Pulling threads

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While scouring the web for fabulous finds for the Pattern Pulp weekly roundup, I came across some amazing works by husband and wife designers Sally and Peter Nencini. I included them, but still found myself particularly smitten with a few certain pieces of work. Such as the chair above, a truly collaborative effort: the poem is written by their daughter, Sadie (at age 8), Peter designed the layout and design of the words, and Sally hand-embroidered the type onto a vintage hemp sack. I really love everything about it. The poem, the lively design and layout of the words, the rough elegance of the hemp. Just the fact that a poem was embroidered onto a piece of furniture makes my heart beat. The way it comes to life makes it sing. And, hey! They’ve done more collaborative furniture. All of which I think are awesome.

The set of chairs on the left are entitled Calligraphic, with a motif that reads horizontally and represents “A funny amalgam of not-so-esoteric and long-loved and digested visual matter feeding the language used. The consistent is something of a space between images and words.” (For more clues to the meaning of the motifs click here.) The stool on the right was commissioned with the intention of it being a place for one to sit whilst taking off or putting on one’s shoes. The Nencini’s used text from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, and created a design that is reminiscent of the combined oddity of Alice when she grows so large her legs poke out the windows and of Struwwelpeter illustrations. (For more background and info about the process click here, and here.)

I do quite enjoy all of these works and others done by the couple, both independently and together. It’s a lot of exploring old crafts with a new eye and giving them new life and language.

So, yes, with these wonderful and imaginative functional works of art in mind, I fell next upon Keisuke Fujiwara‘s “Spool 214 Thool Chair, which pays homage to iconic Thonet chair.

The chair is wrapped painstakingly by hand in 12 different colors of thread to achieve the “fire” and “ice” color schemes. I was immediately amused by the comparison of the processes of the Nencini’s work and Fujiwara’s. One which updates classic furniture by embroidering new things into fabric, and other which gives a new look to an iconic chair by wrapping it in threads. I enjoy the gradation of colors and the softness that the layers of thread give this work. Also, I’m simply amused by the use of thread for something other than cut and dry sewing. Looking at a selection of thread in a store is almost as gleeful as looking at a wall full of paint swatches. The array of color is astounding and your mind is swept up in possibility. Fujiwara’s chairs also called to mind another project I spotted a few months ago and also always intended to use. Dominic Wilcox‘s “By a thread” walking sticks, employ a similar concept of wrapping a walking stick with spools of thread:

Of course, then I remembered what I had been saving along with Mr. Wilcox’s canes!

Voila! Mark Kaplan‘s spool of thread inspired earrings.

So there you have it. A spun tale of of thread in it’s many uses and forms. In it’s natural on a spool habitat, wound decadently around objects, and stitched in a new old school kind of way into some seriously awesome furniture.

Happy Monday to you (I know, *groan*), and get creative!

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2 responses »

  1. Sally and Peter’s work is amazing and they’re really nice people too. I’m so pleased to see their work receiving such publicity on the web.

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