tapestryFIBER ARTS & MORE (& some of the creative influences in my life):

< Tapestry by Ruth T Hill

This first book is about the history of the fiber movement of the last half century. I played a tiny part in the movement, my steps now seeming to parallel it:  from designing, making my doll clothes & drawing & other crafts as a child; to the “art vs utilitarian crafts” debate; to art school & the “art vs craft” debate, to 3D fiber; to fiber & the feminist movement & women’s arts centers; to quasi acceptance; to just one way to make art & sculpture. (still my preferred method to which I return).


fiber histFiber: Sculpture 1960-Present:

“This lavish book documents the developments in the field of fiber-related art over the past half century.  The 1960s saw a revolution in fiber art.  Where once the focus was on knotting, twining, & coiling thread into works that were immediately recognizable, & therefore connected to utilitarian crafts, fiber artists of the later 20th-century began to experiment with abstract forms that were sculpture, rather than craft.  Influenced by postmodernist ideas, these works are the product of experimentation with materials & technique while at the same time confronting important cultural issues. This book traces that development from the mid-twentieth century to the present.”

“In the words of Bauhaus weaver Anni Albers, the expressive quality of fiber is essentially a “language of thread”. That language is beautifully displayed in full-color spreads & individual illustrations in this book.  Scholarly essays address the feminist movement of the 1970s; the expanded use of materials in the ’80s & ’90s; & the more recent employment of fiber as one more material in the creation of freestanding works.”

MagdalensMagadalena Abakanowicz:  Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago by Magdalena Abakanowicz:

Widely known & influential artist Polish artist in fiber, sculpture, monumental environments called Abakans. — long one of my personal favorite books & artists.


FMag2ate and Art – This is the first title of a new series of biographies entitled Confessions.  This illustrated autobiography about the most widely known Polish artist, Magdalena Abakanowicz, surveys the international reputation she gained in the 1960s as a sculptor in monumental environments called Abakans — (another on my “must-buy” list – rueth)


wild colorWild Color, Revised & Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making & Using Natural Dyes:

The best resource on natural dyeing is back, updated…..I haven’t done spinning & dying  with natural dyes for a long time, but it was very enjoyable & rewarding work, so I’m inspired to get back into it – rueth

“This is an excellent, practical, & inspiring guide to creating & using natural dyes from plants, Wild Color…, offers the latest information on current environmentally friendly dyeing techniques & more than 65 species of plants & natural dyestuffs.  The all-in-one resource for fiber enthusiasts, gardeners who are interested in new uses for traditional dye plants; & eco-conscious DIYers who want authoritative information about the natural dyeing process & plants that essential to it.”


harvesting colorHarvesting Color: How to Find Plants & Make Natural Dyes:

selection: The Crafters’ Choice Book Club

“Beautiful natural dyes from plants found in the wild or grown in your own backyard. — As more are discovering, dyeing your own fabric can yield gorgeous colors.  Master dyer, Rebecca Burgess, identifies 36 plants that will yield beautiful natural shades & shows how easy it is to make the dyes. Explains where to find these plants in the wild (& for those that can be grown in your backyard, how to nurture them) & the best time & way to harvest them; maps show the range of each plant in the US & Canada.


artisan textiles1,000 Artisan Textiles: Contemporary Fiber Art, Quilts, & Wearables:

Lots of inspiration here! – another book in my personal library. — “This gallery-style volume includes some of the finest examples of contemporary textiles & fiber art today.  The collection includes wearable art, fashion accessories, soft furnishings & vessels, tapestries, display art, & quilts.  A wide variety of techniques are featured, including hand & machine embroidery, decorative stitching, batik, dyeing, fabric painting, applique, felt, weaving, & all types of surface decoration.  Full-color photography features both full views as well as close-ups.”  Lots of inspiration!


eco colorEco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles:

“The essence of plants bursts forth in magnificent hues & surprising palettes.  Using the dyes of leaves, roots, & flowers to color your cloth & yarn can be an amazing journey into botanical alchemy.  In Eco Colour, artistic dyer & colorist India Flint teaches you how to cull & use this gentle & ecologically sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes.”


to dye forA Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers:

I very much enjoyed dyeing my handspun wool many years, so I’m glad to hear that home-grown botanical dyes are in, & they’re part of today’s shift toward organic living.  “A new generation discovers grow-it-yourself dyes,” says the New York Times.  You don’t have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes.  …. A Garden to Dye For shows how simple it is to plant & grow a dyer’s garden & create beautiful dyes.  Many of these plants may already be in our cutting, cottage or food gardens, ready for double duty.  These special plants can fit right in with traditional garden themes.  A Garden to Dye For features 40-plus plants that the gardener-crafter can grow for an all-natural customized color palette.



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