Category Archives: fabric

Sweater Weather

yarnbomb, streetcolor, yarnbomb install at OMCA

streetcolor, OMCA, yarnbomb, yarnbombing, oakland museum yarnbomb

I’ve been meaning to post these images for a bit now… ever since the weather turned cold, the sandals and summer shirts got sequestered to the back of my closet, and the warm, soft, comforting sweaters I love donning so much each fall were brought forth to their rightful place, front & center.

The pictures above and below are by the same artist, Streetcolor. I shot her a few weeks ago for Oakland Magazine while she was installing her yarn bomb pieces in various locations throughout the grounds of the Oakland Museum of California.  Oakland Magazine will be featuring her in their January/February issue so keep your eyes out for that… In the meantime, you can read all about Streetcolor and her installation, both on OMCA’s blog (Yarn Bombing OMCA) and Streetcolor’s personal blog:

You can also go visit the installation in person, which of course is the best way to experience these incredibly tactile pieces. The installations will be up until December 15th.

The photo below is of an earlier piece she installed at Lake Merritt. There’s a third one just out of frame to the right, but I love this shot so much with its shadows and perspective, that you’ll  have to head to the lake if you want to see the full set…

streetcolor, yarnbomb, yarnbomb bikeracks, yarnbomb oakland

Get your Craft on at the Creative Reuse Depot!

Ok kids… only six days to Halloween!!

How are the festivities coming along?  Are  you putting the finishing touches on your costume?  Or just scrambling to figure out what the heck you’re going to be?  Whichever, you may want to take a little trip down to the East Bay Depot for Creative Use for some inspiration…

east bay creative reuse, cheap art supplies oakland, cheap art supplies temescal

Now located in Temescal (previously in Berkeley), the mission of this wonderful organization, started more than 30 years ago by two Oakland teachers, is three-fold:

  1. divert waste from the waste stream through creative recycling and reuse
  2. provide low cost materials and supplies for local art, education, and social services
  3. increase awareness of the green benefits of reusing materials

How can you not love that? I’ve been a frequent visitor of this venue for years, at both their current and previous locations.  I donated boxes of old CDs and CD cases and bags and bags of old National Geographic and Photo District News magazines. I was thrilled to take these items somewhere where I knew they’d be put to good use… perhaps even transformed into masterful works of art.  Who knows?

recycled goods at East Bay Depot, turning waste into art

recycled materials, diverting waste from waste stream

On the other side, I’ve purchased everything from goods for my Burningman art project, to rolls of industrial margarine foil to use as goofy wrapping paper. It’s kind of what’s so cool about this place… you never know what you are going to find. And there is definitely some weird stuff to be found.

Where else can you find bins of old doll heads? Or boxes of scientific beakers? Of course there’s the more mainstream stuff too… teachers’ educational materials, fabrics and sewing supplies, arts and craft materials, and much much more, all at prices that can’t be beat.

knitting supplies, sewing supplies, fabric supplies

teacher resource center, teacher resource zone, green educators

They also keep busy doing good works in the community. In addition to diverting approximately 400 tons of waste from our landfills each year, they also provide community aid locally, nationally, and even internationally.  For example, right now they are sponsoring a collection drive called “Parkas for Pakistan” to support the 20 million flood victims in Pakistan who are now homeless.

Items most urgently need are winter coats, blankets & comforters, sleeping bags, tents, tarps, etc.  I know I’ve got a few old coats I can get rid of.  How about you? Drive runs through Friday, November 19th. Check link above for drop-off directions.

Whether you’re looking for creative supplies for your kids, your students, or yourself, or just wondering what to do with that pile of junk that’s been sitting in your garage for 3 years or more, the East Bay Depot for Creative Use is a great place to go.

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, 4695 Telegraph Ave., (510) 547-6470

stopwaste.org, stop waste, reduce waste stream

Refashioned at Oakopolis ~ one final day!

Another quickie today…

I’ve written about the Oakopolis Creativity Center (aka Oakopolis Gallery) before (Moon Over Oakopolis), but we saw a really sweet exhibit there on Friday night titled “Re-Fashioned: The Origins of Our Clothing.”

Tomorrow’s the last day you can see this exhibit, gallery is open from 2 – 5 Saturday (show closes at 5pm), so if you’re interested in local Oaktown clothing designers, sustainable couture, or fashion in general, now’s your chance.

Re-Fashioned explores the art of sustainably produced clothing through the display of handmade garments, photos and video. The show illuminates the origins of the textiles, dyes, and processes employed by four local clothing designers, and a wonderful Australian designer.

A hallway leads back to the gallery space… a wall of naturally dyed garments introduces various combinations of fabrics and materials, and the resulting hues and textures created.  I heard one visitor exclaim “This one’s dyed with urine!”

re-fashioned at Oakopolis, sustainably produced clothing

Incredible one of a kind pieces are displayed, along with small keys to the materials utilized in the production (flowers, nuts, berries, etc)…

oakopolis, oakopolis gallery, oakopolis creativity center

Ocelot by Angelina DeAntonis, Permacouture by Sasha Duerr, The Moon by Cassidy Hope Wright & Cory Gunter Brown, Watermarks by India Flint

Stunning!

sustainable clothing, local couture, oakland clothing designers

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.

Well it was a big night of “openings” this past Saturday and our first stop was the new 5733 Retail Clothing Store & Gallery on Piedmont Ave (this before heading to the Oakland Museum Opening party, but more on that tomorrow…)

5733 clothing, 5733 opening party, 5733 store on piedmont

We weren’t sure exactly where the store was, but as we approached the correct block, the bumpin’ beats led us straight to the party. Tucked into an alcove off the main avenue, and up a flight of stairs, folks might know this location from the next door neighbor Chez Simone, who serves up delectable french cuisine as though you’re a guest in her own home.

5733, 5733 clothing store, 5733 grand opening

Despite the early hour, the party was already in full swing… the place packed and thronged with photographers. It was anything you could do not to get smacked in the face by a huge zoom lens. Others twittered away on their blackberries… and of course, people shopped. A steady buzz broadcast from the direction of the cash register, and with all goods produced locally & sustainably AND marked 25% off, the temptation was hard to resist. What can I say? I love my new hoodie!

5733 t-shirts, 5733 tshirts, 5733 artwork

Above, a display of some of artist Eddie Colla’s T-shirt designs… the far right was particularly memorable, titled X’s. Stitched onto the shirt were various fabric reproductions of polaroid snaps of gorgeous lingerie-clad girls in compromising positions… handwritten notes were scrawled on each one, like “Jiao – Bad English, but we were both fluent in Smirnoff.

5733 gallery, eddie colla gallery, 5733 retail store

The murals above and below were my favorites… especially the “If you want to achieve greatness….” piece, from which I titled this post. It’s a bold sentiment embraced whole-heartedly by artist and founder Eddie Colla. As a street artist whose works are more typically found on abandoned buildings and back alleyways, the whole point is to create without authorization.

“There is a visual conversation that takes place on the streets of urban environments. This conversation is dominated primarily by advertising and utilitarian signage and assumes  passive participation. Whether invited or not I am going to participate in this conversation. Public spaces were never intended to be coated from top to bottom with photos of consumer products. These spaces should, in some manner, reflect the culture that thrives in that space.”

Hence, the concealed identity through use of bandanas… I love how this is mimicked in other pieces through the use of asian characters wearing masks (but for entirely different reasons).

5733 opening party, 5733 gallery opening, art by eddie colla

Don’t fret if you missed the opening party… After the success of this one, they’re sure to have plenty of future events. You can visit the store at 4125 Piedmont Ave, Oakland.