Weaving Stories

Weaving Stories

Monday, December 5, 2016

A look inside the exhibition

We have a few short videos that give a wonderful look inside the exhibition, beyond photos.  We hope you enjoy seeing the people, artworks, and interactions that happened throughout this exhibition!
 Weaving Stories, Al Shaheed Park, Opening Reception

Weaving Stories, a peek inside 

A great video by Comet Confetti!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Stories Within Our Wall

The focal point of our exhibition is the woven installation, comprised of 72 pieces from over 30 international artists and makers. 10 of the pieces were made by students of artist and textiles professor, Lesli Robertson who is our consultant on this project. We will post their pieces and stories in a future post!

In this post we are featuring the work of the artists that are based in Kuwait. The techniques they used range from weaving to crochet, knitting, quilting, macramé, fabric painting, hand and machine embroidery, and 3D printing! All of the pieces came together in a harmonious way to form a symphony of colors and textures that tell the artists' personal stories of Kuwait.

Here are stories of each piece:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weaving Stories has a community of makers and artists at its core. So many individuals are creating unique pieces from a variety of materials - all to be woven together to form one large sculpture inspired by a  tent divider. 
We are asking each person to share their story with us - and we were very happy to hear Abdullah's! @3dpme (image source)

 Tell us the story of your piece:
My interest in making things increased after I started my 3D printing business in 2014. I started by search for makers in Kuwait to show them how can they benefit from a 3D printer in their field. I met jewelry designers, woodworkers, metal workers, tinkers, they were all great people. I started learning new skills in different fields and here where the story begins.

I saw Sadu House weaving workshop and thought let’s try it out and learn what are the weaving techniques that can be automated, since I’m a computer engineer I can make a machine to weave automatically. I told my family and friends that I’m joining a weaving workshop, surprisingly some of them laughed and said “Weaving is a women thing!” After the workshop I talked with Lesli, the instructor, about what I do and showed her my new app, Indx: The Makers directory. She proposed that we join the Weaving Stories project and use our 3D printers to make our piece.

The piece, The Weaved Pattern, is inspired by the modern architecture in Kuwait and weaving. The goal behind our piece is to present Kuwait's future. The idea is to weave the 3D printed plastic patterns, inspired by one of the Avenues mall shades located next to Kidzania in front of the roundabout, together using yarn. We are trying to show the use of the new technology in making products and art.

A lesson to remember, don’t let the general culture affect your decisions because it's not always right. If a man from the past two centuries said that weaving is a women thing and it became part of our society's mentality, remember that he is a human and he could be wrong. “This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.” Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 134

اهتمامي بتصنيع الأشياء زاد بعدما بدأت عملي الخاص في مجال الطباعة ثلاثية الأبعاد. بدأت بالبحث عن الصناع و الحرفين في الكويت لأبين لهم مدى فائدة الطباعة ثلاثية الأبعاد في مجال عملهم. تعرفت على مصممي مجوهرات، حرفين يعملون في الخشب و المعادن، كلهم كانوا أناس رائعين. بدأت أتعلم مهارات جديدة في مجالات عدة و هنا بدأت القصة.

 رأيت إعلان ورشة عمل الحياكة في بيت السدو و قلت في نفسياشترك في الورشة لتتعلم تقنيات الحياكة و يمكنك توظيفها في الحياكة الأوتوماتيكية لاحقاو بما اني مهندس كمبيوتر فيمكنني صناعة آلة حياكة أوتوماتيكية. قلت لعائلتي وأصدقائي أنني سأنضم لورشة عمل الحياكة، و المدهش في ردة فعل بعضهم أنهم ضحكوا و قالواالحياكة للنساء!”  بعد الانتهاء من الورشة كنت أتحدث مع ليسلي، مقدمة الورشة، عن عملي و عن برنامجنا الجديد، إندكس: دليل الصناع. اقترحت ليسلي أن أشارك في مشروع نسيج الحكايات باستخدام الطباعة ثلاثية الأبعاد لعمل القطعة الفنية.

قطعتنا الفنية، النمط المنسوج، مستوحاة من الهندسة المعمارية الحديثة في الكويت والحياكة. الهدف من القطعة الفنية إظهار مستقبل الكويت. الفكرة هي حياكة النمط البلاستيكي المطبوع بالطابعة ثلاثية الأبعاد بخيوط النسيج. استوحيت تصميم النمط من مظلة في مجمع الأفنيوز الكائنة بجانب كدزينيا مقابل الدوار. في هذا العمل نحاول أن نسلط الضوء على استخدام التكنولوجيا الجديدة في عمل المنتجات و القطع الفنية.

و هناك درس لنتذكره، لا تدع الثقافة العامة للمجتمع تؤثر في قراراتك لأنها ليست على صواب دائما. إن كان هناك رجل من القرنين الماضيين قال أن الحياكة للنساء و أصبح هذا القول جزء من عقلية مجتمعنا، تذكر أن من قال هذا إنما هو إنسان و يمكن أن يكون على خطأ. “تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ” البقرة، آية 134

Monday, October 10, 2016

Building Bridges through Textiles: Connecting US based students to the textile arts of Kuwait

As a professor of Fibers at the University of North Texas, I enjoy working with a vast array of students who come into our program with either a lot or a little knowledge of textiles and fibers. For me, textiles are a key to different cultures, and have the ability to open up the world, making it not seem so big.

I am thrilled that through the Weaving Stories initiative, I am able to give my students an opportunity to connect to a culture and a textile that they otherwise may never come across. As a part of this exhibition, we are constructing a very large sculpture inspired by the Sadu tent divider. This woven sculpture will be comprised of dozens of contributions from makers and artists throughout Kuwait and now from Texas!

I had the privilege of introducing both my Alternative Processes and Advanced Weaving classes to Sadu weaving, giving students context for this textile art and how it fits within contemporary culture. We discussed the Weaving Stories exhibition and the large scultural tent divider that numerous makers and artists are contributing to. Through all of this discussion, each student is finding their own inspiration from Sadu weaving and the culture of Kuwait.As they work on their designs to submit for this project, I am very excited to see their willingness to embrace a new culture through their textile arts and look forward to seeing their ideas and designs come to life.

By, Lesli Robertson, Principal Lecturer, UNT

P.S. - The excitement of this project is spreading... I had a former student find out about the project and decide that she HAS to create a panel. She was able to get all of the information, Powerpoints and requirements and literally begged to be able to participate! So Jenna, I can't wait to see your piece!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Looms looms looms

Image from http://www.jordanjubilee.com/gallery/bedouin.htm

The core of Weaving Stories is the loom - it is the foundation for all of the inspiration this project draws on. The sadu weaving of Kuwait is unique because of their particular loom, which literally shaped the cloth that continues to inspire. Historically, these looms were a direct part of the nomadic Bedouin culture. They had to be transportable, easy to set up, and able to weave meters upon meters of cloth for the tents and other household objects needed for life in the desert. They were originally simple structures, made of steel rods, sticks, and rocks. The rods were pounded into the desert floor and the sticks were placed on the outside of these rods to hold the fibers under tension. There are few photos of these looms, so you can imagine what it looked like to have the oranges, reds, browns, and cream of the warp and cloth stretched out on the desert floor.

Now, the nomadic life of the Bedouin has transferred to one more stationary, so these looms have evolved. Sadu House has several versions that the weavers use today, the most common and liked is one of steel, welded together. It has the same function, position on the floor, but limits the weaver on the length they are able to weave.
Weavers from the Sadu House

Weaving was a part of the community, and the weaving of elaborate and large scale cloth was one not solely done by an individual, but several women coming together. With this vision in mind, we are taking the inspiration from the looms, creating two unique and interactive works.

Here are sneak peeks at what is in the works!
Some inspiration for the large scale "Woven" Tent Divider
A new approach to the loom that will give you a chance to weave!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Weaving Stories, an initiative launched by Beit Al Sadu

Since 1978, Beit Al Sadu has focused on preserving and supporting the woven cloth of the Bedouin known as sadu.  Under the patronage and vision of Sheikha Altaf Al-Sabah the aim of Beit al Sadu is to "promote and to celebrate Kuwait’s cultural and textile heritage. To tell the story of the land. To speak the languages of the arts … of the soul … "

This year, Beit Al Sadu will reimagine the role of weaving in our contemporary
culture through an initiative called Weaving Stories. This initiative will provide a platform to develop ways to bridge Beit Al Sadu and its weavers with the contemporary culture of Kuwait. In November, Weaving Stories will launch with an interactive exhibition that will collaborate with artists, organizations, and the local community. 

Stay tuned to this blog for more information as we highlight the development of this project and how the local and international community are coming together to create it!

Weaving Stories
Al Shaheed Park, November 7th - 13th, 2016
* Events will include an opening reception, workshops for children and adults, storytelling program, and more