Kudzu Rising

It may surprise you to know that the Kudzu plant has a vibrant history of use for various applications – from medicinal to textile.  Until the modern era, most of this history took place in East Asia.  At present, in Southeastern U.S. there are numerous paths to Kudzu fiber harvest and use, and those who work with (and on behalf of) Kudzu are passionate about it.  One such individual is Junco Sato Pollack, who has been devoting a portion of her busy schedule as academician and studio artist to ponder the story of Kudzu in greater detail.  In my quest…

Gateways…

I have recently been making occasional forays outside of my primary technique to revisit mark-making  practices on cloth (specifically, mechanical resists and printing).  These more immediate surface techniques are among the first I explored when I was first discovering a love for cloth – kind of the “gateway” techniques for me – when I knew I was “hooked.”  Even though I embrace laminated felting as my central path to textile/fiber bliss(!), it is always interesting to see how one’s view can change in the process of exploring/revisiting other allied techniques.  Indeed, I find it essential to dip back into these…

Turning over anew….

Happy New Year! I have been considering various points of departure for this year’s blog posts and have arrived at several which are interrelated.  As part of a lecture series I recently presented, I looked at various “slow textile” practices from historical, cross-cultural and contemporary perspectives.  Many slow textile practices that have been a part of human culture for millennia endure to this day and are enjoying major resurgences.  In their contemporary form, I wonder how many of them fare in terms of issues like energy and other non-renewable resource costs, social and environmental justice, and so on.  And further, what,…