1. Rachel Biel

    TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List- New Member Focus

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    TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List was launched in 2010 with the primary goal of helping online businesses in our community reach larger markets. A secondary goal seeks to help these members improve their web presence in an ever-changing and fast environment on the web. We have used social media heavily with our Facebook page evolving into our most valuable resource. TAFA now has over 500 members from over 40 countries with a rich and varied portfolio of techniques and business goals. Some sell products through their shopping carts, either on Etsy or their stand-alone sites, while others teach, exhibit, publish or are peer organizations with their own focuses. A third benefit from our membership has manifested itself as “inspiration”. Both our members and our community at large have shown great enthusiasm for the quality and range of the work represented on our site. As members are vetted in based...
  2. Rachel Biel

    The Amazing Versatility of Felt: A Peek at Felting Techniques on TAFA

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    The only things I have felted have pretty much been by mistake: sweaters and socks in the washer and dryer. Have you done that? Oops! But, it’s a field of study and practice that fascinates me and if I already didn’t have bins and bins of other supplies, felting would hook me in, for sure. I get to drool over what TAFA members make and find their work inspiring and impressive. Wool fibers have little scales on them that act like hooks. People figured this out hundreds of years ago and have made use of this property to adorn themselves and their homes with felt. Here is a look at what different fibers look like under a microscope: When you pound those wool fibers together, they grab on to each other, creating felt, which is not woven or knit or crocheted or held together in any other way besides sticking to...
  3. Rachel Biel

    Twelve Great Examples of Art Quilt Techniques

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    We have amazing talent among our TAFA members and they serve as a source of great inspiration for our textile and fiber art community. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the techniques that our art quilters use in designing their textiles. As a starting point, I went through our member list and looked for quilts that would be good examples for this post. Scrolling down this list is the easiest way to get a good sense of what our members do. You can also do key word searches as some members have more than four products listed and this list only shows four. I found it really hard to narrow down my choices as there really are so many quilts that I love on the site. So, do look through and find the ones that catch YOUR eye! Basics An art quilt can...
  4. Meta Heemskerk

    Galleribba On Facebook – Small Art for the Wall

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    Two years ago I started Galleribba, an international online gallery for small wall art. This week we welcomed our 46th member. Members are either invited by me or they apply for membership. The maximum size of work on Galleribba is 12 inches on either side. My aim was to have a place filled with lots of beautiful textile and mixed media art, which would give us a platform to sell our art. Galleribba also serves as a great promotion tool.   I’m doing all the work on my own and for free, except for a small contribution towards the costs. So I’m constantly trying to find ways of promoting Galleribba without it costing a lot of money. I’ve tried to do this without social media sites like Facebook as it would take up so much time and I have lots of other things to do, but of course, it’s impossible...
  5. Rachel Biel

    Felted Mini-Hats by Ariane Mariane

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    Do you wonder where artists and artisans get their inspiration from? Ariane from Ariane Mariane/ Paris has a leitmotif (recurrent theme) that finds ground in a sentence from Picasso : “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”. Most of her ideas “find her” when she lays out wool fibers or rubs the felt work. The eternal repetition of the same actions over a long period of time gets her into meditation mode, a kind of daydream where her thoughts follow their own reasoning. Ariane shares her creative process I can give you a concrete example of how I came up with the ideas for the fancy, artsy top hat fascinators that I am making now. I think of them as “mini hats”. This story started when one of my charming New York clients asked me to bring some of my felt hats on the trip I had been planning there. I live in Paris and many of my...
  6. Rachel Biel

    Elena Rosenberg Wearable Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2014

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    Elena Rosenberg, New York wearable fiber artist and knit designer, has been invited to participate in the 38th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2014, as an emerging artist. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show is a premier display and sale of contemporary craft by the finest and most dynamic craft artists in the United States. Each year, the jury selects no more than 195 artists from over 1,000 applications. This year’s jury included Elisabeth Agro (Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Decorative Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art), Carolyn Benesh (Co-editor of Ornament Magazine), and Peter Korn (Author of “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman,” and Director of Center for Furniture Craftsmanship), and Yvonne Markowitz (Curator of Jewelry, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston). The show takes place in Philadelphia, PA November 6-9, 2014. http://pmacraftshow.org/ Elena is also the recipient...
  7. Rachel Biel

    Work Spaces: Where Textiles and Fiber Art Get Made, Part 2

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    TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic development initiatives. Some members make their living through creating products for sale, others teach, while others publish or exhibit their works. The handmade process always translates into labor intensive techniques, but the materials and tools needed vary dramatically. Travel around the world to visit some of our work spaces. Click on the names to visit their profiles on TAFA where you will find more info and links to their sites. The first image of each slideshow shows an example of what is made in that space. Enjoy! This is Part Two. Visit Part One.    Gilgulim...
  8. Rachel Biel

    Images of Motherhood in Textiles and Fiber Art

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    Figurative work often explores the narrative of the personal, the relationships that make or break our lives and our world order. Motherhood, as a theme, tends to luck out on the spectrum of emotions. Equated with the generous and tender roles of guardians, protectors, teachers, they warm the heart. Those of us who are mothers or who have them, know that these relationships are much more complex. I suspect that artists who explore these moments of suspended time, of that embrace, kiss or look, are probing those layers of meaning with each stitch, cut and tuck. By the time they are finished, some kind of resolution, acceptance and honoring has happened. Society demands purity from motherhood: The mother who does not serve as a guardian to her children is a broken vessel. Something must be wrong with her genes! Nature has a powerful, inbuilt drive that should make all mothers spread their...
  9. Rachel Biel

    Work Spaces: Where Textiles and Fiber Art Get Made, Part 1

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    TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic development initiatives. Some members make their living through creating products for sale, others teach, while others publish or exhibit their works. The handmade process always translates into labor intensive techniques, but the materials and tools needed vary dramatically. Travel around the world to visit some of our work spaces. Click on the names to visit their profiles on TAFA where you will find more info and links to their sites. The first image of each slideshow shows an example of what is made in that space. Enjoy! African Threads Canada Valerie Hearder works with women...
  10. Karen Miller

    Decorating with Textiles: Hooked Rugs – Not Just For Floors

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    I am a fibre artist living and working in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.  I love to blend alternative fibre techniques with traditional yarn hand-hooking to create fresh landscapes and abstract close-ups and to explore meaningful moments in childhood.   Every loop of yarn that I pull up with my hook brings me closer to capturing the essence of nature or of a special moment in the lives of my kids.  Anything can be a source of inspiration to me, from world travel to my own backyard. I am drawn to the earthy tones and moody skies of the North Atlantic and especially Iceland. My pieces are available for purchase at several locations across Canada and my work has been shown in various exhibits in both Canada and the United States.  You can learn more about me and my work on my website and blog at www.marzipanroad.com. When we talk about rugs, most people...

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