Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles



Reading through the course material at the outset, I was pleased to note that we could select 10 of the 20 exercises as I was not at all inclined to explore pleats of any kind, nor was I inspired by some of the cutting illustrated in the manual.

Prior to starting the exercises in this section, I dutifully looked at all the recommended links.  By some fluke, I started at the bottom of those which seemed to apply and chanced upon Dezeen,  finding some relevant examples for two of the exercises.  Thereafter, I was disappointed and increasingly frustrated as I didn’t feel inspired by the artists recommended.  Working particularly on trying to link the research I have undertaken to my own work, I found I was losing momentum and feeling inadequate.  I questioned whether it was acceptable to discount almost half the exercises as I have no affinity with the geometric aspects of pleating, folding and cutting.

So the following is a brief summary of the artists researched and the reasons why I have no desire to incorporate aspects of their work into mine

Giles Miller

Creates interior, decoratively patterned surfaces, involving repetition of the same geometric shape hundreds of times, at slightly different heights and angles to create texture.  Surfaces include a orderly combination of matt and shiny materials, lots of lustrous, gleaming gold and burnished copper colours, creating an opulence unappealing to me and an order I find alien.

Anne Kyrro Quinn

This artist’s studio produces interior surfaces from luxury natural fabrics.  Her works are sculptural, three-dimensional structures, often in bold colours.    Having looked briefly at the work during my last course, I was astonished by how felt can be sculpted and its sound proofing qualities when applied in such quantity.  I appreciate her ingenuity and skill, but the huge installations of repetitive, regimented pattern are too uniform and exact for me.


Founded by Grace Tan, kwodrent is an inter-disciplinary practice based in Singapore.  The following quote from the kwodrent website regarding the study of rectangles and the works connection to mathematics is backed up by the accurately spaced pleats, or laser cut stainless steel found amongst Grace Tan’s projects and exhibitions.

A research and experimental platform for kwodrent, the kwodrent series is a progressive collection of spatial and wearable constructions stemming from the study of rectangles, materials, and construction methods. The works often blur the boundaries between design, art, and mathematics.

Whilst the artwork is more organic and less regimented than the interior surfaces of Anne Kyrro Quinn and Giles Miller, it is the obvious link to maths thats alienates me, some of the pieces have interesting form, but the precision is not something I wish to emulate.

Jule Waibel

Jule Waibel’s work has a ‘strong focus on geometric shapes, transformation and aesthetics‘.    By precisely folding Tyvek and other sheet materials, she creates three-dimensional forms which expand and contract.

Her website is a visual delight, illustrating her work and vibrant achievements.  She says ‘Geometry and folding has always fascinated me’. In contrast, the very same have repelled me.  The idea of printing 3m sheets of geometric designs on Tyvek to fold for 8 hours in some cases is quite unthinkable.

So, although the recommended video

The Making of – Entfaltung by Jule Waibel on vimeo

is quite mesmerising, I have absolutely no desire to explore the makings of something with that sort of precision and form.

Mathias Bengtsson

Mathias Bengtsson is a designer whose work is exhibited in  both Fine Art and Design institutions.

Bengtsson’s works are artefacts which yoke the work of “machines and the human hand” so that they feel “somewhere between both.”

(Robinson, 2008)

His work is made using high-tech materials and processes, yet have an organic form.  I particularly like Cellular  Chair made of silver coated epoxy resin, manufactured in one piece.  The interplay of light, shadow and reflection on the surface, through and in the holes is captivating and the fluid shape, appealing.

The slice paper chair is also fascinating. The pattern created by the alternating black and white sections emphasise the contours and almost give the impression the chair is moving. I’m waving my arms in the air in fluid curves trying to think of the words to describe the sinuousness of the pattern, belying the ridges created by each paper slice. The following is a drawing in pencil and water soluble graphite to demonstrate the flowing lines .


Whilst I enjoy the fluidity and movement in these pieces, the realisation that the slice chair is composed of hundreds of precision cut, digitially created slivers of material is less appealing.

Cai Guo-Qiang

This was quite unusual and if it were more accessible, I might be tempted to have a go on a small scale.  I like the idea of the slight unpredictability of, say, burning holes in paper with a soldering iron so can relate to the idea of exploring the use of gunpowder in drawing.  Although, to develop that into the monumental drawings and explosions aiming to ‘establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe around them’ is difficult to imagine.

Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson was a sculptor who constructed installations from found objects, predominantly wood, although she explored more industrial materials during the 1960’s & 70’s.

I’m not sure what to think of this artists’ work, but the more I look, the more I see and I’m drawn in to the detail and the shadows.

Looking at White Vertical Water 1972 the white paint unifies the structure and the detail of light and shadow is evident.  This is a big piece, 18ft x 9ft, and the narrow vertical boxes contain long curves drawing the eye down and short horizontal lines stop the eye and lead it in another direction.  It has a flowing, movement,  somehow gentle when compared to the following piece and could resemble bubbling, gurgling water.

Luminous Zag Night 1971, painted black, is more energetic than White Vertical Water, the repeated horizontal and vertical zig-zags taking the eye hither and thither.  The shadows are dark, the contrasts marked, very dramatic.  The structure is 16ft x 10ft comprised of 105 units containing repeated patterns of diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines cut from wood. Overall I find it compelling. 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) (accessed 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) 29/11/15) 29/11/15) 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) 29/11/15) 9/11/15 & 28/11/15) (accessed 29/11/15)



2 thoughts on “Research

  1. Dear NIna, Thanks for a great post. I have read it several times and followed all the lovely links. I found it extremely useful for my own work on creases – I have cited this page in my learning log – hope you do not mind. But this was really a super add to my own brief from ATV. Thanks Inger

  2. Thanks Inger, cite anytime! I enjoyed your post too as it highlighted the potential of exploring pleats (which do not excite me) with a view to incorporating them with crumpling (which excites me very much). So thank you. Its good to share. Enjoy the holidays. Nina

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