Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Order and Chaos

I just returned from a most exciting presentation at a major manufacturer of beautifully woven interior design fabrics featuring new weaves based on works by a jeweler, a potter, a sculptor in wood, and a knitter.  The fluidity of their minds was extraordinary, in that they went beyond the boundaries by which their various arts are conventionally defined--that goes as well for the artisans as for the commercial weaving establishment.

Rarely have I heard someone speak so simply about the urge to combine order and chaos, an urge fully realized in the knitter.  As she spoke I reached into my bag to retrieve one of my just-completed-on-the-way-here crocheted "bricks," a particularly chaotic one with multi-colored and multi-textured fringe.  They flipped.

The architect seated next to me, an African-American woman, noted that people in the visual world are open to new ideas because, unlike music, it is more in the main commercial stream.  I enjoyed the expression on her face as I showed her how my fiber art is entirely based on African principles of structure and design.

"Where did that come from?" she asked.

Ever since I first saw a piece of cloth woven in Africa, which would have been in Paris in the 1950's, I have been responsive to the fresh air wafting into conventional fiber thinking from that other new and at the same time old world.

You can see photos of the work at