Link About This

Dr. Daina Taimina, "Hyperbolic Disc" Photo Courtesy of IFF

Reef Madness

I found a reference to a crocheted cactus garden that led me to the Website of the Institute for Figuring, and The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project. Work your way down the links from an introduction to the project at the top. In the Exhibitions link, it describes the installation at the Science Gallery at Trinity College in Dublin, where they are showing not only IFF‘s Core Reef Collection, but also the newly-established Irish Reef and a large section of the incredible Latvian Reef which was made in 2009 by more than 600 women and school students across Latvia. The exhibit will include a specially created Math Chapel and a wildly expanded version of a plastic-based Toxic Reef.

"Crochet Coral and Anemone Garden" with sea slug by Marianne Midelburg. Photos © The IFF by Alyssa Gorelick/Used by Permission

Buried in the introductory About section is a link to the scientific principles and the techniques of crocheting hyperbolic planesIf you keep on exploring you will find all sorts of other fascinating things in this section–from construction details to the shape of the universe.

The IFF Crochet Coral Reef is a collaborative enterprise. In addition to the Core Collection of Crochet Reefs made under the direction of the Institute For Figuring, the project also encompasses a collection of Satellite Reefs made by local communities around the world. When you open the Satellite Reefs link, you will find more than a dozen additional links on the left–leading to wonderful details and photos of projects from Capetown to Scarsdale. Other links describe the individual contributing artists, how you can request to exhibit the reef, and how you can become part of the project. You can also purchase an IFF handbook called A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Space.

"Crochet Coral and Anemone Garden" (Detail) Photos © The IFF by Alyssa Gorelick/Used by Permission

If you explore further on the IFF Website, you will find all sorts of other fascinating things like the Menger Sponge and mathematical paper folding.

“If mathematics is a language of pattern, its structures may be seen as the verses of a formal, yet fantastical, poetics. Across the globe people have delighted in the harmonies of this language and the patterns discovered therein. These are the songs that figures sing amongst themselves.”


The Year of Fibers–Naturally

2009 was the International Year of Natural Fibres–and I’m sorry to say that I only just came across this site recently through a mention at Wild Fibers Magazine.  It was set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and has information on many aspects of natural fibers, with some emphasis on sustainability and social issues.

Image from the International Year of Natural Fibres Website/Photo by Hugo van Tilborg

I found a lot of the information eye-opening  — production and trade (telling which countries produce how much worldwide), stories behind the people who do the work, new uses for natural fibers, as well as discussions of 15 different plant and animal fibers (bamboo is missing).  The individual fiber pages include a neat little zoom feature–you can look at a microscopic view of a single strand.  There are a few videos, too, but some of them are industry PR and the rest of the Website is better.


Get Scrappy @ is a user-friendly sales site for handcrafted items from many thousands of sellers, but it also has vintage items and supplies–the facet of etsy that we are exploring here. The link above illustrates the search function possibilities. Every page has a search box at the top. Choose from HANDMADE, VINTAGE, SUPPLIES or SELLERS on the left and then type in key words.

I got 200+ results from “Fabric Grab Bag.” Now there’s another menu on the left that breaks down the search into subcategories if you come up with too many. One other example: when I typed in “Fabric Scraps,” more than a thousand came up. For “Shibori,” I got 89 in the supplies category. Each home page has stats on customer satisfaction and how many sales the shop has made.


Say It With Stitches

Judith A. Burros: Poinsettia (Detail) from EGA Fiber Forum 2009

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Inc., (EGA) is a national non-profit member organization for the “study and preservation of the heritage and art of embroidery.” The link takes you to a page for 35 artists who were juried into their 2009 Fiber Forum exhibition. Scroll down to see the pieces, many of which have excellent detail shots that you can click on to enlarge. The EGA home page has links to lots of other interesting features like certification programs, special items for teachers, and illustrations of the 19th National Exhibit.


Fiber Opps

Fiber Art Calls for Entry is a privately created page that describes itself as “a repository of Fiber/Textile related opportunities” with a focus on fiber but most of the listings are open to a variety of media. The originators of the site don’t put their names on it “since we also apply to the opportunities listed here.”

All deadlines are listed by due date. To open an item, click the title of the item on the side bar, then click MORE DETAILS to view the full blog post. You can see it in a calendar format by clicking VIEW ALL in the HOW TO USE THE CALENDAR section.  You can also subscribe to the calendar–and there’s a way to automatically transfer items to your own electronic calendar.

ArtWear DownUnder

WOW--the Montana World of Wearable Art--September 2010 in New Zealand

This link takes you to the entry information for WOW, the Montana World of Wearable Art, a fabulous theatrical spectacle  in New Zealand every September (with an audience of 35,000). The entry kit has lots of great photos, but you can also go to the menu across the top of the page to see the WOW story and to look at winners of previous years. There is an additional section with information for international artists — the deadline is May 1 for images.  If you are pre-selected, then you complete Entry Form B online and arrange for your garment to be sent to New Zealand by June 18. Final decisions are announced by July 19.

(Apologies! Blog bug delayed timely publication of this deadline for 2010–Ed.)


Textile Biennial Goes Dutch

Work by Nancy Pigmans at the first Rijswijk Textile Biennial, The Netherlands, 2009

The first Rijswijk Textile Biennial took place June 27 until mid-September, 2009, at the Museum Rijswijk in the Netherlands. It featured sixteen contemporary fine artists who use textiles in their work. This link has only 12 photos from the exhibition, but they are great. Click on each thumbnail on the right to see an installation shot with the artists names at the bottom.

“Originally a painter, sculptor or graphic artist…each realized at a particular point in their careers that textile fibres were the ultimate means of expression for their ideas. In order to achieve this, they had to first familiarize themselves with new techniques and master other materials. They employ time-honoured textile-making skills and materials, often in an unorthodox way and from a modern viewpoint, with the computer frequently playing an important role.”

(See a review of this exhibition in the EcoVision (Spring 2010) issue of the Surface Design Journal–Ed.)

Work by Marita Kratz, courtesy of Museum Rijswijk


Mickie McCormic is a fiber artist specializing in image transfer and has been involved with SDA for more than ten years. She lives in Southern Oregon and teaches workshops there as well as at the Mendocino Arts Center (CA).

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