A Coincidence? Maybe
On Friday I was finishing my gym workout with a cool-down walk on the track. Not the most exciting exercise but I use the time each morning to review my schedule, decide on a supermarket list and, on Fridays, I plan the subject for this blog. I decided to revisit the subject of hand-made versus machine-created using as examples two very famous men: William Morris and Isaac Singer. And so I will in the following weeks. But first to the coincidence.
Yesterday afternoon, Saturday, found me in front of a fire in our kiva (fireplace) with a drink and my latest reference book selected from a pile on the coffee table. The opening introduction page talks about “the continuum of creativity” from “the action of human hands” to “machine-minding”. This is not an unusual discussion, it appears often in textile books. However, I had not expected to find my upcoming subject in the first pages of this remarkable volume.
|Textiles: The Art of Mankind, Mary Schoeser, Thames and Hudson, NY, 2012|
Ms Schoeser is a well-known textile authority and author of several reference works including World Textiles, International Textiles and Silk
Textiles, by Mary Schoeser, is an ambitious undertaking of 568 pages including notes, resources and a list of further readings. In this volume, Schoeser mingles ancient with contemporary, museum pieces with gallery offerings under chapters among which are entitled “Impact”, “Ingredients”, “Surface", “Structure”. The text before each chapter includes many references and accounts by well-known artists and authorities. This writing style becomes somewhat confusing with so many disparate examples and I find I need to slowly review what I have read. Perhaps, as I am used to studying historical accounts which tend to proceed in a linear fashion, it is my limitation. I prefer to think that I am distracted by the remarkable collection of color illustrations (over 1,000). The photography is outstanding and I am constantly turning pages just to encounter examples of ancient basketry and an installation by Rowland Ricketts ( 2009) of stones wrapped in indigo sheep wool fibers, as well as, an array of fabrics and apparel. There appears to be a surprise on every page and I know I will return to this reference often.