Archive for March, 2011

To count, or (k)not to count…

March 26th, 2011 by Administrator | Posted in Events and Exhibitions, General, The Artists at Work |

I’m asked a lot what the knot count is for Alibay and Saule’s tapestries. Well, first of all, the tapestries are woven, not knotted like an open pile carpet. So strictly speaking, there are no knots. Tapestries are a weft-faced weave, and wherever the weft passes in front of the warp, a ‘pixel’ in the tapestry forms. The weft is then battened tight to make sure that the warp will be completely invisible. So, I guess, people are interested how many pixels there might be per square centimeter, or per square inch. Well, there is a short answer, and a long answer. The short answer is: It all depends! (You probably knew that was coming…)

If you’re not afraid of math and technicalities, read on for the long answer.

I discussed this at length with Alibay. Here’s what he said. He usually strings a loom with 14 double warps per 10 centimeters. That means that there are 14 ‘front’ warps and 14 ‘back’ warps that are either pushed back or pulled forward during any given pass of a weft color. So that makes 28. Now, every one of those 28 warps actually consists of 2 strings. So essentially, there are 56 vertical strings on the loom per 10 centimeters that serve as the base. So the weaver can double his ‘pixel resolution’ at any given time, depending on the pattern or the required detailing, by not picking up the warps two-by-two, but one-by-one.  Now, if Alibay wants to get even more detailed for a pattern, he strings the loom with 18 warps per 10 centimeters, so that makes 72 strings in total. So much for the warp. Now for the weft: it depends how many strings are used to form a weft color, and how tightly the weft gets packed onto the warp. Typically, there are at least 4 – 5 different strings combined to form a weft. But we won’t count those separately, a weft is a weft. Dizzy yet? Also, Saule loves the relief type weavings, where she over-weaves different types of fiber over the simple weft, in order to create three-dimensional patterns. I guess that is just simply not countable, so we’ll disregard this here.

You are probably thinking: ok, lady, just give me a number. Average. Ballpark. Roughly speaking. Ok, so we just counted. We used an average 14 warp per 10 centimeter tapestry, and counted 45 – 50 ‘rows’ of weft. So the pixel count would be between 1,260 and 1,400 per 10 square centimeters. Yup, it’s a work of art, and a labor of love! And since you won’t be walking on it anyway, I guess it does not really matter what the number is… 😉

Booth photos

March 26th, 2011 by Administrator | Posted in Events and Exhibitions |

First of all, let me thank all of you who came to the show and visited us, and for all your appreciation and kind words to Alibay and Saule! They enjoyed the show immensely, and left here with lots of inspiration and ideas. They were in great spirits the whole time, not even the snowy rain on Monday after the show, when they had lots of sightseeing in the City planned, could dampen their spirits. They took one look out the window and said: how wonderful that we had such great weather during the show! That’s so typical Alibay and Saule. Always positive, just like their works of art!

So here are couple of booth pics, for those of you who could not come!

Day 2 of Architectural Digest Home Design Show

March 18th, 2011 by Administrator | Posted in Artist Picks, Events and Exhibitions |

It’s very hard this time to pick artists, there is so much incredible talent represented at this show. It’s a huge show, in a lot of ways. A huge number of hugely creative artists presenting to a huge number of visitors – all that makes for a huge number of really sore feet! 😉

Anyway, let me start today with an amazing metal artist. Check out Gary Magakis’ website for a look at the beautifully proportioned and crafted furniture and lamps. Fabulous!

And since I’m partial to textile art, I love the quilts done by Kasuri Home, made of Japanese kimono fabrics.

There are a lot of outstanding wood artists at the show, and I’ll get you more info about some of those tomorrow. But for starters, check out Michael Baumeister for tall (and I mean, REALLY tall!) vessels and wood wall art that is elegant, unique, and actually looks more like ceramics than wood! Really cool stuff.

Gotta catch some z’s now! More picks tomorrow!

Here are some of the new works by Saule Bapanov

March 17th, 2011 by Administrator | Posted in Events and Exhibitions |

Almost forgot, here are pics of some of the new pieces the Bapanovs brought to the show. The ones shown here with the semi-precious stones are by Saule. ‘Alatau Mountains’ is flax on cotton, and has an incredible relief effect. ‘Horizon’ is a very soft and harmonious composition, and ‘Earth’s Treasures’ pops!

Day 1 of Architectural Digest Home Design Show

March 17th, 2011 by Administrator | Posted in Artist Picks, Events and Exhibitions |

After a set-up on Wednesday with lots of rain and puddles, today was a sunny, balmy first show day, as nice as you could wish for! Not that we could really tell inside Pier 94, but the smiles on people’s faces and the rising temperature in the hall were proof of that! (Here’s a note to the organizer MMPI: how about replacing those 3000 spot lights in the MADE section with energy (and heat!) savers?!?)

Anyway, folks, this is a very strong show this year. Very worth visiting! I have not seen all that much yet, but the MADE section definitely grew, and there is so much incredible talent present, it’s very impressive. Wood artists are presenting furniture that makes you want to throw out everything you have in your house, but I also saw some incredible metal works, and a textile artist who creates exquisite quilts from Japanese kimono fabrics. I’ll get you the info and links over the next couple of days. Did not get around to it today, and I’m too tired to look all these artists up online right now! 😉

And there are also some favorites present from last year: Clark and Diane Renfort are back, with simply the most beautiful lamps around, and Joanne Williams and her incredible gold paintings moved to the Artist Project in Pier 92 this year – don’t miss her when you go there!

Alibay and Saule had a great time walking around and getting inspired, and taking turns with the weaving. They added a good 5 inches today to the tapestry on the demo loom. Photos will come tomorrow, if I’m not too tired! Thanks to all who came visiting us today!