and Demonstrations 

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2 to 4 p.m. Opening Reception
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2 – 4 p.m. Demonstrations by the artists in the galleries
Saturday, Feb 2, 1 – 3 p.m. Lecture & Demonstration Warp and Weft Painting with Ulla de Larios
Saturday, Feb 9, 1 – 3:30 p.m.– Workshop Draping the Vionnet bias cut skirt with Sandra Ericson
Saturday, Feb 16, 2 – 4 p.m. Demonstrations in the galleries with 4 weavers and clothing designer, Sandra Ericson
Saturday, Feb 23, 9am -4 p.m. – Workshop: Greener Indigo workshop with Barbara Shapiro

Sunday, March 10, 2-4 p.m.- Closing Party ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, Feb 2, 1 – 3 pm Lecture & Demonstration
Warp and Weft Painting with Ulla de Larios

According to weaver Ulla de Larios the process of warp and weft painting involves a complex series of well-regulated steps that are difficult to explain even to experienced weavers. Over time, she has developed her lecture and demonstration to help visitors understand the process she has used to create the elegant works in the exhibition. Fee: $10 

Saturday, Feb. 9, 1 – 4 pm Workshop
Draping the Vionnet Bias Cut Skirt with Sandra Ericson

Following the examples of Madeleine Vionnet, the most innovative pattern designer of the 1930′s, this 3 hour lecture, demonstration and workshop will enable students to design and develop a bias skirt pattern of their own design. For weavers, the diagonal bias cut is very successful with hand-woven fabrics; it is also universally attractive for most women and has been a favorite of haute couture designers since the Art Deco era. Students will be draping on half-scale mannequins, just as Vionnet did for her house in Paris. A supply list and class details will be forwarded upon registration. For further information about the class content, please contact Sandra at: patternatcenterforpatterndesigndotcom.  Suitable for all levels of experience

Sandra Ericson is a leading educator in the Clothing and Textile field, having taught the fashion design, patternmaking, draping, and textile and construction courses at City College of San Francisco for over 30 years. She holds both a BA and an MA Degree in Clothing and Textiles from San Jose State and San Francisco State Universities. Her personal research led her to become one of the few experts on the work of Madeleine Vionnet, a Parisian couturier in the 1930′s. Recently, Sandra founded the Center for Pattern Design, a ‘think tank’ for pattern design
Fee: $90   A supply list and class details will be forwarded upon registration

Saturday, Feb 23, 9am – 4pm Workshop
Greener Indigo with Barbara Shapiro

Explore the magic and mystery of indigo, one of the oldest and most influential dyes. We will look at examples of indigo cloth from around the world and work with basic indigo dyeing procedures and resist techniques. We will set up an indigo dye bath using a simple ecological formula suitable for use in the home studio and then prepare cloth for and experiment with resist dyeing. By the end of the day, you will have a set of samples and some lovely indigo dyed textiles along with the knowledge to go on using this magic dye with a non-toxic “green” formula. Alternative recipes will be discussed.    

This “new” formula actually dates to the 18th century Barbara feels it is important to share this rediscovered safer, non-toxic, non-odorous, inexpensive, and easily disposed of formula, widely used before the advent of stronger industrial chemicals. This formula can also be thickened and used to paint or print with indigo.
Fee: $100 plus materials fee of $25. A supply list and class details will be forwarded upon registration
9 to 4pm allows for a break for lunch and time to view the exhibition

For more information or to register for workshops please call the Arts Center – 707-762-5600

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Artist Biographies

The lives and careers of these four women have intertwined for many years. Beginning as weavers, they have followed various paths in developing their art.  Each has a passionate and unique involvement in the contemporary fiber arts movement.  The exhibition demonstrates their commitment to labor intensive textile techniques as a means to building strong, contemporary visual statements.

Barbara Shapiro is a weaver, dyer, and basket maker who works with and teaches indigo dyeing. The study of textile traditions has informed her artistic approach to the creation of woven silk textiles and plaited and coiled three-dimensional forms. She writes on contemporary textiles for national publications and exhibits widely.

Suki Russack uses warp ikat double weave to create life-sized images of women that chart an internal journey of discovery. She designs clothing constructed from narrow hand woven strips of fabric as well as costumes in hand-dyed fabrics for dance productions.

Born and raised in Sweden, Ulla de Larios brings her early textile experiences and an American under-graduate degree in painting to her contemporary textiles describing socio-political themes.  A computer aided loom has joined her Swedish looms and from these come a variety of two-and-three dimensional weavings of refined complexity and delicacy.

Candace Crockett taught studio courses in the Art Department at San Francisco State University for thirty years.  An important theme in her career involves the use of historical and ethnic techniques and imagery in fresh new ways.  She works extensively with dyeing, repetition, and dimensional surfaces that absorb and reflect light.

Sandra Ericson is a leading educator in the Clothing and Textile field, having taught the fashion design, pattern making, draping, textile and construction courses at City College of San Francisco for over 30 years.  She holds both a BA and an MA Degree in Clothing and Textiles from San Jose State and San Francisco State Universities.  Her personal research has led her to become one of the few experts on the work of Madeleine Vionnet, a Parisian couturier in the 1930′s.  Recently, Sandra founded the Center for Pattern Design, a ‘think tank’ for pattern design.


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Woven Fabrics for Contemporary Clothing

Weaving is an ancient activity touching on many aspects of daily life.  Traditionally hand weaving was connected to the home and practically always to women.  The Industrial Revolution (1750-1850) actually began with the mechanization of textile processes and resulted in a shift of weaving from home to factory and from female to male.  In England, The Arts and Crafts Movement (1860- 1910), led by William Morris (1834-1896), came as a response to this mass industrialization, preaching a return to the beauty of the hand made and to the work of the skilled, sensitive crafts person.

This movement shifted to America in the early 20th century awakening a longing for beauty and a simpler life style.  Gradually, trained and educated designers emerged and a partnership was forged between designer and industry.  At the same time attention was focused on textiles from past cultures and how and why they were made.  From this information grew an awareness and desire to use weaving as a means of individual artistic expression.  The artists in this exhibition are part of this later movement.

Mannequins in the exhibition will be dresses in contemporary clothing designed and fabricated by the artists speaking to the use of hand woven fabrics for contemporary fashion design and suggesting unique modern possibilities for hand woven textiles and a return to one of the ancient purposes of the of the art of weaving.

Sandra Ericson, Director of The Center For Pattern Design is a collaborator on this portion of the exhibition showing garments designed in collaboration with Candace Crockett. Some of Ericson’s designs will also be modeled at the opening reception.

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