MAKING IT, NEW: Basketball, Net Works, and Hazel Meyer

Hazel Meyer Basketball Net Knot Close-Up

Hey, fiber folks—let’s talk about… sports?

I know that’s kind of coming out of left field (<–sports!) but much of the country is focused on the NBA Finals, which kicked off (<–sports!) last night, and that got me thinking about the intersection between basketball and textiles. From ancient fishermen’s nets to groovy macramé wall hangings, the craft of knotting—with cord, thread, or wire—to make a mesh design has been an invaluable technology in all areas of life, including sports. Exhibit A: the basketball net.

Athletics and fiber arts are stereotypically gendered in opposite ways: boys are taught to push themselves to their athletic limits, while girls (or the “girlish”) stay inside with their needlework¹. But the two worlds—Sport and Craft—actually intertwine in some important ways, both symbolic and material. And some of the people who have allowed me to see that intertwining are the subject of this installment of Making It, New. They are the feminist-craftivist collective called NCAA (New Craft Artists in Action) in Boston, MA, as well as the Canadian mixed-media artist Hazel Meyer. Continue reading MAKING IT, NEW: Basketball, Net Works, and Hazel Meyer

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MAKING IT, NEW: Alice Anderson and Chi Nguyen

Nguyen 5.4 Million and Counting / Anderson Fort Da

This week marks the culmination of two textile-related projects that seek to make “women’s work” visible, albeit in two different contexts: art and politics. In New York, this is the final week to catch Saatchi gallery’s Champagne Life, notable not only for being the gallery’s first all-female art show, but also for its bringing together of such a variety of provocative artists. The most fiber-forward of the bunch is Alice Anderson, whose pieces for the show include a 3-meter tall hand-wound bobbin. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the 5.4 Million and Counting project, spearheaded by artist Chi Nguyen, presented a collaborative embroidery work at a Supreme Court Rally in support of women’s reproductive rights on Wednesday, March 2. Anderson’s and Nguyen’s works are different—one hyperbolizes a sewing notion to make an artistic statement, while the other gathers sewn stitches to express a political position—but they both link traditionally feminized labor with current questions about the agency of the female body.

Continue reading MAKING IT, NEW: Alice Anderson and Chi Nguyen