Author Archive

Lecture March 2022 Dorothy Liebes

March

Helena_Hernmarck

Dorothy Liebes, Coast to Coast

Presented by Susan Brown and Alexa Griffith

Saturday, March 19, 2022, 10am PT
Online Presentation via Zoom
Admission: Free to TAC Members, $5 Students and members of FAMSF, $10 General Admission.
Ticket Purchase Information TBA

Zoom link will be emailed to all TAC members


Few people wielded as much influence over the texture and color of modern interiors in America as California designer and weaver Dorothy Liebes. The distinctive style of her woven designs – which combined vivid color, lush texture, and often a glint of metallic – became known as "The Liebes Look," and was inextricably linked with the American modern
aesthetic. Join Susan Brown and Alexa Griffith for a discussion of Liebes’s impact, from her roots in San Francisco to her New York "idea factory," where she developed handwoven prototypes for industry.

Liebes’s studio on Sutter Street in San Francisco produced luxurious handwoven fabrics that graced interiors from Doris Duke’s Shangri-la and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West to the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Her reach also extended to the new luxury interiors – those of cruise liners, automobiles, and airplanes. The Liebes Look was further disseminated through fashion and film. Her fabrics were used for the sets of the Hepburn/Tracy romantic comedy Adam’s Rib (1949) and the Barbara Stanwyck nightclub noir Eastside, Westside (1947), and for costumes created by Hollywood designers Adrian, Edith Head, and Travis Banton. Her collaborations with another California designer, Bonnie Cashin, resulted in some of the most distinctively American fashions of the mid-twentieth century.

Liebes was deeply committed to making good design accessible to all, and in the 1950s gave up her lucrative custom fabrics business to prototype weaves for the textiles industry. Her New York studio created hand-woven samples to be translated into power-loomed fabrics at affordable prices, providing a means for Americans with modest budgets to participate in the modern design movement. Her reputation as a material innovator earned her consulting positions with several major fiber producers, including DuPont, Dobeckmun, and Dow Chemical, who sought her expertise and leveraged her reputation as a tastemaker to help them build markets for new materials.

At the time of her death in 1972, Dorothy Liebes was called "the greatest modern weaver, and the mother of the twentieth-century palette." She was an internationally recognized design authority and highly successful businesswoman who had earned the respect of her peers and the public over her forty-year career. Her story provides an essential – and new – narrative to the history of modernism in America.

Susan Brown is Associate Curator and Acting Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she oversees a collection of over 27,000 textiles produced over 2,000 years. Her exhibitions include Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance (2005), Fashioning Felt (2009), Quicktakes: Rodarte (2010), Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay (2011), David Adjaye Selects (2015), Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse (2016), Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (2018), Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2020) and Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints that Made the Fashion Brand (2021). She has also contributed to the publications Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living, and Ripples: mïna perhonen. She lectures regularly for the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Alexa Griffith-Winton is a design historian and educator. She is currently Manager, Content + Curriculum at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She has researched and published on the work of Dorothy Liebes for over ten years. Griffith’s work has been published in numerous scholarly and popular publications, including the Journal of Design History, Dwell, Journal of the Archives of American Art, and the Journal of Modern Craft. She edited Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space with Deborah Schneiderman. (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) and Interior Provocations: History, Theory and Practice of the Autonomous Interior (Routledge, 2020). She has received research grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, Center for Craft, Creativity and Research, Nordic Culture Point, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

Image Credits:
1. Image courtesy of Susan Brown

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22-01-22 Lecture Helena Hernmarck: Wool and Color

January

Helena_Hernmarck

Helena Hernmarck: Wool and Color

Presented by Helena Hernmarck

Saturday, January 22, 2022, 10am PT
Online Presentation via Zoom
Admission: Free to TAC Members, $5 Students and members of FAMSF, $10 General Admission.
Ticket Purchase Information TBA

Zoom link will be emailed to all TAC members


In this presentation, Helena Hernmarck will illustrate the evolution of her signature weaving technique from her early days at art school in Sweden to the present, highlighting important commissions including her recent commission at 35 Hudson Yards in New York. Every commission has its own unique story. This commission involved the creation of two sets of tapestries that extend up the wall and across the ceiling of the elevator lobby in the building’s residential entrance. Each set spans approximately 225 square feet, and the two sets are exchanged every six months. Hernmarck will discuss the challenges and triumphs involved in designing for this unique space and in creating a method to install the tapestries.

Helena Hernmarck is a Swedish-born tapestry artist and weaver best known for her monumental tapestries designed for architectural settings. Her designs derive from sources ranging from photographs, to watercolors, to handwritten letters, and even from the texture of wool itself. She has supported Swedish textile arts throughout her career, collaborating with Swedish spinners, dyers, and weavers on many commissions. Hernmarck’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and other institutions.

Image Credits:
1. Hernmarck stands in front of her wool wall with a bright orange skein of yarn. The yarn is spun and dyed to Hernmarck’s specifications at a spinning mill in Sweden from wool from the Swedish rya sheep. Photo: Ross Mantle

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11/13/21 Bazaar

ANNUAL TEXTILE BAZAAR

November 13th, 2021 10a.m.-4p.m.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Cathedral Center
1111 Gough St., San Francisco, 94109

The Textile Arts Council’s (TAC) annual Textile Bazaar is a truly unique event, hosting a mix of vendors who offer a wide range of textiles, jewelry, and home accessories from the creative community around the world and from the Bay Area. Admission and parking are free. Join us once again for a very special TAC event.

Would you like to participate? You can donate an old treasure that no longer fits in your collection to the TAC table at the bazaar. All donations benefit the Fine Arts Museums’ Department of Costume and Textile Arts. Please click here to contact Shirley Juster regarding your donation.

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Having Her Say – Alice Beasley

August

TBD

Alice Beasley: Having Her Say

Video premiere and Artist Talk

online via Zoom
Sunday, August 15, 2021, 1:30pm PT
Fee: $5 TAC and FAMSF members, $10 general public
Purchase Tickets Here

Paid attendees will have access to a recording of the event for seven days.

Alice Beasley headshot

Join us for the premiere episode of TAC’s Artist Series, featuring artist Alice Beasley. For thirty years, the Oakland-based, self-taught quilter Beasley has spoken out on issues and events that are meaningful to her through her figurative appliqué quilts.

The first episode, shot by filmmaker Mark Haffenreffer, captures Beasley at work, her process and inspirations. It also tells the story of how she came to quilting and fabric portraiture, and the themes in her work, including her family history and expressions of the Black Experience in the United States.

Following the viewing of the film, there will be a conversation between Beasley and fellow fiber artist Mirka Knaster. They will discuss in depth selected pieces of Beasley’s works, their context, and messages. The two artists will also discuss their separate but mutual paths to artistic expression.

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Knotless-netted top-to-bottom

July

TBD

Knotless-Netted Baskets, from Top to Bottom

with Kathryn Rousso

Zoom Workshop
Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 10am – 12:30pm PDT

Fee: $55 ($40 for TAC members: check your email for discount promo code)
Deadline to register: TBD

Purchase Tickets Here


TBDLearn how to make a small basket using the technique of looping or knotless-netting. This project starts at the top and works downwards, with several decorative options for the rim. Simple and figure-eight varieties will be taught.

As TAC’ s second knotless netting workshop, this will serve as an introduction to the technique for new students, and will build on the previous workshop for returning students (simple-looping to figure-eight looping). This new workshop introduces a new way to make a basket by starting at the top, rather than the bottom. Different rim decorative ideas will be taught, including braiding.

Knotless netting or looping, a method used to make net bags, is one of the earliest textile techniques used around the world. Two regions known for net bags are the Pacific (Australia, Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya) and Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay). Bolsa, morral, chácara, shigra and bilum are some of their local names.

There will be a follow-up session, for questions and project sharing, on Saturday, 7/24 from 9am-10am.

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Natural Dyeing and Eco Printing Techniques

TBD

Webinar: Natural Dyeing and Eco Printing Techniques

presented by Lyra Bobo

Saturday, August 28, 2021 10am-11am PT
Online via Zoom
Fee: $5
Purchase Tickets Here


Botanical Eco Printing is science and art combined. This webinar will cover harvesting and processing plant material from a variety of trees and plants to create beautiful natural dyes and botanical prints. Learn how to achieve clear natural prints on protein and cellulosic textiles, using local plant and tree foliage with natural tannins to produce a variety of rich colors.

TBD

Lyra Bobo has been teaching in the Fashion Studies Program at Santa Rosa Junior College for twenty-four years. She is the former Program Coordinator and specializes in teaching textiles and garment construction classes. Lyra has introduced fashion students to natural dyeing and printing methods along with sustainable practices for garment design. She also teaches and presents workshops locally for the American Sewing Guild, both virtually and in person.


Please note: a separate, in-person follow-up workshop event will be offered in late September. Running from 10am to 4pm, participants will have the opportunity to practice the art of printing on natural textiles with prepared plant material, using commercial equipment, tools, and materials provided by the Lyra Bobo, the workshop presenter. The September workshop will focus on achieving clear natural prints on silk and wool textiles, and will be held at fabric artist Joy Stocksdale’s studio in Sebastopol, CA.

Additional information about the workshop will be provided in a separate announcement.

Image Credits:
All images courtesy of Lyra Bobo.

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Patterns of Printed Textile Scholarship

September

Ducks Quilt

’Very full of work’: Patterns of printed textile scholarship

Presented by Laura Johnson

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10am PT
Online Presentation via Zoom
Admission: Free to TAC Members, $5 Students and members of FAMSF, $10 General Admission.
Purchase Tickets Here

Zoom link will be emailed to all TAC members


Join Dr. Laura Johnson, the Linda Eaton Associate Curator of Textiles at the Winterthur Museum for this illustrated talk highlighting the history of printed textiles and those who studied, made, and consumed them from the eighteenth century to the present day.

When Philadelphians such as the Wisters ordered fashionable printed cottons in the mid-eighteenth century, they demanded that patterns be “Very full of Work.” An identical description might apply to the efforts of those who save and share those same textiles. Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library stewards an extraordinary collection of printed and painted textiles that founder Henry Francis du Pont began assembling in the mid-1920s.

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Beyond the warp and the weft

October

TBD

Beyond the warp and the weft: Ikat textiles of the island of Savu, eastern Indonesia

Presented by Geneviève Duggan PhD

Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10am PT
Online Presentation via Zoom
Admission: Free to TAC Members, $5 Students and members of FAMSF, $10 General Admission.
Purchase Tickets Here

Zoom ink will be emailed to all TAC members


The fine Savu ikat textiles have intrigued collectors who sensed that they entail something not readily visible. Cloths made by skillful weavers during special ceremonies are considered sacred and powerful which confers a particular rank to the women who make them. Let’s discover not only the physical and aesthetical characteristics of the textiles, but also their intangible aspects. In a traditionally non-literate society one can ‘read’ textiles deciphering messages that connect people to their rich past.

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Join UsFW

TAC Upcoming Events
Unless noted, all events will be presented with Zoom.

1/22/22 Lecture: Helena Hernmarck: Wool and Color with Helena Hernmarck

2/26/22 Lecture: Teri Greeves, Beadworker & Artist

3/19/22 Lecture: Dorothy Liebes, Coast to Coast with Susan Brown and Alexa Griffith


Past Lectures Recordings Archive (members only)


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Community Textile Events updated 11/19/21


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Obiko Archive

The Obiko Artwear Archive documents Bay Area clothing and jewelry designers from the 1970’s through the 1990’s.
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