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Posted on November 22, 2013
TSA is soliciting nominations for the Board of Directors. Board positions open for the next Election cycle include the Vice President/President-Elect, Director of External Relations, and two Directors-at-Large. We look for a Board with geographic and professional diversity, representing a broad range of membership interests. Board memberships are for a term of four years, with responsibilities beginning in September 2014.
TSA’s Nominations and Elections Committee consists of three Board members and two members-at-large. The Nominations and Elections Committee will select a slate of candidates from among the names suggested, to be approved by the full board. Write-in names will also be accepted on individual ballots.
The Nomination period will close January 31, 2014. Ballots will be sent to the membership in May, 2014, and the New Board will be announced in September 2014, during the Membership Meeting at the Biennial Symposium.
We thank you, our Members, for your consideration, participation, and suggestions in our electoral process.
Download Position Descriptions:
Vice President/President Elect
At-Large Board Members
Please direct questions about the process to Susan Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, chair of the Elections Committee.
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Posted on November 21, 2013
Bevilacqua Tour Guide
The thing about experiences abroad looking back is it’s difficult to believe that they actually happened. It’s incredible to think that the tiny boot-shaped spot on your globe marked Italy is a real place you’ve really been and that it’s as fantastic as you had been told since before you could remember. That it’s out there still, beyond the walls of daily routine, is a strange thought.
Fondazione Antonio Ratti looped velvet sample
An opportunity to focus on the creation and history of velvets of Italy was as wonderful as it was surreal. Much of the tour was focused on visiting the last bastions of Italian hand-woven production; seeing their processes, understanding their histories and meeting the people who have diligently worked to keep this great tradition alive.
It was at Fondazione Lisio that we had the opportunity to examine velvets of antiquity and contemporary pieces developed by students of the foundation.
Weaving Damask at Tessitura Gaggioli
Every stop we made involved getting to see hand-weaving in action by weavers specially trained in the weaving of velvets on hand-powered jacquard looms.
Weaver at Rubelli
Cloth production at this level requires lengthy apprenticeship and the kind of personality able to focus on remaining mechanically consistent for extended periods of time. The world of luxury fabrics is a world of perfection. Every flick of the wrist, every beat of the fabric and every one of those four-hundred bobbins must be consistent and in order. Any mistakes or irregularities, particularly in velvet production, are evident to the most inexperienced eye. If there was anything to be understood through our encounters with the workshops, it is that velvet weaving is not for the feint of heart.
Fondazione Lisio Velvet with Gold Pile
As if the exploration of luxury textiles were not enough to keep the tour interesting, there was a different theme in tandem with our studies: how these businesses have responded and adapted to a world where you can throw away and replace almost anything. When most people opt to buy shirts for less than 5 dollars who would buy a yard of fabric for more than 1,200? Some of these businesses have become centers of learning (Fondazione Lisio), others have invested in industrial production but keep the hand-woven factory as well, and several spend more resources on creating and maintaining relationships with their niche clientele. Most of the hand-weaving is commission-based with orders coming from historical foundations, royalty, churches, and sometimes fashion and interior designers. Runway pieces often use the best material on the market, and this often means commissioning their velvet yardage. Until seen in person, the vast difference in quality between figured machine-made velvets and hand-woven velvets is unimaginable.
By Emma Sawyer
Velvet on the Loom at Bevilaqua
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Posted on November 21, 2013
Cut and Voided Velvet from Tessitura Artigiana Gaggioli, Zoagli, Italy
Looms! Lots of them at every destination.
This photo shows one area of Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio in Florence where 4 of us attended a 3-day workshop and got to weave on one of the velvet looms. Many weavers know of it as “Lisio”.
It was a wonderful trip and we had access to so many working atliers that it was unbelievable. We saw velvet in Florence, Venice, Milan, Como, the Riveria (town of Zoagli). Seeing the looms in person and in action was a rare opportunity.
Looking at the loom in the front of the picture you can see the huge rack of spools at the back of the loom. There are hundreds of spools holding the silk pile threads for the velvet. On top of the looms you can see the Jacquard mechanisms, that they called machines. Note the ladder. Punched cards can be seen hanging from above on the first loom on the right. The two big cords at the front of that loom are tied to two very long treadles. The weavers stand to weave.
About 10 wires woven in the cloth. One is soon to be cut.
Seeing the wires being put in under the pattern pile warps close up was great. The weavers all stopped and let us put our noses right down next to the cloth and looms. The weaver will slide her blade along the top of the wire closest to the woven cloth to cut the pile, then remove the wire and place it in the next shed to be made.
Cutting the velvet.
This time the weaver cut after placing only 3 wires in. The blade is in a corner of the holder that you can see. The blade follows in a groove in the top of the wire for cut velvet. For uncut velvet, the wire has no groove and it is pulled out.
Punched cards for the Jacquard Machine Being Stitched Together
We were given a simple design that we could weave in a day. Then we punched the cards for the velvet design and the cards were stitched together ready to be put onto the Jacquard machine. These cards are for the pile. Another set of cards were for weaving the foundation and interlacing the pile warps into it. Those 4 cards were put on “the small machine”, what they called the small Jacquard Mechanism.
The Velvet We Wove in the Workshop
There were 10 rows (cards) in the repeat for the pile. The pile was uncut because we couldn’t be trusted to weave the pile threads in tight enough. If we cut the pile and it wasn’t secured into the foundation, all the pile threads would slide out of the heddles of the loom and all the hundreds of spools would need to be rethreaded—a 2-week job.
Peggy Osterkamp is a member of TSA, weaver, textile artist, and author of several books about weaving. She has taught hundreds of people in her college classes and workshops across the country. Her home base is in the San Francisco Bay Area, right across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
She regularly blogs on her website: www.peggyosterkamp.com
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Posted on November 6, 2013
Entrance to Los Angeles Craft & Folk Art Museum.
A Juried Exhibition of the Textile Society of America
September 13, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles
In conjunction with the Textile Society of America’s 2014 Symposium, New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future
At previous symposia, participating artists, designers, and craftspeople have presented their work in the form of papers—as participating scholars—and through workshops. The nature of artistic production, however, deserves a presentation format more appropriate to the medium, and this year, the TSA Board has decided to provide a new forum for artists.
TSA is please to announce that the 2014 biennial symposium will feature our first juried exhibition, hosted by Los Angeles’ Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM). As an institution at the vanguard of contemporary craft/art/design, clearly in sync with the symposium theme, New Directions, TSA views CAFAM as an ideal partner for this exhibition.
The applications process is open to those whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge, widely defined.
Applicants must be TSA members, as is true for all symposium presenters, but anyone is welcome to join TSA at the time of application.
Download the Call for Art
Please download the following two forms to include with your submission:
Image List Submission Form (required)
Artist Agreement (required with submission)
Documents for Reference:
CAFAM Gallery Floor Plan
Eligibility: The applications process is open to those whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge, widely defined. Applicants must be TSA members, as is true for all symposium presenters, but anyone is welcome to join TSA at the time of application. You can join through the TSA website at http://www.textilesocietyofamerica.org/join.
Submitted work must have been completed in the last 3 years. All artwork must be display ready with display hardware included. Installation pieces will need to be installed and removed by artists. All artwork, crates and cartons included, must fit through a standard 39” x 6’10” doorway. Installations may be larger when completed but components must fit through a standard door.
Media: The exhibition is open those whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge, widely defined. This includes, but is not limited to, 2D, 3D and 4D contemporary art, and unique functional pieces such as garments, rugs, coverlets, etc. Please see the gallery floor plan to get a sense of size limitations. Digital work will be considered and a limited number of screens are available. Please inquire about specifications.
Please read more about the submission process in the downloadable Call for Art for details.
Deadline: Entries must be received by 11:00 pm CST, January 1, 2014.
Please direct your questions to email@example.com
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Posted on November 5, 2013
Participants at TCU MFA
The fifteen participants in TSA’s Textiles Close Up #2, gathered for a close look at painted and printed textiles from India and Europe on the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on October 25th. With morning coffee and introductions. After a welcome from Pamela Parmal, the David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, department head and former president of TSA, we headed for the departmental offices. The space is impressive, with a large central open area surrounded by enticing, jam-packed, floor-to-ceiling bookcases. We gathered around two very large, long tables on which Pam and her staff had assembled a careful selection from the MFA’s renowned collection of Indian and European textiles. We began to examine these, starting with early Indian cottons. I could hardly take my eyes away from the almost pristine, 14th-century, red and blue block-printed cotton made in western India for the Southeast Asian market, but then there was an exquisitely drawn and dyed 17th-century scene of angelic musicians from southeastern India…
17th-century scene of angelic musicians
As we looked, we reviewed the technologies of indigo and mordant dyeing. Pam brought all of us into the discussion, eliciting interesting observations from participants who ran the gamut from curators, enthusiasts, and textile artists, to conservators, collectors, and appraisers. Through the day I was fascinated by the varied commentary, illuminating information, intriguing questions and lively discussion.
For myself, it was amazing to see how effectively the examples on view embodied the revolutionary transformation of global cloth production that marked the 18th century. We lingered over the range of reds achieved with mordants in South India, and collectively tried to reconstruct the multiple cycles of bleaching, washing, applying mordants, resists, and dyes. The set of skills, the patience, the labor involved, are daunting to contemplate. Then we looked at how European manufacturers, spurred on by achievements in Indian design and dyeing technology — loved for their eye-dazzling beauty and detested for their competition with domestic production — created a wave of innovation in textile technology. We saw how European manufacturers reworked Indian design concepts and color schemes to accommodate the capabilities of newly developed dyes and inventions like roller printing, driving design and color in new directions. European successes at imitation and reinterpretation, at mechanizing production to lower costs, and at garnering political support for their manufactures, left India’s weavers and master dyers in the dust. A global revolution in cloth production was set in motion, shifting the center of gravity for textiles worldwide, from singular objects of wealth and ceremony to widely accessible, affordable mass-produced goods for all to enjoy.
I was so absorbed by the cloth and the discussion that it wasn’t till the following day that I realized I’d taken no photographs. If anyone who was there has images of the setting, our group and what we saw, please post them!
By Susan S. Bean, Ph.D.
Independent Curator + Visual Arts of Modern South Asia