Friday, 25 January 2013

Conference News...

Being an academic can be hard sometimes - but not when it involves a trip to New York!

In a few weeks I will speaking at the College Art Association 101st Annual Conference (13-16 February). I will be giving a paper as part of a session entitled Tapestry and Reproduction. Here are the details:

"Tapestry and Reproduction"
Panel Co-chaired by K. L. H. Wells, University of Southern California; and Barbara Caen, The Frick Collection
College Art Association (CAA) 101st Annual Conference

Friday, February 15, 2013, 2:30-5pm
Sutton Parlor North, 2nd Floor
Hilton Hotel, Midtown New York

"Border Zones: Reproduction and Change in Raphael’s Designs for Tapestries"
Lorraine Karafel, Parsons The New School for Design

"Raphael/Not Raphael: The Curious Case of Loreto’s Acts of the Apostles Tapestries, and the Similar Sets in Zaragoza and Bryn Athyn"
Jonathan Kline, Temple University

“'Painting, with Silk and Gold'”: Boucher’s Intermediality"
Susan Wager, Columbia University

"Critical Reception of the Marie Cuttoli Tapestries, 1930s–1960s"
Virginia Gardner Troy, Berry College

"Reproduction/Interpretation/Transformation: Postwar Tapestry Making at Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh"
Francesca Baseby, University of Edinburgh
I feel so fortunate to be part of such an exciting looking panel and cannot wait to hear my fellow speakers. Online registration for the conference is now closed but details of how to buy tickets on the day can be found here.

Most readers of this blog are unlikely to be in New York just waiting for something to do on 15 February so I'll be sure to do a follow-up blog post about some of the ideas and issues that arise out of the session.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tamielle - a social enterprise

For Christmas, and as an early wedding present, my Mum gave me this:

It is a beautiful hand-embroidered handkerchief with a print of an Edwardian bride.

It was made by a company called tamielle. Initiated by designer Tamar Kovner who works with developing communities to create ethical and highly desirable handmade products. One such series of products is the Handkerchief Club. Each handkerchief is made in a workshop in a deprived area of Bulgaria near Veliko Tarnovo. The boxes are made by hand by a man names Elijah and within each is a small note inscribed with the name of the embroiderer. Tamar does not simply send out her designs, but has formed a personal collection with the women of the workshop, spending time in their homes getting to know them. It was such a special gift, in more ways than one.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year - New Tapestry?

I intended to write something here about the past year in review but when you're working in academia the calendar year has less meaning than the academic one. I feel that, with 2013 just beginning, I ought to have completed some things and be on the brink of beginning others. Instead I find myself in the middle of the trickiest year of my PhD so far: THE FINAL YEAR OF DOOM. I am writing and editing and writing and editing and getting feedback and editing. It seems an endless cycle further complicated by the niggling voice in the back of my head reminding me that when the cycle finishes I will need to find a job.

So instead of moaning here are some uplifting tapestries for January:

2009 and 2010 Diaries, Tommye McClure Scanlin, image from here.
2012 Diary in Progress, Tommye McClure Scanlin, image from here.
 I have only just discovered the blog of Tommye McClure Scanlin. Tommye is based in the US and for the past few years have woven a tapestry diary for each calender year. Alongside her usual tapestry weaving projects, she weaves a small section of tapestry every day, reflecting her thoughts or mood. This has struck me as a fascinating idea. To commit to such a project means allowing yourself time, every day, to disconnect from your daily work or chores and tap into what you have been feeling. She is not the only weaver to create tapestry diaries but I enjoy seeing how they have changed in style, colour and form from year to year. The tapestries look so beautiful and tantalising - I only wish I could see one in person.
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