Wood may be one of the oldest and most commonplace materials, long used in African, Pre-Columbian, and Oceanic artwork to create groundbreaking forms, but it’s full of surprises.
“Wooden Textiles” by Elisa Strozyk is an approach to responsible thinking concerning lifecycles of products. The outcome is a something that is half wood-half textile, between hard and soft, challenging what can be expected from a material.
Her work is pushing the boundaries between 2D and 3D, switching meanings and category definition. She is also building bridges between textile and furniture design, using wood to produce original textiles and objects. She is also collaborating with different artists, designers and companies.
Textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky doesn’t use wood but she simulates it. She creates realistic elements from nature out of strips of fabric and discarded clothing. She’s made series of tree trunks that look really colourful and appealing.
Here, she uses pieces of her late father’s clothing, integrating his belongings into a landscape of layered, multi-coloured logs. The works address the passing of time and allude to the body returning to the environment after death.
Italian industrial designer Diego Vencato also works with wooden textiles. Her collection of fabrics, called Wooden Mesh, were designed to transform wood into a soft and flexible material that behaves more like cloth, Diego Vencato says; “The patterns include neatly ordered triangles, sharply angled parallelograms and smooth-edged shapes that resemble a giraffe’s markings.”
Artist Christopher Kurtz shares the older artist’s commitment to manual skill. The human hand is still infinitely more complex than any multi axis CNC machine and he proves so by continuing to work wood by hand—not to be nostalgic, but because the result is much more nuanced and spontaneous than working with machinery.
Mangle is a partnership between Colombian artists María Paula Alvarez and Diego Fernando Alvarez, who met as woodworking students at the Fundación Escuela de Artes y Oficios (School of Arts and Crafts) in Santo Domingo. Their sculptures aren’t immediately recognisable as woodcraft. They create the illusion that wood can behave just like textiles, rubber, or even living plants. Among their recent subjects are tangled extension cords, ferns rendered in wood and concrete, and delicate plywood lattices inspired by the ironwork of Bogotá.
Listen to this Article