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16 COVER STORY The 12 days of Christmas Gift ideas for your true love and others 13 How to... present your gift in an original way by making this pretty reversible bag designed by Akiko Mano Freedownloadablepattern,www.selvedge.org
INDUSTRY from craft to commerce
64 COVER STORY Puppetmaster Dreams and illusion at the Little Angel Theatre, Clare Lewis follows puppetmakerPeterO’Rourkedowntherabbithole 64 Tip top The finishing touch for your tree, Whetheryouwantanangelorpreferafairy,thereare plentyofmakerscreatingtheperfectfigureforyourtree 52 Fabric Swatches No2 Brocaded velvet Sarah Jane Downing writes in praise of plush and deeppilevelvet
ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives
52 He’s behind you! Pantomime costumes of the past and present, CatherineHaill,SeniorCuratorof PopularEntertainmentattheV&Adrawsonmaterialfromthemuseum’sTheatreandPerformance Galleriestoshowcasetheevolutionofsomeofourfavouritecharacters 96 Mummers... Performance with pagan roots, SarahJaneDowningspotsaresurgenceinanearly formofruralentertainment
CONCEPT textiles in fine art
30 A cut above Su Blackwell’s paper pieces, JaneAudasadmirestheconstructions currently on showatTheBrontëParsonageMuseuminWestYorkshire.PortraitbyNienkeKlunder 56 Juvenile drama Toy theatres kept grown ups entertained, Primrose Tricker peeps into the miniature world of paper theatres
58 COVER STORY Delicate steps The conservation of costumes from the Ballets Russes, Susana Hunter, textile conservator at the V&A, recounts the intricacies involved in staging Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929
ATTIRE critical reporting of fashion trends
35 COVER STORY Santa suits Dressing gowns, dog hair and disinfectant, Canadiannovelistandshort storywriterDerekMcCormackdiscoversasurprisingnumberofwaystodepictSantaClaus
A modest proposal CHRISTINA KIM MAKES THE MOST OF THINGS
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It’s the thought that counts. At this time of year buying gifts is almost inevitable and most of us put plenty of thought into what we give to others. We realise that a gift represents us, and reveals what we think of the recipient but a gift has further layers of meaning.
An object is also an experience. It carries the experience of the maker: if you made the gift yourself then you are giving your own time and affection, as well as the present – that's what makes a homemade gift so special. What about the things we buy? Sometimes we forget that a purchased object also carries the experience of the person who made and designed it. In the frenzy of seasonal shopping we can overlook the fact that, factory or artisan produced, everything we give is an expression of someone’s history, skill and time.
Christina Kim tries not to overlook that. This KoreanAmerican designer made an early decision to design consciously: to be aware of the environment, to take pleasure in restraint and to enjoy her natural, perhaps cultural, preference for clothes, objects and decorations that visibly express theexperience of the maker.
Christina integrates recycled and organic materials and traditional, often regional, techniques into desirable modern garments with a light touch. There is a sense of purpose in her dosa fashion collections but no air of 'preaching'. It's an ease born of a long association with craftsmanship. “I remember looking at my grandmother's traditional Korean socks with fondness and amazement as a girl of around four. The soles were patched with pieces of cotton cloth clipped from our bedding; I was intrigued by the way the different shades of white overlapped. My grandmother
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Paper trail SU BLACKWELL’S A CUT ABOVE
A Cut Above SU BLACKWELL’S PAPER PIECES
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In that place where art meets life sits Su Blackwell, paper artist extraordinaire. In person, Su is rather like the heroine of one of her works – slightly ethereal, mysterious and a little bit lost. These otherworldly qualities are integral to her work. Exquisite craftsmanship combined with an underlying narrative and overlying sense of fairytale magic makes her work stand out from the paper crowd.
Su trained in art and design at Bradford College and then at the Royal College of Art, where she completed her MA in Textiles in 2003. She was one of those students who refused to be pigeonholed by her choice of medium, constantly sneaking off to try, amongst other things, welding, electro-plating and bronze casting. At the RCA, to her tutors’ frustration, she spent half her time in the textiles department and half in the sculpture department. It was there she began to experiment with paper, making sculptures and origami and exploring the nature of this material.
She followed her time at the RCA with a residency in rural Scotland. Rather a dark time personally, it transformed her art and helped her find her paper calling. In Scotland Su experimented with the fragility of paper: hanging it in forests, burying it, testing its limits. It was in Scotland that she made her first major book work, too. A discovery of luscious illustrated second-hand books led to many days meticulously and repetitively cutting out the wild flower illustrations and re-forming them into an explosion of fauna, spilling out of the open tome.
Her love of books didn’t start there, though. At school English was her favourite subject and throughout her studies she might equally have pursued the written or practical side of the subject. So, in a way, beginning to work with books was an obvious route. It feeds both her love of words and of working three dimensionally. And not just any book will do. Obviously it needs to have fabulous illustrations but for Su the story is equally important. In her process, Su reads the story first to work out what she will do with, and to, it: “I read the story and an idea might form and it usually relates to the story itself.” Her sculptures are made from the actual book, consciously keeping paper and word and illustration together in one piece. Less obviously engineered than traditional paper pop-up work, these pieces seem much more organic. They look to have been grown. It is as if Su is releasing something that is inherent to the soul of the book. These are paper ‘happenings’.
Her most recent exhibition, Remnants, a sitespecific installation for the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire seems to have been a propinquitous fit. The romantic cult of the Brontës and the Victorian clothing, ephemera and personal items s e l v e d g e . o r g
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for Harper’s magazine. One illustration has him dressed in garments borrowed from Uncle Sam: a fur-trimmed, star-spangled coat, striped trousers. When war ended, Nast put Santa in fur union suits. They came in brown, black and green. Santa wore them skin-tight, with patent pilgrim shoes. A tasselled hat. Holly sprays. It was Nast who first depicted Santa residing in a palace at the North Pole. An 1866 Harper’s illustration shows Santa spying on children with a telescope. His palace is made of snow and ice – ideal for storing furs. “Thomas Nast was an observer of Parry and Franklin and other early Polar explorers,” Santa Victor explains. “Perhaps that’s where he got that look.”
Santa in furs. Santa in short pants, argyle socks. Santa in a tam, a capelet on his back. Santa in a black oilskin coat with a black floppy hat. I’m looking through ads in the Montreal Gazette. Old issues from the end of the 19th century. Santa’s depicted in a slew of styles.
Among the ads, an ensemble stands out: a suit with fur trim, black boots, and a broad black belt about the belly. Who created this suit? Who knows? But it cropped up with frequency across Canada and the States. In catalogues, on greeting cards. In colour cuts, the suit was scarlet. It became ubiquitous, “the orthodox costume,” a newspaper called it.
So why did the red suit stick? Cultural critic Karal Ann Marling calls it a “highly decorated business suit.” It appealed, she argues, to an American idea that Santa was a businessman, an entrepreneur overseeing a toy factory. I don’t know if that’s true. What I do know is ‘Santa’s a winter’. Scarlet suits his complexion.
“The early department store Santas took their costumes out of tickle trunks,” says Santa Victor, “or what the store had lying around for them to wear. Ads and promotions in the early days were usually local in nature, and as such there was no standard look. That’s why you see a wide range of outfits, from fur coats to tuxedos. It took Coca-Cola’s international marketing campaign in the early 1930s to give everyone a standard Santa look.”
Haddon "Sunny" Sundblom drew Santa for Coke. Santa, to Sundblom’s mind, was a big man – broad, and burly. “I prefer the look of Norman Rockwell’s Santa,” Santa Victor says. “He’s an elf, not a human. It’s more true to who I think Santa is.”
By the late 19th century, Canadians were dressing up as Santa. Surprising their kids, amusing church groups. Most men didn’t own scarlet suits. They put on togas, swaths of red felt or muslin tied at the waist. Boots were bolts of black oilcloth wrapped around shins. Any trousers would do.
Some Santas wore red bathrobes. Some wore whatever. “We heard a great noise, and the boys, they said it was old Santa Claus come,” said a Blackfoot boy
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in a letter to the Calgary Herald in 1894, “and we all ran out and there he was coming over from the Mission house with a long white beard, and a dress like an old woman, and a bundle of things on his arm and we all laughed at him ….”
“To make a Santa Claus costume is quite easy, inexpensive and creates endless fun,” wrote Mrs. E.F. Ashby in Farm and Ranch Review in 1928. She recommended buying red flannel, white buttons, and scarlet thread. All other costume components, she said, “may be had for the making.”
Mrs. Ashby patterned her coat on a man’s dressing gown. She cut it large, so it could be stuffed with pillows, or worn by men of varying widths. The tuque she stitched from scraps. Ditto the stockings. “On our farms are wild rabbits which are now turning white,” she wrote. A Santa suit required seven skins, fat and meat removed. Preferably tanned. “Trim off the ragged edges (the tail and legs) and with a sharp knife carefully cut the skin into a long strip.” Strips adorned cuffs and cap. A single skin was used for a collar.
In 1915, a Prairie newspaper printed a recipe for readers – a simple solution: alum and water. The solution wasn’t pricy, wasn’t poisonous. It fireproofed fabric. “The use of this solution is a safety measure which should be employed for pageants, carnivals, and receptions… and as a safeguard at all amateur Christmastide and New Year displays.” The alternative could be agonizing. In 1905, a teenager in Victoria dressed up as Santa for her high school holiday pageant. Her robe grazed a candle. Students stampeded. It took her teacher minutes to smother Santa’s suit. In 1929, a union of travelling salesmen sponsored a pageant for Winnipeg children. Santa lit a cigarette while waiting to go onstage. His beard caught fire. Fire spread to the suit. Flannel burned fast, fur trimmings took some time. Spectators tore off the costume. Santa survived but was sent to hospital suffering burns to his face, legs, arms, torso and hands.
According to Santa Victor, the first professional Santa suits became available in the 1930s. “Charles Howard was the first department store Santa,” he says. Howard had trouble buying quality Santa suits, so he started the Santa Claus Suit & Equipment Co. The first firm specializing in Santa suits, red velvet with real rabbit furbelows. He sold them to students of his Santa school. He sold them to Macy’s. Santas sported them during Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Some of those suits still survive,” Santa Victor says. Santa Victor relishes comparisons between himself and Howard. Like Howard, he makes expensive suits. Expensive but enduring. Like Howard, he sells accessories – spectacles, with or without prescriptions; double-stitched toy sacks; hand-stitched stomach s e l v e d g e . o r g
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Lost and found
PASCALE PALUN’S TIME AND EMOTION STUDY
In Pascale Palun's atelier, a dream-like, mysterious space in Avignon, France, satin ballet slippers hang intertwined with leather boxing gloves against a backdrop of faded wallpaper; bell jars sit atop a well-worn mantlepiece; oversized camera negatives are suspended within a glass and steel case – these somewhat ghostly images evoking a remembrance of things past, suggesting the voices of people long gone. Palun, an artist and interior designer, creates a poetic language through repurposing “found” objects, inviting them to engage in dialogue with one another.
Here, sitting at her weathered tool bench beneath a tall wall of graceful wire scrolls, Palun magically transforms discarded objects into art, calling upon an aesthetic that is both personal and fantastic. Her point of view, called ‘la récup’ chic, or recycled style, was cultivated at a young age: her grandfather, a bricoleur, taught her his skill of repairing things; her father introduced her to the mechanics of cars.
(car boot sales), and even the street for objects that she could repurpose.
After receiving encouragement from friends and accolades from local boutiques, she opened her own atelier and shop, Vox Populi. The marriage of her finely honed eye for line and colour to the practical handyman skills she learned as a child lets each found object retain its integrity, while giving her new design its pulse.
And Palun's art lives and breathes. In her creative world, when old, often brittle materials are combined with modern ones, they tell a compelling story. So Palun will surround a light bulb on a wire with an industrial-style cage, she will create a trumeau doorway out of an old painting and elaborate frame. She will allow the concrete of her staircase to crack and crumble, its painted walls to flake: they are more alive when changing form than when they are “perfect”.
To complement this technical training, Palun embarked on a sensual education: she studied styling as a young woman, and worked in the fashion industry for ten years before leaving her “day job” to raise her son. All the while she made small sculptures for her home, scouring les brocantes (flea markets), les vide greniers
Adventurous with her unexpected juxtapositions, Palun peels paint off walls to reveal a floral wallpaper beneath. She locates the delicate in a coil of wire; the sturdy in an almost translucent piece of antique linen. Part of the pleasure of viewing her work is the delight of discovery. As Joanna Maclennan, a s e l v e d g e . o r g
When the circus came... THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE BIG TOP
Like The Antiques Roadshow, The Office, and every cooking program hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay, the circus originated in the UK before being imported to the US where it was adapted for American audiences. The earliest American circuses of the late-18th century were equestrian expositions copied after the trick riding performances pioneered by ex-cavalry officer Philip Astley (1742-1814) at his Riding School in London. Known as the father of the modern circus, Astley invented the circus ring in 1768 when he discovered that a circular arena measuring 42 feet in diameter provided riders with the optimal centrifugal force giving them improved balance when standing on the back of a cantering horse. Astley’s arena-based horse riding shows proved highly popular in the States where the first President,
George Washington, patronised Bill Ricketts’ circus in Philadelphia.
in f o r mi n s pirei n s i g h t selv edge.org s e l v e d g e . o r g He’s behind you! PANTOMIME COSTUMES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT
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As Cinderella magically appears in a stunning ballgown and sparkling tiara, almost instantly changed from the kitchen maid dressed in rags, few people in the audience today realise they are witnessing one of the last remnants of a great Victorian pantomime favourite – the transformation scene. With its host of chorus girls dressed in gloriously extravagant costumes, laboriously sewn by hand with sequins and tinsel to glitter in gaslight, this was the pantomime highlight that the wealthiest London theatres executed with increasing fervour, and even the smallest theatres strove to emulate.
Today's audiences expect colourful, extravagant costumes in pantomime, but many of its traditional characters and their distinctive costumes have been relegated to the annals of theatre history. Their names may be familiar, but the evolution of their dress and its place in pantomime history is less well known.
Pantomime was invented on the London stage over 300 years ago, when Harlequin was its star. He was first seen in 17th century England as Arlecchino, a leading comic character with visiting Italian 'Commedia dell'arte' companies. Early woodcuts and engravings depict him in a long, belted jacket and trousers featuring multicoloured patches signifying his humble origins, and carrying his magic sword or bat. He wore a full black mask, and a soft cap decorated with the tail of a rabbit, hare or fox, possibly a reference to the peasants of his native Bergamo, who similarly decorated their hats. When Harlequin appeared on the London stage in 1717 at Lincoln's Inn Fields played by the actor-manager John Rich in Harlequin Sorcerer, he was an immediate hit as a masked, acrobatic,
Joseph Grimaldi as Clown
Miss Egan as Columbine dancing, non-speaking character, wearing a short jacket, belted and buttoned, and fitting trousers featuring a criss-cross design. This marked the transition between the traditional Italian dress of 'shreds and patches' and the elegant, sequinned Harlequin of the Regency stage as introduced at Drury Lane Theatre in 1800 for the pantomime Harlequin Amulet by the dancing master James Byrne. His celebrated Harlequin wore a fitted one-piece suit covered with hundreds of triangles of cloth and thousands of spangles. He wore a small Venetian eye mask, and introduced significance to the colours in his costume, such as yellow for jealousy and black for invisibility, to which he pointed with his bat.
By this date pantomimes were two-part entertainments, the second part a comic chase or Harlequinade featuring the love affair of Harlequin and Columbine thwarted by Columbine's protective parent Pantaloon, with with the farcical interference of clown. Columbine, originally a waiting-maid with the Commedia, wore the short skirts of a dancer, fetchingly displaying a well-turned ankle, while her disciplinarian father wore a version of the Italian convention of a short jacket, and knee-length breeches, dispensing with the long cloak, little Greek cap and hook-nosed mask.
Despite the dazzling elegance of Harlequin in the early 19th century, his popularity was soon eclipsed by that of Clown as played by the rising star Joseph Grimaldi. His distinctive costume of neck-ruff, brightlycoloured doublet and baggy knee-length breeches, patterned and trimmed with braid, was also introduced in 1800, by the manager Charles Dibdin the Younger for the Sadler's Wells pantomime Peter Wilkins, or
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Juvenile drama TOY THEATRES KEPT GROWN UPS ENTERTAINED
Though the name implies ‘play’, toy theatres are not just for children. In fact the skill needed to orchestrate a performance on these tiny stages makes them more suited to an adult’s steady hand. The most complex theatres included miniature candles to provide stage lighting and a pulley system to move the characters!
When a new play opened, a publisher of toy theatres would send artists to the opening night where they would sketch the costumes in minute detail. These sketches were turned into hand-engraved copper plates and later lithographic stones, which were printed and sold as sheets for 'a penny plain' or 'two pence coloured'. Theatres were constructed of card, printed characters were attached to wooden sticks, and slid in and out of slots on the stage floor. New scenes could be added to a basic set and wealthy families might have a custommade theatre. In an essay Robert Louis Stevenson captured the thrill of a new play: “Every sheet we fingered was another lightning glance into obscure, delicious story; it was like wallowing in the raw stuff of story-books... ”
William West was a prolific publisher of toy theatre ‘sheets’. Credited with inventing the tradition in 1811 he went on to produce books of shortened plays, called 'West's Original Juvenile Drama'. His plays were engraved by artists such as George Cruikshank and possibly William Blake. Pantomimes were amongst the most popular plays for English toy theatres. Costumes were bright, they had a sense of seasonal fun and, of course, audience participation was an intrinsic part of the tradition. These lively English designs had competition from German toy makers whose material was considered more ‘high brow’ and their execution more ‘artistic’.
West was based in Covent Garden in close proximity to the Drury Lane, Royal, Lycean and of course the Covent Garden theatres: but it’s another publisher whose name lives on in the area. Pollock’s toy museum in Euston and toyshop in Covent Garden have been destinations for toy lovers ever since Robert Louis Stevenson’s instruction “If you love art, folly, or the bright eyes of children, speed to Pollock's...”
Though they undoubtedly entertained children and adults, the value of these transient paper creations also lies in the wealth of theatrical history they provide. The accutely observed portraits of renowned actors such as Joseph Grimaldi, Edmund Kean, Charles and Fanny Kemble, Madame Vestris and William Macready reveal their performance styles in the poses and attitudes they strike. Toy theatres even have links to 20th century ballet history. During preparations for his ballet ‘The Triumph of Neptune’, Serge Diaghilev visited the Webb and Pollock shops to select prints that were used as a basis for Pedro Pruna designs for the scenery and costumes.
Toy theatres declined in popularity in the 20th century. The plays of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw did not translate well into theatre for children – the Victorians doubted the morality of using adult plays to entertain children anyway. Radio and television sealed the fate of an already diminished artform. Perhaps unsurprisingly it is adults who now create the demand for toy theatres, and interest is increasing In Germany: the dedicated Preetz festival is in its 22nd year and artist and performer Robert Poulter has created several modern plays for the toy theatre. The longevity of toy theatres lies in their ability to draw on the imagination and ingenuity that children possess, and adults have forgotten they had. Primrose Tricker Ballet Russes Paper Theatre Kit, £20 Available from V&A Shop, www.vandashop.com. We have six of the kits, used to illustrate this article, to give away, please email email@example.com or call T: +44 (0)208 341 9721, Pollocks Toy Museum, 1 Scala Streett, London W1T 2HL, T: +44 (0)20 7636 3452, www.pollockstoymuseum.com
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PuppetmasterDREAMSANDILLUSIONSATTHELITTLE ANGEL THEATRE In 1961 a troupe of enthusiastic puppeteers under the leadership of South African master, John Wright, found a derelict temperance hall in Islington and transformed it into a magical little theatre, specially designed for children and for the presentation of marionette shows.
Today The Little Angel Theatre continues to be at the forefront of puppetry performing its own commissioned work as well as showcasing touring companies from around the world. It embraces all forms of puppetry from the traditional marionette (puppets worked with strings from above) to rod, table top, glove, shadow and Japanese Bunraku. The theatre also entices adult audiences into its world of illusions with its biannual British Puppet Festival, Suspense.
Just emerging from the theatre’s tiny, slightly dusty, on site workshop are the puppets for their latest show, Alice in Wonderland. The designer, director and puppet maker, Peter O’Rourke already has a long list of Little Angel successes sprung from his talented hands including the ever popular Roald Dahl classics Fantastic Mr Fox and The Giraffe the Pelly and Me.
O’Rourke has revelled in this most recent challenge to create Lewis Carroll’s nonsense world of dreams and illusions, with the help of his team. ‘We have tried to pick up on the verbal puns and translate them to the stage: the piece is full of witty songs and visual games: a house grows legs, a caterpillar, made out of geometric blocks grows and grows, and the March Hare’s ears are sprouting out of the top of a house” enthuses O’Rouke. Plastered with poster-sized photographic portraits of a medley of Victorian characters, the set is evocative of the period when Lewis Carroll wrote the novel. “I wanted to reflect the real world that Alice comes from. The portraits appear in various guises throughout the narrative so the real world is constantly encroaching on Alice’s dreams.”
An integrated approach to these productions is a must. “You start with a written treatment, then a crude model box to work out what each character needs to be doing in each scene and coordinate that with the number of puppeteers you’ve got before you can decide what sort of puppet is needed. It is only then you can start making.” With a huge cast of characters to bring to life and only four puppeteers O’Rourke has had to be inventive. “There are twelve juror’s in one scene which we couldn’t possibly manage as puppets so we stuck Victorian photographs on to small doors which the actors open and pop their heads in and out of as each character speaks.”
A panoply of puppetry styles has been plundered to overcome these logistical issues. “I am using rod puppets, table top puppets and picking up on the Victorian theme of the piece I have run the Caucaus race using hand shadow puppets.” What is more each character needs several different versions of itself depending on how many characters are on stage at once. “Some have more moving parts than the others which give the puppets greater subtlety of movement. You might need two or even three puppeteers to operate these so you can only use them when you have enough available hands.” There are five Alice’s, in all, to cater for these technical demands. “One has an extendable neck which grows as she eats a magic mushroom, on other occasions we are using shadow puppetry to create Alice’s ever changing size.”
Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat, are all rod puppets made from wood or polystyrene. They all have beautiful carved wooden heads. Their hollowed out carcases are covered in a mixture of endless layers of brown and/or handmade paper which is smeared with gesso and then painted. Each has an element of costume: the Mad Hatter boasts a richly coloured embroidered silk jacquard waist coat; Alice is clothed in a simple blue lawn dress and has silken hair and the Cheshire cat has a woven body which looks like a charm-
ingly homespun knitted jerkin. His tail is bushy with lush stripes of hand dyed cotton threads, his ears are made of leather coated in six layers of paper and gesso before being painted. He has a large, dazzling, white, toothy grin.
The layers and layers of work involved in the thinking, writing, designing any show is something Peter relishes: “When I am looking for solutions to problems be it technical, financial or artistic it heightens my awareness of everything around me. I see nature and art or just simple things in a new way. For the animal skins in The Giraffe the Pelly and me I photographed all sorts of surfaces such as moss covered bricks, wood grain in gates, tree bark. We didn’t have much time or money and it really worked.” For the crafty crocodile in the Alice production he has made a table top puppet with an articulated neck – an idea taken from the children’s life-like wooden wriggly snakes. But what he also likes is that however much work he puts in: “the artifice is not a complete illusion it’s actually quite fragile so the audience has to be in the conceit and bring it together for themselves”. The ultimate in audience participation. Clare Lewis Alice in Wonderland, 20 November 2010 to the 30th January 2011, The Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, Off Cross Street, Islington, N1 2DN, T: +44 (0)20 7226 1787, www.littleangeltheatre.com, The Biannual Suspense London Puppetry Festival for adults, 29 October 2011, www.suspensefestival.com s e l v e d g e . o r g
Deck the halls GERMAN TEXTILE DESIGNER ORIKE MUTH LIKES TO DECORATE ALL YEAR ROUND
How do you describe what you do? My passion is colours and patterns. I screenprint onto fabric and paper. It’s a technique that allows me to constantly discover new combinations. I design and make cushions, chandeliers, oven cloths, candle holders, decorative Easter eggs and Christmas baubles from my prints.
Is this the only job you have ever had? I always have worked with colour and pattern in various fields. When my studies were finished, my first job was as an interior designer in Hamburg and Hannover. At that time I also worked freelance with the artists Lili Nalovi and Jesko Willert. It was during that period that I found my passion for interior accessories and created my signature style –
accessories with an Asian touch. Is it important that your products are made by hand? Yes, I love my work. I’m so fortunate to be able to both express myself, which makes me happy, and at the same time make other people happy with my products. My products are all handmade with love and I think customers can sense that. Did you teach yourself how to create your baubles and home accessories or have you studied textiles? I studied textile design in Hamburg at the College for Creative Arts. The idea for the baubles came just before my first Christmas with my son.
Having a little family makes you want to revive old traditions but create them in a new way – my way. My baubles are popular – they even attract those people who say they don’t like Christmas! Do you ever hide anything inside the baubles? Just my secret best wishes... Where do you find your inspiration? I find other countries, especially Asia, so inspiring. But if you have no time to travel I recommend walking around with an open mind and open eyes. The world that surrounds us – car boot sales, movies, books, exhibitions, meeting friends and other designers – is always a spring of inspiration. Do you have decorations up all year round? Yes of course. My ‘must haves’ are my special aprons for the kitchen and for the living and bedroom: colourful candle holders, cushions and lampshades. I think most women need these things – and little bags and boxes – for happy living. How do you decorate your house at Christmas? Of course, with a Christmas tree and with baubles, baubles, baubles and a few other treats... What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Decorating my home for Christmas and putting up the tree, lighting the candles and sitting with the family singing carols.
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COHABIT stunning interiors beautifully photographed
40 Lost and found Pascale Palun’s time and emotion study, Kate Cavendish wanders through a house filled with memories. Photography by Joanna Maclennan 74 Deck the halls We interview German textile designer Orike Muth and discover her desire to decorate all year round PhotographedbyGudrunGewecke
22 A modest proposal Christina Kim makes the most of things, Selvedge Editor Beth Smith is shown the meaning behind Christian Kim’s museum installation. Photography by Mark Schooley,portrait byJayL.Clendenin 46 COVER STORY When the circus came... The golden age of the big top Kory Rogers, associate curatorofShelburneMuseum,Vermont,conveystheglitzandglamourofthispopularentertainment in f o r m
INFORM the latest news, reviews and exhibition listings
03 bias /contributors A letter from the editor-in-chief and comments from contributors 07 news Daydream Nation, Merchant & Mills, Damson and Slate, Jennifer Pellman, Huw Griffith, Ketikita, Ascher scarves, Hidden Cabin, Peterboro Basket Company, Need to Know 15 miscellany Little facts about the big top. 15 Correspond letters, a poem and our competition winners 83 subscription offers
SUBSCRIBE TO SELVEDGE An organic cotton Gossyipium tea towel worth £10 for new subscribers and renewals 84 international listings Exhibitions, fairs, and events 86 read Five centuries of Indonesian Textiles, Esther Fitzgerald, Toiles de Jouy: French Printed Cottons. Gillian Newberry 88 view Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion, Prof Iain R
Webb, Undone: Making and Unmaking in Contemporary Sculpture, Primrose Tricker, Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats, Rhonda Sonnenberg, Louise Bourgeois The Fabric Works, Corinne Julius 92 resources Websites and reading lists for those who want to know more about the Dress Circle Issue 95 coming next The Zoological Issue: Textiles with a touch of animal magic.
Event 81 The Fairest Join us for a seasonal day of shopping and socialising. Christmas has given us another excuse to bring together asmall selection of our favourite makers. Alongside stalls of handmadegoods,willbeHighTeaofHighgateandworkshopsrunby'TheMakery'.Saturday4 December,11-5,StAugustine'sChurchHall,LondonN65QGwww.selvedge.org
SELVEDGE ('selnid3 ) n. 1. finished di fferently 2.?the?non-fraying edge of a length of woven fabric. [: from SELF + EDGE]
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