Wear and Tear

Manon Gignoux makes clothes, soft sculptures, accessories and jewelry using pieces of fabric to create soft colored faded beauties. (Manon Gignoux’s website is under construction, but you can download a pdf presenting her work on this page.)
She studied at France’s Duperré School of Applied Arts where she worked on a photographic study of the clothes worn by workers in the early 20th century. She focused on exploring the “traces of wear and tear” on clothing. She is very versatile. Below are examples of her soft fabric sculptures.Which brings me to my own fabric manipulation. Below is my homage to the beauty of the impermanent. Are you tired of the leaves yet?You probably guessed it, the leaf in the center is actually made from yesterday’s handkerchief linen.
I cut out a leaf shape, sewed some small pleats, colored it with coffee and rubbed it with a bit of carbon from a burnt match. It was late last night and the linen leaf looked indistinguishable from the dried ones under my yellowish kitchen light. With morning light it’s a bit pale, but there’s always more coffee and carbon to make it look even more authentic. The shape is quite passable, no?
It was a LOT of fun playing with the idea to make something impermanent permanent to have a reminder of the passing of time. I’ll make more of these and tape them to a wall in the future….

….But, I’ll show a totally different take on fabric manipulation this coming Sunday!

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16 Responses to “Wear and Tear”

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  1. Mary H says:

    The leaf you made is really lovely and I didn’t pick it out from the others in the photo! I love the old leaves and also like to pick them up on my woods walks. I’m not familiar with Manon Gignoux but I enjoyed looking at the pdf file of her work, the costumes and soft scuptures are very engaging, but the pictures of the old garments and fabrics, while visually and texturally very interesting to me also tend to make me feel melancholy.

  2. Just want you to know that no one, not a single blog that I read, inspires me more than you do! I am so smitten with your work and the way you present and share your technique. I honestly smile out loud when I see your post in my inbox! THANK YOU!!! for YOU!!!

  3. Vicki says:

    oh dear… I was just going to write something almost verbatim to the Champagne Maker’s comment. So, suffice it to say, ditto. With an extra thank you! Still so glad you’re back!!!

  4. monika says:

    gorgeous leaf – that would look stunning in a shadowbox frame with some velvet in the back ground… now.. how about combining the sewn leave with prints in the style of India Flint? Somehow, don’t know why, the leaf also makes me think of Catherine Widgery’s work “Lost Sense”…

  5. kathrin says:

    I’ve been thinking about India Flint this morning and watched a youtube clip of one of her workshops in Belgium. How interesting, that you mention her. I also looked up Catherine Widgery’s work and was very taken. Thanks for introducing me to her work. I need to explore the leaf sewing some more…

  6. kathrin says:

    Oh my, how nice of you to write such wonderful comment. Thank you so much! I feel very very lucky to have such kind readers like you!

  7. kathrin says:

    Thanks so much Vicki, how very generous of you! Like a said to Champagne Maker, I feel truly lucky to have readers like you!

  8. kathrin says:

    I agree Mary, there is something very melancholic about Manon Gignoux’s work. I think many people who use vintage materials have some sadness woven into their work. But weathered pieces always remind me that there’s beauty in every thing in every moment of its existence. Just like Leonard Cohen said: “There’s a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.”

  9. maya says:

    Your leaf is as gorgeous and intriguing as you, Kathrin! Looking forward to Sunday…

  10. k says:

    wow – thanks for sharing Manon’s work – very inspiring. and i’m also very inspired by your leaf – just fantastic!

  11. Mary H says:

    I agree and I love Leonard Cohen.

  12. helen salo says:

    Couldn’t have said it better. I was smiling reading this and downloading the wonderful pdf, just wish I knew french or how to translate it on here (not computer savy, husband not home) this post was so much “me” it just excited and energized me to go create. Thank you.

  13. monika says:

    I took the India Flint workshop last fall when she was teaching in Oakville (just outside of Toronto). A great experience!) I’m not so taken with Catherine Widgery’s new work, but I just loved that “Lost Sense” work….

  14. Suschna says:

    Beautiful, beautiful.

  15. india says:

    i was directed here by Monika [thank you!] and am about to enjoy a serious SUnday morning wander through the pages. between you and me though, i find that Belgian video awful. filmed without warning – i had no idea it was happening. videos should be scripted, i think, and edited to take out the “ums”. and shooting upwards from a lap is never the best angle. sigh.
    however i continue to be astonished at how many nice people have made themselves known to me after seeing it!

    love the replication of the dried leaves here…i tried something similar many years ago, being fascinated with the fallen dried petals of tulips. but mine were emphatically not a success…

  16. kathrin says:

    Thank you Monika, for making a connection with India. Just ordered her book the other day and can’t wait for it to arrive. Wonder what draws so many of us to that “Lost Sense” feeling….

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