Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

GREEN: THE COLOR AND THE CAUSE

“Despite the prevalence of green in nature, no single plant produces a color-fast, deep green dye. Until the invention of synthetic dyes in the 19th century, people around the world typically combined indigo blue with various yellow dyes to create green textiles.”

From Green:  the Color and the Cause

(Be sure to browse the entire online catalog as it is very informative and beautifully written.)

Perhaps this fusing of colors – or ideas – is what it is going to take for us to eventually really come into fulfillment of the “Green Movement.” As I walked through the exhibition today, a green war is beginning in my own state.


Detail from the above exhibition signage by Gyongy Laky, Apple tree cuttings, grapevine, nails, wire; improvised.

Ayelet Lindenstrauss Larsen, Re-Use, 2009, Linen, cotton, fabric marker; embroidered, hand lettered.


Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
, Hothouse Flowers, 2005, Cotton and found textiles; embroidered.


Jane Dunnewold
, Sacred Planet: The Pride of Barbados/Mask/Pride of Barbados, 2009, Cotton; digitally printed, dyed, screen printed, stitched.


Teresa Paschke
, CEAH1, 2009,  Cotton; inkjet printed, hand embroidered.


James Koehler, Rhythms of Nature II, 2009, Wool; tapestry woven.

Green:  the Color and the Cause

 

BRITISH TEXTILES

I own a lot of books on pattern design but British Textiles – published by V&A – is one of the loveliest I have seen for a long time.

(It was at the bottom of the pile yesterday but is on top today.)

The book highlights woven and printed fabric (embroidery is planned for an upcoming volume); however, I adore the simple painted designs that sometimes include the artist process.  In my favorites, you can see finely drawn pencil lines, loosely painted swaths of color and the underpinnings of structural grids.  The silk design above from page 29 feels incredibly modern but was designed by James Leman in 1719.

Moving through the  book, you experience an exquisite evolution of British color and design through the ages.

While expensive, this big (weighs 6 pounds), complete (494 pages), beautiful (over 1000 images), inspirational book is one of my new favorites:

British Textiles: 1700 to the Present

Looking very forward to the embroidery volume as well…

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

While traveling last week, I came across the Lower 9th Ward Village and Mack McLendon on The Moth podcast.  I was moved by Mack’s love for his community and the beauty of the world when we choose to act from that place of love. It takes a village. Indeed.

Community center brings magic to the Lower 9th Ward

As communities around the south begin to rebuild, I have been amazed to see how individuals have joined hands to help communities.  We are still receiving emails and phone calls about what you can do to help… necessities like food, socks, underwear, diapers and washing powders are still in need.

We continue to accept donations at our office and see that they are delivered on a daily basis:
462 Lane Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630.

Thank you.

*Photo from the Lower 9th Ward Village Flicker Page

SUBVERSIVE

Subversive Knitting, Berkeley + Subversive Donations, Florence

From Steven, our production manager:

“I spoke with Wade – our UPS driver – this morning and he lives right in the middle of all of the damage in Franklin County.  He said that almost everyone in their area lost everything.  Right now they need basics like blankets, water, food that doesn’t have to be cooked, and toiletries.”

If you would like to do a bit of subversive donating, bring (or send) any of the above items to our office and we will make sure that there is a daily delivery to those in need.

Alabama Chanin, 462 Lane Drive, Florence, AL 35630
M-F 9 am – 4 pm

Questions: 1.256.760.1090 or office(at)alabamachanin.com

 

LISTS

This morning I was looking through Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Collections of the Smithsonian Museum and this afternoon found the list photographed above on my grocery cart.

On my list today:

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Those who want to help further can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami.

Can you help me compile a list in the comments of other ways to help?

EUCALYPTUS, LAVENDER, TRANQUILITY

In the autumn of last year, I was contacted by a New York University professor from the Liberal Studies department named Jessamyn Hatcher.  She had gotten my email address from our mutual friend Sally Singer and wanted to know if we would be willing to discuss a field trip that she was planning with her 30+ students from the Dean’s Circle, a University Scholars program.

Her email explained that the “theme for the 2010-2011 Dean’s Circle and Colloquium is ‘The Price of Fashion: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the Global Garment Trade.’ The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire occurred on March 25, 1911, in what is now the Brown building.  146 people, most of who were between the ages of 16 and 21, died while manufacturing women’s blouses. Next year will mark its 100th anniversary, and we will use the anniversary as an occasion to explore issues surrounding the world garment trade, from mass production in sweatshops to the runways of the world’s fashion capitols to the ‘slow design’ movement.”

While I was fascinated by Jessamyn’s inquiry, in the first moment I wondered how a workshop could function with 30+ students in our studio.  My fears were unfounded.

Several weeks ago, the group arrived and the experience was one of wonder, exploration and pleasure.  Following a two day workshop in our studio, the students moved on to Rural Studio in Greensboro, Alabama, to continue their journey.

Jessamyn joked at one point how many of her colleagues had asked, “Why aren’t you going to Paris?”

The lovely thank you notes from the (18 – 20 year-old) students below explains it all.  I hope that the students don’t mind that I have shared their observations about our world.  I am appreciative to look at our work, our staff and our world through fresh eyes.

(And to have found a new friend in Jessamyn!)

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ALLEGRA HICKS – AN EYE FOR DEDSIGN

Although Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design has been laying on my coffee table for months, it seemed the perfect opportunity to dive in on this cold, cold evening. (Thanks to Abrams for sending along a review copy.)

Sitting with a glass of wine in front on the fire, I find Allegra’s colors and textures a breath of fresh air to winter gray.  And I am mesmerized by Antonio Monfreda’s art direction and the juxtapositions of Emanuele Mascioni’s beautiful photographs. Allegra has also taken the time to walk the reader through her design process and inspiration with simple, lovely prose.

A great inspiration book for every library:  Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design

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