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Tag Archives: fiber

seen at sofa: jan hopkins’ sculptural baskets

I’ve been intrigued by Jan Hopkins’ work for years, first posting about it in 2006 on The Empty Vessel.  Hopkins uses natural materials to create narrative, innovative, sculptural baskets that seem to have a life of their own.


Fish Out of Water
sturgeon skin, halibut skin, salmon skin, waxed linen, bull kelp, ostrich shell beads

As I walked toward the Jane Sauer Gallery booth at SOFA NY, I immediately knew that I was looking at Hopkins’ baskets and I was speechless.  The texture, quality of design and craftsmanship made these pieces far more satisfying than any images I had seen.

Admiring Hopkins’ work, From the SOFA NY slideshow

Age of Innocence
lunaria annua, skeleton leaves, preserved leaves, cardioiocinum giganteum seeds, yellow cedar bark, waxed linen paper

Training from master basket makers in traditional techniques gave Hopkins the comfort level she needed to expand her definition of ‘basket making materials’.  Today she combines alternative materials such as citrus peels, sturgeon skin, black bamboo, silver dollar seed pods and lotus pod tops with more common basket making materials and as she stitches them together, she also weaves together the stories, dreams and desires that go along with each piece.

Law of Identity
melon rind, weathered hydrangea leaves, silver dollar pods, yellow cedar bark

Jan Hopkins in her studio

Hopkins was represented at SOFA NY by Jane Sauer Gallery.

mija: fabric art from vintage clothing

A comment on the Daily Art Muse Fan Page led me to Libby and Jim Mijanovich’s lively fabric art. The couple, who have no formal art education, transform discarded vintage clothing by cutting, embellishing and piecing together the fragments of fabric that make up their signature wall panels. While color and depth draw you in to each piece, it is motion and optical illusion that keeps you there. The process is clearly illustrated in this slideshow with dramatic and delightful results.

Santa’s Tropical Adventure, 55″h x 55″w
each square unit is 26″ x 26″ x 1.5″ and can hang in any orientation either on point or as a square

“Environmental responsibility is intimately woven into the fabric of our art. Working exclusively with recycled vintage clothing, we transform countless fragments of materials into intricate, involved textile wall pieces. Sublime blending of color incorporated with dramatic use of value and elaborate metallic thread embellishment, evokes depth, motion and radiance.”

Flight of Fancy, 94″h x 94″w on point
each square unit is 32″ x 32″ x 1″ and can hang in any orientation either on point or as a square

“Currently we are compelled by the intrigue of repeating and modifying simple geometric designs. Multiple panels interact, one leading to the next, creating conversations which evolve as they are rearranged into different configurations. Each component is stretched and mounted on a frame, allowing multi-panel ensembles to be displayed horizontally or vertically, together or separate, linearly or staggered, square or on point. Expansive designs unfold, creating virtually an unlimited number of possible. dynamic installations.”

jenny ford: textile sculptor

With an interest in costume detail from Medevial and Elizabethian times, sculptor Jenny Ford often uses those details as a starting point for her sculptures.  The ‘elongated point of a poulaine’ or a ‘precisely pleated ruff’ become beginnings for the organic, abstract forms she creates using hand-dyed silk velvet, organza and found objects.


hand dyed metallic organza, cable ties, threads, velvet

hand dyed silk/viscose velvet & metallic organza, silk dupion, linen loom cord, electrical cable, copper pipe, threads, sprung wire

Yellow Pod
hand dyed silk/viscose velvet, & metallic organza, electrical cable, silk dupion, threads

Orange Form
hand dyed silk/viscose velvet & metallic organza, silk dupion, linen loom cord, threads

Trilogy in Blue
hand dyed silk/viscose velvet & metallic organza, linen loom cord, threads, electrical cable


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