I've only recently begun to peruse the Uppercase blog on a daily basis, so I missed the submissions call for their surface pattern design guide. That doesn't mean we have to miss their Surface Pattern Design special though! One hundred artists will be featured, including Jessica Nielsen, Nadia Hassan and Elizabeth Olwen. No. 21 is due to arrive on shelves and in mailboxes in April. If you made a submission, we'd love to hear about it. Meanwhile, to make up for my oversight, please enjoy this awesomeness!
Textiles: The Art of Mankind, Mary Shoeser
1,058 color illustrations
Thames & Hudson Publishers 2012
Author Mary Schoeser is a world-renowned textile expert and author of several books. Her scholarly experience and love for textiles shine as she takes the reader on a journey that explores human invention and ingenuity, from the earliest fiber arts to printed fabrics, from handmade to machine-made. The book is like a tapestry itself, in terms of its presentation, elegance, and richness of story and color.
Contemporary and historic data correspond cleverly to the way the book has been arranged in six chapters: “Impact”, “Ingredients”, “Structure”, “Surface”, “Added Dimensions”, and “Imagery”, each chapter accompanied by a wealth of gorgeous color plates. It is important to note that the book is not presented in a chronological manner. Contemporary textiles and historic textiles appear together to highlight similar skills and themes, whether made by hand or by machine. This is a wonderful approach that brings a whole world view of textile arts that illustrates the complete human experience, and shows how different cultures and needs have influenced each other. The approach makes surface pattern designers like us appreciate our roots in the spectrum of textile arts.
The section called “Painting and Printing”(found in the chapter called “Surface”) addresses the evolution of surface design. Schoeser discusses the earliest known uses of dyes and inks and their development over time, as well as the beginning uses of marking with pigment—with a finger, brush, stamp, or stick. Innovations in printing technologies throughout history are discussed, including how freelance printed-textile designers were being used by the 1930’s. Examples of surface pattern design appear throughout the book.
Overall, “Textiles: The Art of Mankind” is an informational and visual treat, a must have for anyone interested in the development of textile arts throughout human history. This book is a joyful, inspiring read and candy for the eyes.
-Jennifer Holbrook and Ben Corrales
The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild presents Stitch Modern 2014, now through February 23rd. The Piedmont Center for the Arts hosts this annual show. The quilts are available to view during regular gallery hours, with special events scheduled throughout the exhibit. Our own Kim Andersson leads a panel discussion on February 8th entitled Beyond the Bed: Exploring Quilts in the Public Eye. Meanwhile, SPDG member and Andover designer Carol Van Zandt also has a quilt on view. There promises to be inspiration galore!
I am a firm believer in the idea of using sketchbooks to generate pattern ideas. I love to fill pages with motifs and possible pattern layouts. Many of my sketchbooks doodles have led to final pattern designs.
Naturally I was thrilled when I came across this video from world renowned British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes sharing her insights about the importance of using sketchbooks to inspire designers in their work. Her sketches are amazing! Hopefully you will be as inspired as I was by her thoughts. Please follow this link to the video: Zandra Rhodes Using Sketchbooks
Pantone announced their Color of the Year for 2014 today: Radiant Orchid. Their press release sums it up best: