art, yoga, connection to life

Posts from the ‘beauty’ category

Someone once told me that wearing my scarves was like getting a hug. That was meaningful to hear and especially pertinent to recall these days!  A sense of the tactile, of knowing through the hands and body is my compass and cornerstone.

My collection is made by me & my two hands from the initial stages of sketching motifs, to creating small batch inks and dyes.  Each piece is hand screen printed and hand dyed one at at time.  It started from my curiosity and my sense of interconnection with nature.

Working with natural dyes is a unique commingling of the science and energy of plant life and and culture.  

It brings us into relation with millennia of human practices that learned how to extract colourants from plants and the way that we bring nature into our lives.

*photo credit Tony Lanz Photography

One of my earliest and most popular designs is my anemone print.  It’s a special motif to me as it was inspired by the flowers cut from my parent’s garden that I left to dry in a vase.   After looking at their dried whimsical forms over the winter months I made a series of silhouetted drawings with ink on paper.


With the drawings I created a composition for a silk screen.  Silk screens are basically a frame with a fine silk mesh where areas are blocked out.  Where the mesh is left unblocked the ink can pass through to transfer the design to fibre or paper in the printing process.

My screens range from 12 x 16 – 25 x 36 IN.   Each of my scarves is hand screen printed with multiple passes, (ranging on average from 4 – 8 times) with time to dry in between in order for the design to cover the length of the scarf.

*photo credit Arounna Khounnouraj

I make all my inks and dyes in small batches largely using materials I gather locally such as black walnut, sumac along with oak gall and pomegranate from Maiwa a wonderful Canadian supplier.

After the printing and dyeing comes the washing and ironing.  And I have my mom to thank for many, many hours spent together ironing my scarves!

I have long been fascinated by the visceral and emotive response that colour evokes.

“We experience blue in an expansive and immersive way in the sky, lakes, oceans and seas.

A pervasive colour in the visual field of the world around us, it was a precious rarity as pigment and was highly sought after as a colour for representation in art and textiles….” read more

A blue themed event has been gestating in my brain for a some time and I’m thrilled to bring together the work of Akai Ceramic Studio, Handwork Studio, Sigrid Blohm and my cyanotypes for a one night exhibition on September 27th!

Introducing the artists…

Akai Ceramic Studio

Yusuke & Naomi, Tokyo natives now living in Toronto, are a family duo behind their contemporary ceramics inspired both by traditional Japanese and Chinese ceramics and by mid-century American Industrial Design.  Akai’s combined background in design, hand thrown clay and architecture lend a unique quality to their work.  When I first met them a few years ago, I was immediately drawn in by their fresh colour palette and simple, succinct forms.
 

Handwork Studio

Handwork Studio develops beautiful collections bridging traditional materials and techniques with contemporary design.  All of their projects consider sustainable employment with skilled artisans in India, Pakistan & Peru.  Their natural indigo line was created by hand block printing and resist techniques, then hand dyed. The dots you see in the garment pictured were achieved by thumb print resist!  

Sigrid Blohm

Sigrid Blohm is a Toronto based visual artist who works primarily with Japanese paper. Many of her visual cues and techniques come from the world of books and textiles as she employs stitching, dyeing, piecing and ‘written’ mark-making.  There is a steadiness in the structure of her works on paper that is so calming.

Tania Love

Many of you know my textiles but may not be familiar with my works on paper.  For this exhibition I’ll be showing my “phases” series of cyanotypes.  Cyanotypes were first developed in 1842 using a combination of iron based chemistry that fixes an image when exposed to UV light.

I adapted this process using my cut paper works as the oject “printed” by the sun’s rays.  Each piece emerges uniquely from the exposure to the intensity of the light and position of the sun.

 

Toronto is suddenly bursting with bloom!  It’s an exciting season that feels full of growth and possibility.

I’m looking forward to presenting a botanically inspired exhibition of works this weekend by Eiko Ceramics, Kristin Sjaarda, Studio Mikafleur as well as my new hand painted textiles.

Eiko Maeda creates exquisite porcelain pieces that are both delicate in appearance and strong in structure.  The flavour of my green tea is elevated when I drink from her cup!

Eiko in her own words:

“The focus of my work is to create contemporary designs using traditional methods and forms of Japanese ceramics. Specifically, I use a technique called nerikomi, which uses coloured clay to make detailed patterns. Pieces are unglazed to emphasize the soft color and texture of the clay; translucent porcelain clay is used to highlight patterns as the light passes through.”
– Eiko Maeda

Learn more about Eiko’s inspiring work and process through this CBC feature:  http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/911348291875/

Kristin Sjaarda creates stunning photographs that, to me, are botanical portraiture expressive of beauty and cycles of growth and entropy.

Kristin in her own words:

“I arrange and photograph flowers from my own garden and surrounding community to emphasize the diversity and beauty of the world around us. The flowers and garden specimens are collected and co-exist in the still life images based on when they bloom and ripen together; I rely on what I can pick with my own hands as much as possible. “
– Kristin Sjaarda

Mika Sato creates delightful arrangements which combine her ceramics and botanicals.  The balance of forms and whimsy make me smile.

Mika in her own words:

“I was born in Japan, and grew up surrounded by the bounty of nature that both nurtured and inspired me. In my homeland I studied the ancient floral art of Ikebana, and this has profoundly influenced my design aesthetic over the last twenty-five years. In 2010 I decided to pursue my interest in pottery.

My work is a unique fusion of hand built and wheel thrown pottery and floral elements. I grow many of my own botanicals while the rest are locally sourced. Along with orchids, succulents and air plants, I incorporate found elements such as lichens, moss and branches to create unique terrariums and planters.”
– Mika Sato

Tania Love – that’s me.  My work takes its cues from the natural and cultural environment.  Often process oriented and tactile, my work invites quiet, slower rhythms and connection to natural cycles.
My latest exploration in textile combines hand screen printing and painting with plant based ink extracts.