Research Point- Tadek Beutlich.

The artist who I am drawn to that I have chosen to research further is Tadek Beutlich. I only discovered his work earlier this year through an exhibition of his work being shown at Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. I never managed to get there to see it but it sparked an interest in the artist and I even bought a book of his work special, which is apparently still used today by textiles students so this is very good.

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What is their craft and how do they approach it in their work?

‘Tadek Beutlich sought his craft in textile weaving and  printmaking. He was known for his large textile constructions and large-scale block prints that he made without using a printing press. Originally from Poland, Tadek studied at art school in Poznan and later studied in Germany and Italy before graduating from Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, London in 1950.’

http://www.emmamason.co.uk/a/tadek-beutlich?pgs=2– accessed 13th August 2017

Beutlich_Radiation2_copyRadiation 2 (1970)

http://www.vision-gallery.co.uk/photo_15219917.html-accessed 14th August
2017

Do they adhere to the ideas of Slow Design? To what extent does this allow them to
take risks, experiment and innovate?

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Moon (1963)

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O110360/moon-wall-hanging-beutlich-tadek/– accessed 15th August 2017.

I think his work as a weaver and a print maker does embody slow design, especially the way in which he makes his pieces. All handmade and with care and without a time frame. The use of recycled materials in his weaving work shows sustainability to the pieces and consideration to the art. The piece shown above called Moon was woven onto linen and contains ramie, camel-hair, honesty seeds, x-ray film and charred wood veneer. https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O110360/moon-wall-hanging-beutlich-tadek/– accessed 15th August 2017.

The use of such items and him weaving them into his pieces shows a slow design nature as the ingredients have to be sourced and chosen and then woven into it. His prints are large-scale and are drawn, hand pressed and printed without the use of a press. He doesn’t strike me as a rushed maker and has his own way of making and doing.

Is their story or the story of their work important? Why?

I think the main story for his pieces come from his time spent during the war. His obituary states;

‘Beutlich was born in Lwówek, Poland. His father ran a delicatessen and a confectionery factory. When Tadek was eight, financial problems forced the family to move to Poznan, where he eventually enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts on a scholarship. He underwent training in ceramics, stained glass, weaving and sculpture (to which he was particularly drawn).

After the Nazi invasion of 1939, as a Pole of German origin, he was made a German national. He studied art for a term in Weimar and at Dresden Art Academy before being drafted into the army in 1941. Training as a radio operator, he listened to BBC broadcasts, confirming his doubts about the regime he was serving. He was sent to the Russian front and to Italy and was then captured by the allies, detained in a PoW camp and released to join the Second Polish Corps, part of the British Eighth Army. Before demobilisation, he studied in Rome and visited museums in Italy.’

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 14th August 2017.

His work can be considered nature and earth based. Using the colours inspired by what he saw around him.

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Pollination I (1973-4)
https://www.artfund.org/what-to-see/exhibitions/2016/09/17/tadek-beutlich-beyond-craft-exhibition– accessed 15th August 2017.

‘In his small bed sit, Beutlich started to weave on a simple frame, using the limited colour range of cheap darning yarns available just after the war – white, grey and black.’

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 14th August 2017.

Maybe as these were his only materials the work evolved to be just in these colours using all forms of them and mixtures to create his pieces?

‘Whilst in Spain, he experimented with local esparto grass and brightly coloured acrylic wool bought in the local market to make what he called “free-warp” tapestry, weaving and wrapping organic wall-hangings and freestanding pieces that looked like living organisms.

Beutlich’s last works, made on his return to Britain in 1980, refer back to the trauma of his wartime experiences. He used his off-loom techniques to create figurative groups whose collective helplessness recall Goya or Bosch, both of whom he admired.’

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 15th August 2017.

Do you value ‘craft’ and craftsmanship? Why or why not?

Yes I value craftsmanship. To me it is part of my everyday life and also the reason why I started this degree and for my own work I produce. I enjoy finding out about crafts and artists and how they make the things they do. I think being a photographer in a past life has enabled me to see more and feel more when it comes to design I like. I have ventured into collage and have recently started to learn printmaking but it is a massive subject so I will maybe write about that another day.

I like the aspects of finding out who the maker is and what they are about, searching for their work and seeing their process. I find that quite cathartic and makes it all the more special.

Is there room for craft in modern society?

Of course there is! As more people make and get involved in different crafts they will be seen and their work championed and with the social media and endless sharing it can only get better. Just typing in glass makers or glass artists in a search for example brings up so many artists and designers. My favourite will always be John Piper but it is these kinds of searches that increase awareness of designers and crafts.

Visits- Flags – Andrew Lee – Tatton Show.

As I am embarking on showing you everything I saw at the Tatton show and I know how much you are liking it, I have picked out some bits that I really liked, on top of all the other things that I really liked. I really liked these flags, by Andrew Lee.

They appeared as if by magic through the crowd and they moved and changed colour with the wind. I spent ages looking at them and seeing how they went from blue to pink to yellow and back again. I have decided that I would like my whole garden to be just these and nothing else. The iridescence of them had me fascinated and the way they moved and changed. If you get to see them anywhere have a small rest and just watch them.

You can see more of Andrews work here- www.wonderfulnature.net

and the flags here- www.wonderfulnature.net/flag%20field.html

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A nice interlude before my 7th cup of tea stop.

All links and websites accessed  15th August 2017.

Visits- Tatton Flower Show- Part 3 -Like a magazine.

I am still in the big tent at this point and came across cactus world and Bougainvillea world and very over saturated orchids. I like the backgrounds the best as I felt I was in a schools science programme. For 10 minutes I took it upon myself to pretend I was in Sweden or a golden hour desert filled with cactus like a styled Instagram story and to be honest after the 4th plaster had fell off my toe, the pain meant I could have been anywhere. I didn’t ask anybody any questions as I felt I had spoke enough so I became a cactus picture taking person that was in a giant tent and I liked it and have no regrets.

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Visits- The Tatton Flower Show-Part 2- More Big tent action.

The fun never stops in the big tent. At this point I had started to sneeze quite profusely and had a headache from everything to do with flowers and pollen. I stopped for dinner of chips and gravy and a can of pop and got straight back in there as I’m not a quitter. I asked a lady about her grasses and a man about his bark chippings. I entered a competition to win a holiday in Malaysia and got a free bag for taking part- Cathay Pacific- It is me! I found a lonely 5p and then continued on my rounds.

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Visits-The Tatton Park Flower Show-Part 1-In The Big Tent.

When the word ‘show’ is entered into anything I am always interested. Same with the words; sale, fete, jumble, seconds and cake. The Tatton Park Flower Show has been a staple in my July calendar for 4 years now and I love the extravagance of giant cascades of fuchsias, vegetables and fruits all lined up neatly and very helpful plant friends trying their best with me whilst I ask about my Venus fly traps and why they wouldn’t eat their tea of ham and dead flies I made special. I also like it as it is calming, despite the crowds and minor pushing to get to Monty, the colours, the flowers, the vast displays and giant ferns are very good for me and this year I took my big camera, regretted the weight but became flower show possessed and now as a special treat I am showing you everything I saw, in its entirety, probably 5 or 6 parts long and you will like them! I have started off in the main flower tent, the ‘Don’ of tents if you like.

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All websites and links accessed – 13th July 2017.

Exercise 1- Justin McGuirk, The Art of Craft.

hathttps://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/01/rise-designer-maker-craftsman-handmade– accessed 7th August 2017.

After reading the above article;

Do you believe there is a demand for hand-made objects and work? Why do you think that some consumers seek out these qualities in the objects they buy?

I do believe that there is a high demand for hand made objects and craftsmanship and work that is solely handmade. I think that consumers want to feel part of the items they are buying. They want to believe it is maybe a one off made just for them or a limited run so the purchasing of such items from the artist who made it, is a personal thing. To be able to see something either online or in a magazine you like and look for it to find that it is made by a small business who puts time and energy into every piece gives it a story that people like. They will repeat the story and others will want the same. The consumers that will seek out these qualities are those that want these stories and to be able to have something different. To be able to search and maybe even help with the design of an item and to have it all for them.  The article mentions the process of items being seen as well as talked about so artists and makers can show their process online by the means of blogs, social media and films. This then gets into peoples design mode and they want to be a part of the item that is being made.

Do you think the desire for hand-made products is based on  a romantic perception of the hand-made and a sense of ‘post-industrial nostalgia for the pre-industrial’? Why or why not?

Nostalgia is a big thing and it is always around and forever will be. 70’s kitsch and modernism have made a big comeback in recent years and mid century being spoken about the 50’s style of living and home. The whole post industrial nostalgia thing I don’t think is really with us anymore as people don’t want to go back to it but they do borrow ideas such as weaving and coopering and reinventing them for now.

I think if you are craft minded and like art and making things the sight of something old in a shop that has been handmade may fill you with more joy than buying straight out of a retail shop. I think consumers still want the old ways and like certain items as ‘one offs’ but aren’t ready to give up all the new instant things they can find by researching and ultimately buying from artists and craftspeople. To know that something has been handmade for them  gives them pleasure and a belonging to the item. To know it has been made for you personally makes it special and you will champion the artist all the way afterwards. The romance of the item could be to do with this connection and belonging and if you had a personal connection with the artist over the item and saw it being made at different stages the romantic notion of it all being for you may bring that out.

Do you feel that hand-made products are viewed as luxury or value added products? How do hand-made items compare with mass-produced items, in terms of their value, life cycle, cost and ethics?

The maker has to price the items right for the work involved and make a profit and have a happy customer. Equipment needs to be bought, it has to be made and all the while keeping a rapport with the customer. Mass produced items that can be mistaken for handmade one offs could be certain things found in IKEA and Habitat and the odd thing found in John Lewis. These items, lets say a lamp, can look very stylish and as if it was made just for you. You buy it and take it home, you like it for a while but it loses its timeless quality as you see that they are everywhere. In the old ladies window down the street, in the dentists, even in charity shops making them secondhand and no longer needed so they find new homes.

If you bought a lamp that was made by an craftsman just for you, that you liked and would never get tired of, it would be with you forever. You would move it from room to room over time. Take it with you to new places, store it in your dads loft for a while but always come back to as it is perfect and it is your lamp that nobody else has. The life-cycle of the lamp you have had designed outweighs your 5 minute being chuffed design piece from a retailer as it has been made and constructed to last forever. This then outweighs the cost and time to make as it is a keeper.

Reflect on any hand-made item you own (not necessarily textiles). Can you remember why you were drawn to it? Did the fact that it was hand-made make it feel ‘special’ or did you just buy it because you liked the design? How did its price compare with the industrially produced equivalent?

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The hand-made item I’ve chosen to show and reflect upon is a knitted blue monkey made out of wool that my boyfriend bought for me when were first dating. I don’t know where he was made or how old he is but I am guessing 1970’s.

I used to collect knitted toys when I was little and I foolishly sold them all at a car boot. I like that he is imperfect, that maybe a Nan knitted him for her grandchildren or to sell at the church fete. I felt sad that he had been discarded and now that he lives with me he sits on the knitted toy shelf.

You rarely see them in shops and you can’t buy toys like this brand new unless I suppose you commission them so it is a one off piece that I am glad to own.

I suppose he acts as those ‘first dating gifts’ that you may buy each other when you are first together and he acts to me as a moment for this time.

All links and websites accessed 7th August 2017.

 

https://www.ukcraftfairs.com/coopering.asp

https://www.format.com/magazine/galleries/art/contemporary-artists-weavers

Printmaking-Introduction to Printmaking.

Oh flipping heck, I have received my file for introduction to printmaking and so far I have made a list of things I need and things I already have in the house in use, so not much at all really. I have got a brand new lino cutter though so that is something.

In the meantime here is a book I got out of the library by Leo Lionni.

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It is really nice and it reminds me of when I used to make potato prints in primary school He mainly used collage in his work which you can see in his book Little Blue and Little Yellow which I have a copy of somewhere.

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Image- Amazon.

You can see more about him here- http://www.randomhousekids.com/authors-illustrators/detail/158?page=4

All websites and links accessed – 25th July 2017