medium /// art or craft?

september 11th ~ 12th

Brian Downey is a curator at The Arts Company in Nashville. Not only does he have an amazing eye for art, he’s also ridiculously nice. We ‘met’ when he made a comment {a ridiculously nice comment, of course} on one of my posts about a year ago. Just so you know, whenever someone makes a comment, nice or not, I go and check out their site, and that’s how I found Brian’s very inspiring blog – Art, Design and Home. It was so inspiring in fact, that I ended up stealing writing about a bunch of his featured artists {don’t worry, I gave him credit… I promise!} Anyway, here is yet another fantastic artist that Brian discovered before I did:


I’m jealous of Emily Eibel

I’m jealous of Emily Eibel.  As someone who took every studio art class I possibly could in college, I was constantly creating—pottery, sculpture, printmaking, even jewelry.  I’m not sure any of it was that good, and I can tell you with utmost certainty…it was nothing that anyone would ever be jealous of.  I was practically laughed out of my “Drawing I” class, so I have an enormous appreciation for someone who can put pencil to paper and create something that makes me take note and say, “Wow!”  Emily Eibel is one of those artists.  Not only does Emily create unique and quirky illustrations, she takes the process one step further by creating amazing, hand-stitched illustrations, and I have to say… I am in love.

These embroidered creations are sometimes disturbing, but always engaging.  These little gems would speak to anyone with a love of craft, which is one of the reasons I love them so much. Some of the most amazing works of art are the ones that combine fine art and craft, and Emily does this to perfection.  Her work is a more contemporary version of Miriam Schapiro’s “femmages” of the late 70’s, but with a simple style and a distinctly darker point of view.  I have only recently discovered Emily’s work, but I know I will be a fan for life.  How could I not?  She has quite a way with a needle and thread.  If only I had taken that darn embroidery class in college.


Yes. My thought exactly! Why, oh why, have I never learned to embroider?! Thanks for stopping by Brian… and for being so ridiculously nice ; )

ps. Brian’s latest show, Inspired ~ featuring Julianna Swaney and Jonn Welles Bartlett, is on now until September 25th

i’m jealous of beth… from wilton

Ooh, here’s my Friday crush… Grapefruit Crush to be exact! These very cool vintage bottle cap necklaces are currently on my top ten list, filed under ‘Stuff I Really, Really Want’ {hint, hint}. I found them on Etsy, so all I can tell you is that they’re made by a woman named Beth, and she’s from Wilton… um, where’s Wilton? Ok, so this is not a very informative post, but at least I can send you directly to her shop so that you can buy one of these necklaces right now!

{These reminded almost exactly of some work that I wrote a post about last May… which, by the way, can also be found on that same top ten list!}

i’m jealous of shauna richardson


Oh sure, just some beautifully hand-crafted crocheted animal trophies {aka Crochetdermy™}, a few of which are even kind of cute… until British artist Shauna Richardson strategically places them somewhere isolated and poorly lit! I think it’s safe to say that the ‘beautifully hand-crafted’ bear in the underground parking lot would require me to go home for a change of underpants. Oh come on, don’t judge me… you know you’d be in the same situation.

{Thanks to Liesl for bringing Shauna’s work to my attention!}

i’m jealous of the quilters of gee’s bend


This is not a new story, but it’s new to me and it makes me jealous… so here it is!

This is a sampling of work by a group of African American women from a small area in Alabama known as Gee’s Bend. Saying that these women ‘make quilts’ just sounds far too everyday for how impressive this bold and meaningful work really is. They can’t be called anything other than artists, because not only is their work stunning to look at, it’s also a huge part of American history/culture. There are so many stories, and heaps of interesting information about these ladies that I can’t possibly describe it all here. Luckily for me {and you} there is a book called Gee’s Bend: The Women And Their Quilts that has images of their work, along with in-depth biographies of each woman… is it too early to start my Christmas list?

{Originally I had 5 quilts in this post but as you’ll see in the comments below, one of them wasn’t a quilt by the ladies of Gee’s Bend… so I’ve removed it. Thanks Richard.}

i’m jealous of jazmin berakha


Seriously, why have I not signed up for some sort of embroidery class by now?! I am totally in awe of this medium, especially when the final pieces end up looking like the work of Jazmin Berakha… hm, I may have to put together Sew Jealous Part II.

{I discovered Jazmin’s work on a blog called Color Collective. If you’ve got a thing for inspiring colour palettes, you have no choice but to check it out. Go on. You’ll love it.}

i’m jealous of helle jorgensen


Ok, I’m showing soft sculpture two days in a row, but when I found this work by Australian based artist Helle Jorgensen I couldn’t control myself. Barnacles made out of reclaimed wool, and discarded plastic beautifully crafted into sea anemones… how could I not write about it immediately? I imagine that she finds the reclaimed wool at garage sales and thrift shops, but where does she get that plastic yarn? She makes it herself of course, and if you have the patience that’s required, she’ll even teach you how it’s done.

{I found her while searching around flickr for a knitted birthday cake. Oh, and if you like these, you’ll probably want to have a look at Emily Barletta’s work .}

the jealous curator is one!


Yep, an entire year of being ridiculously jealous… and I hope that’s only the beginning! That’s right, one year ago today I wrote my very first blog post, and I quote:

‘If I could curate an entire show of only felt food I totally would.  I think they are hilarious, weird, and beautifully hand crafted. Sadly, all of these objects are on priced anywhere from $8 to $24 because they’re considered craft, not art. Show them in a white walled gallery with shiny wood floors, add some much needed intent by calling the show something like “Comfort Food – A Nation Consumed” and mark my words, they’d be selling like hotcakes for a lot more than $8. It probably couldn’t hurt to adjust the scale a bit too… just ask Claes Oldenburg.’

So, one year later, with a ‘jealously curated’ show section now firmly in place, here it is… Comfort Food – A Nation Consumed.

{The lovely little knitted birthday cake above is by Helle Jørgensen, aka ‘gooseflesh’.}

i’m jealous of jenny hart


I’ve done a show on embroidery and a show on portraits so how can I not love these pieces by Jenny Hart. Actually, these could probably be the offspring of those shows if I left them alone long enough.. and let’s face it, with two of them being topless, half the work is done! Anyway, I digress. While my jealousy started off simply because of her work, it grew even more when I saw her resume. It goes a little something like this…

Her work has appeared in Spin, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Venus, The Face, Bust and Juxtapoz. She’s collaborated with The Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, and with comic artists such as Dame Darcy and Gary Baseman. Oh, and her work is in the collections of Carrie Fisher, Tracey Ullman and Elizabeth Taylor. Seriously.

i’m jealous of margaux lange


Wondering what to do with all of those Barbie dolls you have left over from childhood? No problem. Send them to Brooklyn NY, Attn: Margaux Lange… she’ll take care of them for you. Well, she won’t ‘take care of them’, but she will chop them up and turn them into very cool wearable art. These amazing, and hilarious, pieces are from her series called My Plastic Body. It is “the result of [her] life-long fascination with the icon, and a desire to re-purpose mass produced materials into handmade, wearable art”. My favourite piece is the necklace directly above, titled Mounds. Yes… they are what you think they are!

{If you’re in  Pittsburgh, she has a solo show called ‘Wearable Nostalgia: Deconstructing Barbie & Ken’ on at the Luke and Eloy Gallery until January 16, 2010.}

i’m jealous of emily barletta


It’s like a biology text book and a ball of yarn fell madly in love, got married and had a few babies.  And the matchmaker that got these two crazy kids together? New York artist Emily Barletta. I have to admit… I might be a little bit in love too. I have a soft spot in my heart for work that blurs the line between art and craft, and she has definitely done that with these stunning, organic sculptures. Crochet, embroidery, clay, bead work and a very interesting concept behind it all. Yep, a match made in heaven.