Blog Posts - Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

 
 
Below are some recent in progress images of the topography piece in progress.
For the image of base of skirt below Colleen says "We have worked on 8 panels and 15 more panels to go."
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Detail of front in progress.
Picture
Here is the paper pattern being crafted.
 
Colleen sent me these images today. It took two full days to construct this sleeve. The print drew inspiration from San Jose's City Hall, Spanish tile roofs and Eichler homes. Colleen's sleeve  is a gestural reference to the City Hall rotunda.
Picture
Front view of Topography sleeve.
Picture
Colleen Quen:
"Of course my shape has a little distortion of the City Hall in San Jose. It's symbolically showing the gesture. This is looking inside the sleeve. The complexity and building of structure needed to create the shape as well as my engineered pattern cut of sleeve."
 
YToday J.R. Campbell, Director and Professor of the Fashion School at Kent State,  and Susan Taber Avila, artist and professor at The University of California Davis , visited the studios of Colleen Quen and Rick Lee.

J.R. Campbell's digital textile department printed the silks for the Surface and Shape collaborative project Colleen, Rick and I are working on. He was in town to see a show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and he had an hour window of time that matched Colleen's  window of time to meet. I almost was not able to make the meeting but am so glad that I did! It was an extra bonus to meet Susan.
Picture
Colleen shows the scale of the skirt portion of the topography garment.
Picture
Emotion mapping textile print incorporated into forms.
Picture
Colleen's long time seamstress works on one of the sleeves of the topography garment.
Picture
Intern Elena works on the lantern like forms for the emotion garment.
Picture
Intern Barbie works on the garments.
Picture
J.R. Campbell and Rick Lee discuss project.
Picture
The textiles.
Picture
Colleen shows us her many pattern pieces.
 
In the last few days Colleen has been sending me images of her process of creating a garment pattern. She studied French couture and was an engineer in a prior career so she has that special mix of left and right side of the brain working in her artistic creations! A lot of math goes into her pattern drafting (I saw math equations on her initial pattern pieces). This really the best part of the project for me....seeing the process of other artists who work in very different media.
Picture
Musiln of sleeves for topography garment.
Picture
Here Colleen maps off sections with tape. This is to determine pattern shapes for the topography garment.
Picture
back view of topography pattern markings.
Picture
More pattern work for topograpy garment.
Picture
Sleeve pattern pieces for topography garment.
Picture
Huge (I mean huge) patten for base of topography garment. This photo was taken from Colleen's second story balcony looking down onto her showroom.
Picture
Start of designing frame structure of emotion piece. This garment will be hanging.
Picture
64 of these forms will hang from the emotion piece to form a sort of lantern skirt.
Picture
 
At our meeting last week, Colleen Quen shared her initial pattern studies. I was awed by how much hand work will go into these garments and was struck by how inventive and intricate these creations will be.
Picture
Colleen Quen with dress form and pattern sketch.
Picture
Colleen's pattenr sketch of the diameter of the hanging garment cage frame from which the lantern like pieces will dangle.
Picture
Colleen explaining the haning lantern like shapes. She will be creating 60 or so of these!
Picture
Fabrics from Spoonflower and from Kent State University's School of Fashion's TechStyleLAB
Picture
Colleen Quen's Emotion Piece sketch
Picture
Colleen Quen's Emotion piece concept sketch
Picture
Colleen Quen's Topography piece concept sketch
 
Last week the Surface and Shape design team had a meeting at Rick Lee and Colleen Quen's studio. It was so inspiring to see the models and sketches. Rick Lee had refined his design to be a reflective structure reminiscent of cloud computing.
Picture
Picture
Picture
Wonderful scale model of environment installation. The metal will have perferations to enable it to bend easier. These stitch-like punctures will allude nicely to the hand stitchwork of Colleen's gowns.
Picture
Top View of Rick Lee's installation model. It reminds me of cloud computing. The different colors show different sections of model.
Picture
Original paper pattern sketch.
Picture
Digital pattern sketch.
Picture
Rick explaining materials.
Picture
Earlier model
Picture
aluminum material sample.
Picture
Hanging wire and attachements for suspension. Piece will weigh betwen 300-500 pounds.
 
I created this video below to show some of the initial process of my collaboration with Colleen Quen, Rick Lee and the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.
 
I just ordered some yardage of secondary fabrics for the fusionwear sv project. I revisited a few of the designs to add texture and a bit more meaning. Below I added Japanese, Chinese and Mexican food wrappers to the motif to reference these cultures that contributed greatly to agriculture here in Santa Clara.
Picture
Below is a revised piece referencing demographics. I wanted to tone down the color palette to match the Japanese porcelain bowl textile better. I add a bit more subtly to it. Below this new design is the original pattern.
Picture
Picture
 
I have always envisioned my exploration into cultural textiles to include students I teach in Alum Rock. 

What do I want my students to learn?
1. Students will learn that they each have a valuable personal visual vocabulary which grows and enriches just as their verbal vocabulary does.
2. Students will begin to recognize and express that vocabulary in their art and writing.
3. Students will connect and truly examine the intimate community of their neighborhoods and see how that intimate community visual vocabulary is part of a larger visual vocabulary in a larger community. Students will learn to curate an art show and articulate the meaning of the patterns they created.

Rather than be passive consumers of culture, I hope through this project students will begin to develop the tools to be active creators of culture.

What will they do?
Students will represent Alum Rock in pattern and print through creation of digital textiles. This is exploration into visual metaphor, culture and geometry.
I envision using this Basso & Brooke research trip video as one of the leads to the project.

1. Students will explore their community and document in photographs.
2. They will upload, Geotag and describe how the image represents their community. This will anchor their images to the point on the map they were taken so other could take an online visual tour and learn about their community. This map will be accessible through a project website, a portal for an authentic audience.
3. Working in teams of three, students will collaborate in selecting images they think distill their community the best and then they will collaborate in designing a textile pattern (could be created from photos in SumoPaint or freehand sketches which I would convert to Illustrator files). The resulting patterns will be printed as digital textiles.
4. The students will collaborate in designing a textile sculptural installation. They will learn about converting flat design into a 3-D (pattern drafting) and they will stitch together the final creation.
5. Student would each write an artist statement to accompany their design. This statement would be incorporated into an ISSUU catalog and into signage for museum setting.
6. Dream for the project: Project results in student curated show installation in KCI Art Gallery. Students attend a reception for show at the KCI Gallery. A student reception would not only honor the completion of the project, but would create a moment in time where students feel they belong at a college and that a college experience is part of their future.

How will you know they have learned it?
We will have a Google document survey at the beginning of the project asking them what does "vocabulary" mean, what does "metaphor" mean, and what does "community" mean? and a Google peer review poll throughout the project and final written evaluation of project. Students will document process of project in project website blog.

How can I design this project to be scalable?
Physical banners and bus shelters in Alum Rock.
A textile pattern activity kit created by students and posted on the project website for other students at other schools to replicate a similar project.
Make this a cross school collaborative project by coordinating with a school in another State.

I also am mining great information from The Victoria & Albert Museum in London regarding educational textile activities. Here are a few particular activities I found relevant: Mirror image design and Repeat Patterns.
 
Today I drove the swatches I received from Spoonflower up to Colleen Quen.  In reviewing the fabrics this is how Colleen wishes to order them. The two left images will be on cotton lawn from Spoonflower (I just put in the order for 10 yards of each). The other four designs will be ordered from TechStyleLAB at Kent State University.
Picture