Okay, my friends! I'm off to Japan soon but not sure how much connectivity I'll have without running up a $5,000 phone bill! I do plan to take my nice camera, my Ipod and visit quite a few amazing textile and ceramic spots so want to be sure to share my finds. Here's a little video I discovered over at hello sandwich the other day.

If you want to check out my snaps, I'll hopefully be posting regularly on my Facebook page and I bet more frequently on Instagram (yes, I've joined the masses yet again). Thanks to Sonya, Katrina and Lisa for getting me on board over a nice lunch one day in Oakland.


Artist : Hiroko Takeda

Crazy busy this week working in the studio trying to accomplish four weeks of work in two before we leave for Japan next Friday! Keeping with the Japan theme in craft this month, I'm sharing the work of Hiroko Takeda. I have been an admirer of her work for some time and my friend, Lindsay Olson, reminded me about her work last week.

Kisuri Waffle detail by Hiroko Takeda.
Hiroko was the senior designer at Jack Lenor Larson Studio and Custom Designer for Kawashima Textiles in Tokyo before setting out on her own.

Hiroko's work in progress.
Growing up in Japan, she trained in the tradition oMingei Undou, which is the Japanese Arts and Crafts Movement. Talk about an impressive resume. Her work shows the polished professionalism from her background along with a creative fluidity that gives her work tremendous vitality.

Giant Charcoal detail by Hiroko Takeda.
Every time I view her work on her website, I'm drawn to different pieces. Last time it was the rectilinear structures that I loved. This week it's the soft fluidity of her fluff pieces that draw me in.

Fluff Series detail by Hiroko Takeda.
There are so many beautiful images of her work and her studio, it's hard to choose which to share. Another image I love are of spools of thread. Hmmm, some of those look like Habu Textile threads ...

Spools in Hiroko's studio.
I'm not alone in my admiration for her work. Remember Michele Michael of Elephant Ceramics I featured here last year? She shared a wonderful visit to Hiroko's studio last March. Inspiring! Take a look through Hiroko's website here.


Flint Foreclosure Quilt

I finished the Flint Foreclosure Quilt a few weeks ago and shipped it off to it's new owner,  the Michigan State University Museum. They commissioned the quilt for their permanent collection.  They have a growing collection of quilts connected to human rights issues and thought one of the foreclosure quilts would be a wonderful addition. It was such an honor to make this for them. It will also be a part of the Quilt Index, which is a fabulous resource for any artist. It was a challenge determining just which neighborhood in Flint should be represented. Ultimately, the museum chose a neighborhood right in between two vacant GM plants. But really, there are so many other blighted neighborhoods in Flint that are suffering as well.

Flint Foreclosure Quilt, 2013. Cheesecloth, linen, cotton and quilting thread, 26" x 46"
What really inspired me while making this quilt was reading so many stories about residents who have gone through so much and are doing everything to rebuild their communities. It seems there has been outreach from the national and local governments, but I see so much more that could be done. The question is how and who? It's an overwhelming issue and there are so many other factors that come into play, economic, social, etc.

Flint Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2013. Cheesecloth, linen, cotton and quilting thread, 26" x 46"
The sad fact is even though foreclosure rates have fallen in the past year, there's a hidden story behind the lower numbers. In a lot of these neighborhoods where you look at a mapped list and see few listings, it's not because the neighborhood is bouncing back, it's often because the homes are just abandoned, or worse yet, demolished. That is the case with much of Flint.

Flint Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2013. Cheesecloth, linen, cotton and quilting thread, 26" x 46"
And I'm now discovering as I do more research using aerial imagery, there are plenty of these demolished homes all across the US. Some cities openly discuss it, like Cleveland and Detroit, but there are others where I can't find any written data to back up what I see from the air. I keep digging in the hopes I can share the next chapter with you. I plan two more quilts and I hope these will express the new reality. What a can of worms I've opened ...


Related Posts with Thumbnails