Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s artwork is marked by her compassionate and urgent engagement with a range of pressing contemporary issues, from immigration and environmental precarity to the resilience of Indigenous ancestral values and the necessity of decolonial aesthetics in art making. Drawing on the fiber arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Chicana feminist art, and Indigenous fiber- and loom-based traditions, Jimenez Underwood’s art encompasses needlework, weaving, painted and silkscreened pieces, installations, sculptures, and performance. This volume’s contributors write about her place in feminist textile art history, situate her work among that of other Indigenous-identified feminist artists, and explore her signature works, series, techniques, images, and materials. Redefining the practice of weaving, Jimenez Underwood works with repurposed barbed wire, yellow caution tape, safety pins, and plastic bags and crosses Indigenous, Chicana, European, and Euro-American art practices, pushing the arts of the Americas beyond Eurocentric aesthetics toward culturally hybrid and Indigenous understandings of art making. Jimenez Underwood’s redefinition of weaving and painting alongside the socially and environmentally engaged dimensions of her work position her as one of the most vital artists of our time.
Contributors. Constance Cortez, Karen Mary Davalos, Carmen Febles, María Esther Fernández, Christine Laffer, Ann Marie Leimer, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Robert Milnes, Jenell Navarro, Laura E. Pérez, Marcos Pizarro, Verónica Reyes, Clara Román-Odio, Carol Sauvion, Cristina Serna, Emily Zaiden
"A premiere work offering a rich chronicle of weaving in Michigan. Colorful stories tell of Michigan's textile people, places, and events, and show the important role that this state played in preserving and progressing the culture of cloth locally and nationally. I came away with a new sense of pride and joy at being a part of this rich human history and inspired to continue exploring within this great tradition!"
---Chris Triola, Fiber Artist
"Fascination with Fiber is a well-documented history, with consequence! The authors reveal surprising continuity in relationships, with results that are far-reaching. Readers will be moved beyond border as they come to realize the extensive influences generated in Michigan."
---Gerhardt Knodel, Director, Cranbrook Academy of Art
Fascination with Fiber is the first complete look at Michigan's rich tradition of handweaving, from pioneer log cabin days to the contemporary era of digital computer-aided looms.
Michigan has been at the center of handweaving and fiber arts and crafts since early settlers brought their skills with them from countries where handicrafts and weaving were traditionally strong. The textiles they produced in their new country, from linens to coverlets to rugs, took on a distinctly American expression. In the twentieth century, the formation of guilds, craft communities, and formal art programs created a revival of interest in handweaving as an opportunity for artistic expression so that by latter part of the century the state played a vital role in the national fiber movement.
Weavers and historians themselves, authors Marie A. Gile and Marion T. Marzolf focus on the people and forces that have kept the craft of handweaving alive in Michigan and indeed throughout the country for over two centuries: a passionate group of individuals and weaving communities enlivened through shared necessity, opportunity, and creativity.
Gile and Marzolf base their book on oral histories, interviews, and documentary and artifact research. With its tales of colorful characters such as Mary Atwater, the gun-toting weaver from Montana who helped organize the handweaving industry; to the formation of the Michigan League of Handweavers in 1959; and the "Fascination with Fiber" exhibit that opened in 2004; Fascination with Fiber brings the story of handweaving in Michigan to life like no other book.
Marie A. Gile is Textile Specialist and Research Associate at Michigan State University Museum in Lansing. She has been a weaver and fiber artist for twenty-five years. Marion T. Marzolf is Professor Emerita in the Department of Journalism and Communication at the University of Michigan. Since retiring in 1995, she has taught basic weaving, has served as president of the Michigan League of Handweavers, and has exhibited in galleries statewide.
The name "maguey" refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.
In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers’ interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.
Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.
Frances Louisa Goodrich University of Tennessee Press, 2010 Library of Congress TT848.G665 1989 | Dewey Decimal 746.14097568
“Mountain Homespun will be of special interest to those studying southern Appalachian handicrafts, the 1890s handicraft revival, and northern Protestant missionary work in turn-of-the-century Appalachia.” —North Carolina Historical Review
“Mountain Homespun is much more than a memoir. It offers unrivaled specific information on the processes of mountain crafts—not only on weaving, spinning, and dyeing, the author’s primary interest, but also on basketry, quilting, and other pursuits. All in all, the book is an important publishing event.”
—Berea College Newsletter
“This is a wonderful book. It belongs at the bedside of every spinner and weaver everywhere.” —Jude Daurelle, Handwoven
The people of Taquile Island on the Peruvian side of beautiful Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the Americas, are renowned for the hand-woven textiles that they both wear and sell to outsiders. One thousand seven hundred Quechua-speaking peasant farmers, who depend on potatoes and the fish from the lake, host the forty thousand tourists who visit their island each year. Yet only twenty-five years ago, few tourists had even heard of Taquile. In Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth, and Culture on an Andean Island, Elayne Zorn documents the remarkable transformation of the isolated rocky island into a community-controlled enterprise that now provides a model for indigenous communities worldwide.
Over the course of three decades and nearly two years living on Taquile Island, Zorn, who is trained in both the arts and anthropology, learned to weave from Taquilean women. She also learned how gender structures both the traditional lifestyles and the changes that tourism and transnationalism have brought. In her comprehensive and accessible study, she reveals how Taquileans used their isolation, landownership, and communal organizations to negotiate the pitfalls of globalization and modernization and even to benefit from tourism. This multi-sited ethnography set in Peru, Washington, D.C., and New York City shows why and how cloth remains central to Andean society and how the marketing of textiles provided the experience and money for Taquilean initiatives in controlling tourism.
The first book about tourism in South America that centers on traditional arts as well as community control, Weaving a Future will be of great interest to anthropologists and scholars and practitioners of tourism, grassroots development, and the fiber arts.
Although less well known than its much-admired counterparts in Peru and Bolivia, highland Ecuadorian weaving is an Andean tradition that has relationships with these more southern areas. A world away from the industrialized textile manufacturing of Euro-American society, these handmade pieces reflect the history and artistry of an ancient culture.
This comprehensive study, edited by Ann Pollard Rowe, is unrivaled in its detail and includes not only descriptions of the indigenous weaving and dyeing technology, but also an interpretation of its historical significance, as well as hundreds of photographs, drawings, and maps that inform the understanding of the process.
The principal focus is on backstrap-loom weaving, a major pre-Hispanic technology. Ecuadorian backstrap looms, which differ in various ways from those found elsewhere in the Andes, have previously only been treated in general terms. Here, the basic operation of this style of loom is covered, as are a variety of patterning techniques including warp-resist (ikat) dyeing, weaving belts with twill, and supplementary- and complementary-warp patterning. Spanish colonial treadle-loom weaving is also covered. The weaving techniques are explained in detail, so the reader can replicate them if desired.
Textiles have been an important art form among Andean peoples from remote prehistory up to the present. A greater understanding of their creation process can yield a more meaningful appreciation of the art itself.