Used denim from pants, skirts, shirts, etc., isn’t the most likely medium for art, but Korean artist Choi So Young can see whole urban landscapes in it. He (or she, websites differ) is especially clever in using the bits most textile artists don’t use – the belt loops, pockets, seams, pocket liners, labels, and buttons. The pieces are best described as collages. I believe acrylic paint is also used.
Hong Kong Soho Street, 2013
London Street At Night, 2010
After The Snow 2, 2011
After The Snow, 2010
Other work by her/him is at artnet. So far my searches haven’t found any biographical data, except for year of birth (1980,) education, and residence (Korea.) I’d love to see a video of the artist at work, but while my YouTube search found some bizarre stuff, it turned up no artists.
Ian Berry is another artist who works with denim, often in portraits. I wrote about his work here.
One of the good (and bad) aspects of art quilt groups is their love of challenges. It’s good to have a starting point for a piece, but I find it can distract me from more long term work. If I have a choice between analyzing and fixing what went wrong on an existing piece and plunging into a new piece, guess which I pick.
At first I wasn’t going to join a recent challenge to use denim and/or old shirts in a piece. I had already used my husband’s shirts (with his permission) to make Shirtsleeves, and I didn’t have any all cotton old jeans.
Then, my husband asked if I could use a pair of his old jeans and a shirt. It was kismet, so I began my challenge piece under the influence of Rayna Gillman’s latest book, Create Your Own Improv Quilts.
I saw that I didn’t have enough denim, but did have damask tablecloths and napkins I had dyed shades of blue. More kismet. I decided on 6 inch squares as my background, and fused lightweight interfacing to the damask before I cut it. If you don’t stabilize it, the damask will stretch out of shape.
I loved how the denim look changed depending on which side I put up.
Next, I began to slash the squares diagonally and sew strips onto the larger piece. At this point I decided to finish each square with the smaller piece I had cut off. I liked how it made the center small diamonds see-through.
Rayna’s version fills the centers with color, but I thought more color might be too distracting for mine as the background was already different colors. I think my version looks quite different, which shows how versatile some loose guidelines can be for improv work.
The top is done, named (Damask and Denim,) and just needs quilting inspiration.