liza lou

Liza Lou is a bead artist who creates entire scenes – rooms, trailers, houses, a backyard – entirely from tiny beads.

Her current show at the White Cube in the UK is “a meditation on the vulnerability of the human body and the architecture of confinement” and includes a room the size of a death row prison cell, a barbed wire security fence, and several male figures in states of anguish.

From the exhibit description:

Lou’s work has an immediate ‘shock’ content that works on different levels: first, an acknowledgement of the work’s sheer aesthetic impact and secondly the slower comprehension of the labour that underlies its construction. But whereas in Lou’s earlier works the startling clarity of the image is often a counterpoint to the lengthy process of its realization, for the execution of Cell, Lou further slowed down the process by using beads of the smallest variety with their holes all facing up in an exacting hour-by-hour approach in order to ‘use time as an art material’.

liza lou

Images of her earlier work can be seen here.

An interesting review of the current exhibit can also be found at the Guardian.

Via magpie and cake


Paula Sanz Caballero is an embroidery artist living in Spain, who makes these really complex illustrations from fabric and thread. Her work appears in magazines and other publications, and she also makes cards for Roger La Borde.

Snip from an article in Embroidery Magazine on embroidery as illustration:

For almost seven years now she has been telling stories with needle, thread and fabric swatches. Born into a family of more than four generations of textile merchants, as a child she played among piles of fabric. However, her work does not draw exclusively on the past, instead it combines technology and tradition. By merging elements she feels she gains the best of both worlds. ‘Artists often feel that in order to be “contemporary” they must limit their work to new technology and that it is necessary to separate themselves from everything related to tradition. How then must the observer for whom anything related to textile work, except for fashion design, is usually considered as a domestic labour or craft, approach works in this medium? If the artist himself does not see textile art as a valid medium, it is impossible for the observer to do so.’

(via poppytalk)


kwytza kraft Kwytza Kraft is a company that makes household products from recycled, single use chopsticks, which is a big waste problem, particularly in China. It is estimated that 25 million trees and bamboo plants are used annually in single-use chopstick manufacturing in China. Kwytza Kraft collects chopsticks from restaurants, santizes and pressure cleans them, and then turns them into everything from lampshades to furniture. I think that if I saved and cleaned all the disposable chopsticks I used in a few months, I might have enough to construct a lamp shade, or perhaps a cd rack, how about you?
kwytza kraftkwytza kraft


respect copyright Just to follow up on an issue that had been raised in the comments of an earlier post, copyright is a very difficult and confusing issue for crafters and artists, and I don’t pretend to understand it completely myself. But it is important that the copyright of crafters’ work is respected, because they make a living through the sale of their creative ideas and products. This has implications for the reproduction of patterns, the use of fabrics, using ‘found’ images in collages, and particularly the use of any of these in items that are intended for sale. I have put together some useful links that have a lot of information on the different aspects of these issues. Remember also that copyright laws vary from country to country, so be sure you are familiar with the copyright rules where you live.

Copyright for Collage artists

FAQ about copyright for artists

A really good guide to copyright for crafters and knitters from the girl from auntie. Includes information regarding Canadian copyright laws.

Susie ghahremani has been talking about a US senate amendment that would remove copyright for orphaned or unattributed works, which is being opposed by artists and graphic designers

Copyright Law and the Stitcher from Needlepoint now

Information sheets from the Australian Copyright Council (both via inaminuteago)

Copyright and Patterns

Copyright for Quilters and Crafters

Using Copyrighted Fabrics and a discussion at Dioramarama

Some works are now published under a creative commons licence. Learn about that here.

The image above is from a campaign by the International Publishers Association.


Crafting Japanese

by thimble on 20/02/2006

in Books

crafting japanese crafting japanese

I don’t know where I’ve been for all these months, but I only recently discovered that whipup’s own Maitreya has been keeping an amazing blog with all kind of resources about Japanese craft books called Crafting Japanese. She’s got a guide to ordering from amazon japan, links to resources like Kinokuniya Bookstores, and indexes of images from craft books as well as the projects that people have completed from the books. Wow!

Also, the Inspiring Craft Books flickr pool has hundreds of images from craft books, japanese and others, that holds tons of inspiration.

I could spend a lot of time drooling over the beautiful japanese vintage fabric like these at Kitty craft.

japanese fabricjapanese fabric

Also, recently Jan at Be*mused has posted a gallery of pictures from her trip to the Tokyo quilt festival. Lucky gal, and generous of her to share them with us!
tokyo quilt show