Textiles News

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2012 by Allison Byers

WHEN you are a practicing alchemist, as Sasha Duerr is, strangers will often ask you to demonstrate your powers by heating up a caldron in the yard. It’s a living, and Ms. Duerr is usually happy to give it a try. On a recent Monday afternoon, she had arranged to spark up three propane camp stoves and scavenge a few things to boil.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Craftlab
Issuu, 2012
Digital, 20 pages, free

This catalogue documents the work done in Sasha Duerr's (Textiles and Fine Arts faculty and MFA 2003) fall 2011 Craft Lab course, a cross-pollination of textile, fashion, and environmental systems thinking, inspired by ecological principles found in permaculture and regenerative design applied to restoration, repair, and its inherent connection to "craft."

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Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 by Molly Mitchell

A CCA student greets visitors to the School to Market booth at the 2012 American Craft Council Show at Fort Mason.

California College of the Arts and the American Craft Council have in common a passion for furthering craft education and mentoring young makers.

It’s no surprise that CCA and the ACC have over the past years joined forces to produce a number of programs geared toward the practice and business of making and selling craft.

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Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Cory Gunter Brown and Cassidy Hope Wright founded The Moon, a self-described "slow fashion" boutique and design studio in 2007

This is the first installment in a series of artist profiles that depicts CCA's connection to the Oakland Art Murmur -- in particular to 25th Street in downtown Oakland, where in almost any given gallery, shop, or studio, artists from California College of the Arts are making their living in the arts. Collectively, they are changing the cultural landscape of Oakland, elevating its reputation as one of today’s most talked-about art scenes.

Earlier this summer, while walking along 25th Street between Broadway and Telegraph avenues in downtown Oakland, I found myself appreciating a discernible shift in the neighborhood's appearance. It used to be only abandoned warehouses and defunct automotive repair shops comprised the city blocks in this area (the result of 1989's Loma Prieta earthquake, which took its toll on an already economically depressed downtown Oakland).

Yet now, slowly, one by one, this same area seems to be the impetus for an appreciable spate of creative businesses and artist live/work spaces.

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Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Happy Earth Day, CCA!

California College of the Arts is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review, an education service that helps students select and apply to colleges.

CCA's inclusion in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition reinforces the college's reputation as an exemplary institution of higher education committed to sustainability.

The news, which USA Today reported Wednesday, April 20, arrives just in time for today's Earth Day celebration—and brings to a close CCA's Earth Week festivities with a remarkable bang!

The Guide to 311 Green Colleges, the first and only free comprehensive college guidebook to focus solely on high-ranking U.S. colleges and universities, showcases outstanding commitments to environmental sustainability in and out of the classroom (e.g., environmentally related practices, policies, and academic offerings). The 220-page guide contains profiles of 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada, all of which demonstrate a significant commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

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Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes
Timber Press, 2011
Paperback, 172 pages, $19.95

Buttery yellow from garden weeds or gorgeous garnet-red dye from flowers -- achieving stunning colors for your fabric, yarn, and other natural materials is almost as easy as boiling water, with ingredients as close as your spice cabinet and as plentiful as fallen leaves on an autumn day. Through step-by-step instructions and color-saturated photographs, textile designer and CCA faculty member and MFA alum Sasha Duerr explains the basics of making and using natural plant dye, from gathering materials and making the dyes to simple ideas for how to use them.

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Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010 by Samantha Braman

From Bridget Riley to Gustav Klimt to Vivienne Westwood: What could they possibly have in common, you might ask? All are fodder for the active imagination and globe-trotting practice of textile artist Morgan Bajardi (Textiles 2009).

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Posted on Thursday, September 2, 2010 by Jason Engelund

This spring (2012) Anne Wolf will collaborate with the Zen Hospice Project of San Francisco to teach her course "Presence and Absence," which is part of the college's ENGAGE at CCA initiative. Students enrolled in the course will focus their studies on end-of-life care, as they create a series of memorial pillows for the organization's newly renovated Guest House.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 by Lindsey Westbrook

Clotaire Bazile with one of his sequined flagsView slideshow 

Clotaire Bazile is a Vodou priest, a healer, and one of Haiti's most famous flag makers. CCA's Textiles Program will bring him to campus in April as part of its Masters of Tradition series. Starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, the Oliver Art Center on the Oakland campus will host a public exhibition of Bazile's sequined Vodou flags and a slide lecture by Susan Tselos, an expert on Haitian sacred art, followed by a question-and-answer session with Bazile and Tselos and a reception with Haitian music and dance.

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