Visiting Artist: Rowland Ricketts

Fibre Fortnight is coming up next semester, approved so I thought I would share the work of Rowland Ricketts, our visiting artist this year.

Ricketts trained in Japan, learning how to farm and dye with indigo.  His work uses traditional techniques and natural processes to create woven and dyed works of art.  Ricketts also creates large installation pieces, working with the gallery space to create an environment for the viewer.


I am Ai, We are Ai – Warehouse Installation, Japan, 2012

Rickett’s artist statement begins beautifully with an explination of his process and feelings towards his materials.  He states, “The smell of an indigo vat just as it begins fermenting and springs to life is one of ripeness; a moment of rich potentiality when, as a maker, I momentarily stand between the history of the materials and processes that helped me get the indigo thus far and the promise of all the works that the vat is still yet to realize.”  


Past Present, Ohio, 2010


Red Aligned and Centered, Yellow

Rowland Ricketts will be showing his work at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon from January 29, 2016 until June 04, 2016.  That means that if we go on our grad trip to Portland, a wide range of his work will be available for us to view.

All images were taken from Rickett’s website:



Weaving in Iceland

While in Iceland I had the priviledge of visiting a local textile artist, viagra 100mg Ragnheidur Thorsdottir, order in her studio.  Ragnheidur is currently working on a comprehensive book about traditional Icelandic weaving techniques, ailment something that currently doesn’t exist.

(the website is a work in progress as all her time has gone into writing the book so it doesn’t include a lot of current work as of July 2014)

This image is a piece she had laying on a table and, as with most things, it is so much better in person.  The technique is a pile weave with uncombed rovings from Icelandic sheep, traditional method that Viking settlers used to create winter wear, specifically cloaks, I assume because it was more economical than using the hide.  The pattern is actually a map of iceland, the light brown being land and the white represents the major glaciers.  The most facsinting thing about this weaving is that Ragnheidur actually built a warp weighted loom to create a historically accurate weaving experience. At the bottom of the image you can the weights she used.

Land of sheep, old pile weave technique, 135 x 120 cm, 2012, Icelandic wool, woven on old warp weighted loom


I had already almost finished my project when I met Ragnheidur Thorsdottir, otherwise I would have tried out some of the techniques I saw in her studio.   What I did was more organically inspired by the landscape of Iceland and I used undyed wool from Icelandic sheep, which along with knitting books and needles, can be purchased almost anywhere for a very reasonable price.

I took a lot of photographs of landscape while I was travelling around Iceland, with the intention of using them later in paintings, which I didn’t have the resources to finish at the textile centre. You can not be an artist in Iceland and not have the landscape influence the work you produce; it’s unyielding presence is impossible to avoid and it ended up influencing the pattern I created for my weaving.



I will be going more in depth about my experiences in Iceland and at Textílsetur Íslands on Monday at 1 in the slide room.  See post below

No Bobbins Here

The fist thing I had to learn was that wooden or platic bobbins don’t really exist here in Iceland, more likely due to the lack of wood historically , story they instead are made out of paper.   It took a few to get used to winding them before I was doing it correctly as a few different problems can arise if wound wrong.  The wooden and plastic bobbins are a little  more forgiving.

what is nice about making bobbins out of paper is that you can wind as many as you want and they take up very little space.  More thread can be put onto a paper bobbin than a wooden one as well.

Here is a video of me Winding a paper bobbin and then Weaving with it




Karin Thorsteinsson

First Day at the Icelandic Textile Centre!

Bulk Yarn Sale

May 10, and Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

5016 Barron Drive NW

Karen King (Aubusson House) will reclaim her garage by selling bulk yarn on cones — Paterna crewel 100% wool in hundreds of colours.

Great prices!! Cash Only.

Call 403-284-4048 for details

Bulk Yarn Sale

May 10, information pills
Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

5016 Barron Drive NW

Karen King (Aubusson House) will reclaim her garage by selling bulk yarn on cones — Paterna crewel 100% wool in hundreds of colours.

Great prices!! Cash Only.

Call 403-284-4048 for details

I arrived late yesterday to Blönduós where the Textile centre is and I will be staying here for the entire month of June to work on some weavings and hopefully learn something from some of the other artists staying here at the same time as myself.

I will be posting regularly to update everyone on my learning experience at the textile centre, illness
and pictures of my travels.

View from my room Weaving studio


Karin Thorsteinsson



Textìlsetur Island Residency | My Summer 2014

This evening, pfizer after finishing soldering parts today, recipe and working on the larger housing for these electronic components, viagra I did a final test of the work. When I plugged in the power I had the voltage set at 6V, which is much too high voltage for this tiny chip. When I put too much voltage through something that can’t handle it, I fried everything. This is the kind of thing that happens when you are not thinking clearly, from being too tired, from working on the same thing too long, or from many other things related to the end of the semester.

Maybe it’s simply because I am an amateur still and I am learning things the hard way. Needless to say, lesson learned.

RIP little guy.

Dead little speaker, dead little chip, dead little microphone, dead little chip, dead little sensor. Massacre.
Dead little speaker, dead little chip, dead little microphone, dead little chip, dead little sensor. Massacre.



As a few of you may already know, discount
I will be spending June, July and August of 2014 on residency at the Icelandic Textile Centre in Blönduòs, Iceland. The residency is uniquely for textile artists, and I highly recommend all of you apply. Facilities include:

Weaving Rooms: They have looms of two differents sizes: 80 and 140cm. They are 4, 6 or 8 shafts Counter-balanced. Residents have full access to weaving equipment: large selection of reeds, warping reel, distaff holders, shuttles, yarn reels etc.

Dyeing Rooms: It is a full scale natural dyeing room.  Provided with a small movable oven, dyeing tools, the same large sink and a drying space which is well divided. Iceland produces is known for its various dyestuffs, such as lychens of various colors, plants and flowers.

The Summer Festival is what I will be there for, and what I am most interested in. Summer Festival is where the artists of the residency, and surrounding area, make large scale (and small scale) outdoor installation works to celebrate the season, daylight and community. Expressing the passing of time, the changing of seasons, and the interaction between peoples through outdoor installation. I want to be part of this festival for the rest of my life, this is what I live for.

Here is a quote from the  2013 Summer Festival at the Textílsetúr Island Icelandic Textile Centre:

We are gleaners.

Our language relies on materiality;
Rusted industrial scraps, seaweed, wool, old sheets, jumpsuits;
Borrowed and re-interpreted milliner techniques.
We’re discovering points of reflection that hint towards metaphysical meaning.
Some say there is an inherent biological tendency for equilibrium.
One is to leave a skin of time, their pieces of vulnerability stripped by weathering and human treatments.

We are what we touch- smell, see, hear, taste.

There is a clarity, a peacefulness on the mountain, it effects your whole being. We become this mountain, this stillness, this landscape.
The elements vibrate through us, her wind rippling taut green strings on rusted forms.
A wave of modulation surfs until it breaks, and all you see is a framed landscape – the sun atop the ocean.

2013 Summer Festival

This is where I am meant to be.

Here is the link the website where you can find out more about the residency, and more about how to apply.


ARTS CONFERENCE: The most amazing couple of days ever


The view from the Kinnear Centre
The view from the Kinnear Centre


From Thursday October 17 until Sunday October 20, geriatrician I was fortunate enough to attend the UAAC Conference in Banff.  (UAAC is the acronym for Universities Art Association of Canada). Along with five other ACAD students and two MFA students from the University of Lethbridge, information pills we volunteered to assist with the mechanics of lectures (A.V. issues, infertility seating, lights, blinds – not arduous issues) and thus were able to sit in and partake of the conference.

The format of the sessions is interesting: each panel has a facilitator and a title that has been designed to encompass the papers. The papers are given by professors, Ph.D. candidates and individual scholars and artists. There are between three to four papers per session, and each session lasted an hour and a half. On the first day I clocked 16 lectures, plus the engaging keynote speaker ( Fred Wilson: The Silent Message of  the Museum).

The papers were varied in their scope and direction. Three of the more personally interesting panels were titled: The Question of Making, chaired by ACAD’s Mireille Perron,  Elisions: Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun, and Feminism within a globalizing art historical practice: Where are we now? As gleaned from their titles, the subject matter and arguments presented were varied and complex. The richness of the language and the dialogue that some of these papers opened up was intense. After the third paper, I could actually “see” the format of the paper and the argument: the opening thesis, the argument, the examples that stated the argument, and then the more specific support brought in to strengthen and give weight to their argument.  The presenters often referenced writers and thinkers that we are being brought into contact with through our readings at school. One of my more personally evocative  lectures in the panel entitled ” Elisions” was a paper called ” Transformation of Remains” by Natalia Lebedinskaia, a Curator of Contemporary Art from Southwestern Manitoba. Her thesis was on the complex relationship between David McMillan’s photographs from the 30 km Exclusion Zone surrounding Chernobyl and his pictures of Pripyat, and the writer’s personal memory of the Soviet Union. Part of my ongoing interest is following McMillan’s photo documentation of the Zone, and I referenced one of his images for my Pripyat tapestry. It was interesting to follow the argument on the transformation of memory and remains through a lens of a former Soviet resident who was in Moscow at the time of the meltdown.

Within the panel of The Question of Making were such papers entitled: “Messing with Making and Meaning in Current Craft Media” by Prof. Ruth Chambers, and “Re-materializing the Labouring Body: Carey Young, Kelly Mark , Klara Liden” , an especially well written paper presented by Ph.D candidate Saelan Twerdy, Art History, McGill University. Chambers writes about re-skilling, referencing Stephen Horne, Polly Ullrich and David Pye            ( thanks to Dr. Salahub for having these thinkers in our reading list and course outline for Craft History last year), and she proposes that “there is a specific strategy employed by some artists to undermine the influence commodity culture has on the meanings of material objects”  (Chambers, from the Abstract )

There were artists and academics from the U.K., South Africa, The United States and all over Canada. It was much more intense and valuable than I have presented in this entry, but I wished to share this experience with other students as it is an opportunity to listen, write, present and explore new ideas in art history, contemporary art, and modes of thinking which I was not aware of before this conference.  Although it is heavily weighted towards established academics and Ph.D candidates, one can also be accepted as an “independent scholar” to present. It is an invaluable experience for any serious student of art, whether historian, academic or maker, as it contextualizes what our participation  within a more global framework of theory and practice.


Taken from the third floor, Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation
Taken from the third floor, Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation


Submitted by Christine Thomson

Santa Fe – Sign up today!!!

The sign-up sheet for going on the Santa Fe trip in May is up on the Fibre Department bulletin board and there are only 14 spots left.

Still not sure if you want to join us? Here are some details about the trip to help make up your mind…

When: April 28th (school ends on the 27th) to May 6th give or take a day here or there  (6 days plus travel) – depending on when we can book the workshops
Where: Santa Fe, information pills Taos and Espanola Valley (all in northern New Mexico)
How: Plane, remedy train and probably automobile (we are planning to drive through the Santa Fe Fibre Artist Trail)
How much: $1, drug 200 + food and extra spending money**

  • Airfare – $700
  • Insurance – $50
  • Transportation while in Santa Fe – $15/day – $90 total
  • Workshop – $200
  • Hotel – $25/night based on 4 person occupancy –  $200 total
  • Museum fees – $25

**these numbers are aproximate and may change depending on when we go and how many days we stay

What: The trip will consist of participants flying from Calgary to Albequerque, NM – taking a train to Santa Fe where we would stay for 2-3 nights.
Big attractions in Santa Fe include: the Georgia O’keefe Museum, The New Mexico Museum of Art – including work by Bacon, Dali and Cezanne, The Museum of International Folk Art – which houses 20,000 pieces of textiles and costumes, the Center for Contemporary Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and the Railyard district.

Next, it’s off to the Espanola Valley for a 1-2 day workshop in basketry, weaving and/or natural dyeing with local artists. We may either stay in Taos which is close by or right in the valley.

And last on the itinerary is driving through the Santa Fe North Fibre Artist Trail, where we can visit some artists studios and more galeries before heading home.

Interested second years and all Fibre majors are welcome !
A non-refundable $100 deposit will be due this Friday, November 6th.

Santa Fe – here we come!

With a vote of 8 – 2 Santa Fe has won out over New York.
A lot of you indicated that you were interested in helping not only to fundraise but also to organize the trip. Fantastic!!!

So, youth health
lets get together and start planning…
WEDNESDAY, ailment
OCTOBER 7th @ 12:15 (next Wednesday)

any students with a heart of fibre are welcome to attend – especially you 2nd years!
**bring your calendars**

New York or Santa Fe – it’s your choice

Well… what do you think?


Log on here to chose your favourite city to visit for our May Fibre Department student trip and sign up for volunteer/organizing positions for the trip.
But don’t wait too long – polls will only be open until midnight Sept. 20 and then it will be others who decide for you.

Results will be posted on the blog on Oct 1st.

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leaving today

I want to be a part of it: New York, no rx New York. – Liza Mennelli (1977)


Well, see maybe not today – but after reading all about New York below, you may just vote to go there in May.

Interesting Facts about New York:

  • More than 26,000 people live in each square mile.
  • New York’s Central Park is larger than the principality of Monaco.
  • Hong Kong is the only city in the world with more completed skyscrapers than New York City.
  • Since 2005, New York City has the lowest crime rate of the 25 largest US cities, and one of the safest cities in the US overall.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (”The Met”) contains over 2 million works, making it one of the largest art museums in the world.
  • Walking around Times Square is free.

Museums/ Galleries/ Other Great Stuff  to check out….

Museum of Art and Design
Habu Textiles
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum at FIT
Textile Study Group of New York
American Folk Art Museum
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
Garment District

There really is so much to see, we could go on forever.
So start spreading the word…. an get ready to vote.

I swear I’m gonna live forever, heading back to Santa Fe

– Jon Bon Jovi (1990)
So while most of you will be too young to remember the lyrics to the song, check some of you may still be interested in going to Santa Fe on our department trip (living forever not withstanding).

imagesInteresting facts about Santa Fe:

  • It takes your body a day or two to adapt to high altitude. Taking it easy and drinking extra water helps.
  • Santa Fe, buy more about the capital of New Mexico, viagra is the oldest capital city in the U.S. and the name means “Holy Faith” in Spanish.
  • Santa Fe has more than 225 restaurants, 250 art galleries, 70 jewelry shops, 13 museums and one world-famous opera.
  • Santa Fe averages 300 days of sunshine, 14 inches of rain and 17.5 inches of snow each year. (aka – we are almost guaranteed good weather)
  • For 2009 Santa Fe was ranked as the fifth most popular travel city in North America by the travel-savvy readers of Destination – Travel + Leisure magazine.
  • Santa Fe drive boasts the largest concentration of galleries in the United States, 40 in a few blocks as of 2006.


Including many smaller galleries. Santa Fe has many world-class museums. Many are located around the historic downtown Plaza or close by:


You may also want to check out…

Santa Fe Creative Tourism
Espanola Valley Fibre Arts Center
New Mexico Museums
Jane Sauer Gallery
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian