Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Covered legs: prudery or prudence?

It is often said that the Victorians covered the legs of pianos, tables and other furniture out of prudery: showing legs, be they female or wooden, was considered to be indecent. “This is a myth,” writes Ralph Gee in a letter to the Observer. “The truth is simple. Enormously expensive dining tables were vulnerable to irreparable damage from the fashionable spurs of cavalry officers. So the most grandiose furniture was sheathed and the practice spread to the bourgeois drawing rooms. Had the problem been naked legs, all chairs would have been covered to prevent impropriety – and that would have been really stupid.”

Legs – the great cover-up, The Observer Review, 22.8.2010, p. 2

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sweaters for the homeless

“Since May 5, artist Maggie Leininger has been placing one handknit miniature sweater in a public location every day hoping that it will be found and collected. She will do so until May 4, 2011. Each collector will then be asked to place a monetary value upon the object and to donate that amount to the National Coalition for the Homeless, Washington, D.C. Detailed descriptions and pictures of where the sweaters are placed can be found on the artist’s ARTivention blog at For information on how to participate (knitting or placing a sweater), e-mail the artist at”

FiberArts Sep/Oct 2010, p.16

Lingerie for ladettes?

Bags and belts made from ring pulls from drink cans have become almost a familiar sight at craft fairs, but Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch went a step further and made ring pull knickers. Her Trashy Lingerie collection has been purchased by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not - the museum chain specializing in curiosities (FiberArts Sep/Oct 2010, p. 15).
Founded by the American cartoonist, amateur anthropologist and eccentric collector of oddities Robert LeRoy Ripley (1890 – 1949) this world of the strange and bizarre has become a successful global entertainment brand. I visited one of the empire’s establishments last year – out of sheer curiosity – and remember particularly a portrait of the Mona Lisa made from slices of toast, and a dress made from human hair.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spinning silk

Sara Noble
is one of my assistants at Mirabilia Domestica: the textile self re/collected. She told me of her experience removing silk worms from cocoons and spinning silk in Japan.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

An invitation

To find out more visit the project website

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"Love is not enough"

“I scrounged some iron-on-letters from the dollar bin at Sew-Low Fabric Discount Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one day while I was waiting for my mom at the beauty salon next door. Her hair was thinning from chemotherapy, and she was trying to make the best of it. My mom had lung cancer. She died eight months to the day after I made the shirt.
The shirt hangs in the doorway to a closet in my bedroom. Everyone asks where I got it, but nobody asks what it means. One visitor told me it feels like a warning. I suppose it is.”

Jen Collins, in: Glenn, Joshua & Hayes, Carol eds., 2007. Taking things seriously: 75 objects with unexpected significance. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.