Editorial: not made in china PDF  | Print |  E-mail

joe by judy black


May 28, 2009 editorial

In January of this year I attended a conference in Hendersonville North Carolina; this experience forms the basis and jumping off point for this issue.  “Inspired Design: Jacquard and Entrepreneurial Textiles”, took place in conjunction with an exploration of art and design in industrial production of textiles.. I was listening for, and heard, about the contemporary realties of the North American textile industry and was sent back to my childhood. I grew up in a Mill town during the 1960’s at a time of corporate expansion, amalgamating or relocating production facilities and shutting down factories.  The oil crisis of 1972/75 was for many industries a last nail in the coffin. The stories I heard at the conference were extremely familiar and part of me wanted to subtitle this issue “Not Made In China.”  However, the line between “Made in Canada” and just plain old “Not Made” is very thin. The current crisis has not been caused by the current financial break down alone.
[photo: me with "Dr. Evile dressed like joe lewis"  by designer Judy Black

In this issue you will find conference participant Anna Zaharakos’ paper which has been reformatted for this issue.  She is the founder of Studio Z in Grand Rapids Michigan. As well, there are three Conference Reports from observers Megan Coyan (an artist/designer/maker from Columbus, Ohio), Jenna Eason (a student assistant from North Carolina State University), and myself. There is no review of the exhibition that accompanied the conference but there are a variety of images of the work of presenters and observers showing the range and type of work being discussed at this incredible thought provoking event. 

I went to the conference in search of entrepreneurial textile work being produced in Canada. I searched for artist /makers or designers working in limited production runs of yardage manufactured with industrial machines in factory/ mill settings in Canada. I looked at printing; screen and digital, weaving and knitting.

Carol Ann Casselman (who reviewed Anna Torma’s Enter The Garden in Volume 3 Issue 1) profiles designer/ maker Virginia Johnson, who screen prints yardage at Cutler Textile Printing in Toronto for her clothing and accessories lines which are sold in stores across Canada and the US.

Judy Black Design artists, who are a staple at the One of A Kind Show in Toronto, do their own screen printing on manufactured garments and cotton canvas for a line of pillows and their signature circle purse. They speak in their own words.

Finishing School finds two students Danielle Dengerink and Shana Anderson, who have graduated from OCAD writing about their own work and the experience of working with Ivan Canjar of Artistic Textiles in Pickering, in doing digital printing for their thesis projects.

The Viewfinder features two production weavers, Marilyn Berier and business partner Roseline Vaillancourt, operate Bure & Linon a boutique enterprise in Montreal.  Both graduates of the MCCT, they weave a line of decorative interior accessories along with a number of embroidered specialty items.

Rilla Marshall is an east coast graduate of NSCAD; she was originally contacted to do a story on Armstrong and Fox whose work was part of the Inspired Design exhibition. With this company now in transition (as many from the conference now are in such a short time span since the January conference) this story could not be completed, however in keeping with the theme of Entrepreneurial textiles, she has presented a look at her own production methods and products

I had the opportunity to interview knitwear designer Lysanne Latulippe last march in Montreal where her company, MaJolie, is located. Another graduate from the MCCT, she went from working with a domestic model knitting machine to developing a working relationship with an industrial manufacturer.  Because of business losses and confidence in Lysanne’s understanding of their operating procedures, their collaboration produces units during what might have been down time.  This is not a perfect arrangement but has provided a scale of production that can not be achieved on non-industrial equipment. Lysanne’s lines of upscale knitwear in fine yarns are available in Boutiques across Canada and on-line. 

In review;

Unpacking the Space In between:  Art Textiles of Canada (April 15- May 23 at MCCT) reviewed by Joe Lewis

These articles are included here along with a reprint of Louise Lemieux Bérubé article about the Montreal Center for Contemporary Textiles from the March 2009 issue of Textile Forum published by European Textile Network,  as well as a preview of the up-and-coming exhibition JacquART provided by Beatrijs Sterk which will on display in July at / during the 15th European Textile Network Conference in Haslach Austria, the theme of which is Cultural Revival of Old Textile Centres: New Educational Challenges.

On the back page you will find : Jacquard Resource Guide.[a concept] 

Enjoy, cheers

joe lewis

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