Textiles News

Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by Laura Braun

Serpent & Bow use sustainably sourced fabrics and natural dyes such as indigo to create these handcrafted textiles and fashion items that evoke mythical mer-people. Founded by Rachel Blodgett and Julian Farmar-Bowers, from Northern California, the pair studied at California College of the Arts. While Rachel studied textiles, Julian studied printmaking, and began developing this combined interest in creating beautiful, hand-painted garments that, according to them, honors nature, their source.

Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Norval Gill (Art Education 1937) was born in Stockton in 1914. He began his artistic career during the Great Depression, and today, approaching his second century of life, he is still working and enjoying his craft.

Along the way he was on the Federal Art Project, worked as an illustrator and draftsman at an aircraft company, and has been a teacher, a graphic designer, a painter, a sculptor, and a devoted family man.

Gill is reluctant to differentiate between art for illustration, exhibition, personal enjoyment, and advertising. “I’ve always felt that art is art, and art that is done for a particular purpose does not make it less worthwhile.”

His influences have included the writings and philosophy of the British type designer and sculptor Eric Gill as well as his CCA(C) professor Glenn Wessels, who first exposed him to Lewis Mumford’s book Technics and Civilization and connected him with the Federal Art Project after graduation.

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 by Deborah Valoma

Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Guetierrez demonstrate at the Textile Futures public demonstration at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. Photo by Sita Bhaumik

CCA's Textiles Program hosted two respected members of the artist collective Centro de Arte Textil Zapoteco Bii Dauu -- Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Gutierrez -- for its 2014 biennial event, Textile Futures 2014: Conversations Around the Dye Pot.

Textiles Futures promotes cross-cultural and cross-generational dialog geared toward locating and expanding the rhetoric around textile sensibilities and practices.

This year the CCA Textiles Program collaborated with artist and curator David Wilson with his ongoing project The Possible at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum.

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Allison Byers

Clothes manufacturing and design is entering a phase similar to what food experienced in the 1970s. Spurred by the naturally available flora of Northern California, and led by the idiosyncratic political enthusiasms of the people who live there, there's a slow movement toward wearing and manufacturing sustainable clothes and linens. Duerr has taught a class at the California College of the Arts on how to color clothing without using industrial materials. Her nonprofit Permacouture Institute hopes to spread that gospel to public schools as well.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

2012 SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, David Wilson
SFMOMA, 2013
Paperback, 40 pages, $9.95

Three of the four winners of the 2012 SECA Art Award are CCA affiliates: Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA 2010) is an alumna, Josh Faught is on the Textiles faculty, and Jonn Herschend is a former faculty member and visiting artist. The award, given every two years by SFMOMA, honors Bay Area artists.

This SECA exhibition catalogue features interviews and texts by the award curators Jenny Gheith and Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), documentation of the commissions, and illustrations of previous work.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Scrape the Willow Until It Sings
Heyday, 2013
Paperback, 288 pages, $35

Winner of the Commonwealth Club's California Book Award Gold Medal for Contributions to Publishing!

Over the last 50 years of diligent study and experimentation, Julia Parker (CCA Honorary Doctorate 2006) has emerged as one of the preeminent Native American basket makers of California. Distinguished Coast Miwok-Kashaya Pomo elder and longtime resident of Yosemite Valley, Parker is a prolific artist, teacher, and storyteller. Her body of work confirms that Native basketry is a thriving, ever-changing art form and a vital component of contemporary cultural production.

Alongside Parker's sensitively photographed work, the basket maker's words are stitched throughout with essays by the artist and scholar Deborah Valoma, chair of CCA’s Textiles Program. Valoma describes the historical and philosophical implications of basketry from a non-Native perspective. Basing her work on rigorous scholarship and a long-term personal relationship between author and artist, Valoma peels back cultural assumptions about Native American basketry to reveal the relevance of Parker’s embodied philosophies of thinking and making in the twenty-first century.

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 by Jim Norrena

Three members of the CCA community have been awarded the 2012 SECA Art Award (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's biennial award program honoring Bay Area artists:

Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA 2010); Oakland-based New Orleans native and installation artist

Josh Faught, Textiles, MFA faculty; St. Louis-born, San Francisco-based textile artist

Jonn Herschend, former faculty member and visiting artist; Missouri native and video artist

Considering the fact only four artists (of 250 recommended by Bay Area curators, gallerists, professors, previous winners, and SECA members) are selected to receive the SECA Art Award, it's fair to say CCA artists dominated the awards -- including the fact the exhibition was co-curated by alumna Tanya Zimbardo (Curatorial Practice 2005), the assistant curator of media arts at SFMOMA.

Posted on Monday, September 16, 2013 by Rachel Walther

The Berkeley studio of Textiles faculty member Lia Cook is furnished with every tool a textile artist could want, from the cutting-edge to the antique. A Mac computer displaying MRI images rests five feet away from a two-story Jacquard loom manufactured in 1900, and in between are a dozen spools of vivid pink, red, and yellow thread.

In order to create her woven pieces, whose dimensions range from eight inches to seven feet, Cook draws upon 40 years of professional experience in which she has developed a unique, hybrid workflow that incorporates the digital, the mechanized, and the handmade.

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Jim Norrena

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design announced in April that Hilary Sanders and Michael Esteban, two recent Jewelry / Metal Arts alumni, both were awarded a 2013 Windgate Fellowship, bringing to five the total number to date of Windgate Fellowships awarded to CCA students since the award's inception.

The fellowship selection process presents a “rare opportunity to survey the best and brightest emerging makers in the field of craft.” It also gives these emerging artists both the validation and financial resources to pursue their dreams.

View additional works by the artists »

Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by Rachel Walther

Alumna Mary Meyer (Painting 2001) was born and raised in California, but her affinity for the East Coast eventually drew her to New York, and she's never looked back.

Today she owns and operates Mary Meyer Clothing, a storefront shop in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn and a wholesale business. She produces and sells clothing of her own design, and also represents several other independent designers.

Her work is a mixture of organic and angular -- natural fabrics with sharp angles and bold shapes.

Meyer credits the success of her company to the enthusiasm for experimentation and innovation fostered during her years at CCA.