Lizz Aston: Through my practice, I am interested in celebrating craft for love as a means to continue to tap into the meaningful, intuitive and historical practices that employ the use of my hands.
Lizz Aston is a recent graduate of the Textiles program at the School of Crafts and Design, Sheridan College and is currently in her second year as an artist-in-residence in the Craft Department at Harbourfront Centre. Through her work, she focuses on making concept-based fibre art and sculpture that has been developed with regards to both traditional and contemporary textile processes.
NEWS: Lizz recently received a level 1- Toronto Arts Council Grant, to continue to develop her body of works in paper! Congrats Lizz!
Lizz will be showing 4 pieces in an exhibition in July 2011 at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia entitled Love Lace. It is a monumental show on contemporary lace-making – the definition of lace being an open-network structure. It is an international exhibition and includes the categories of traditional lace making, fashion, the built environment and digital multimedia. SNEAK PEEKS at details of these pieces are attached above. A Booth blog exclusive!
Lizz is also just beginning two collaborative projects:
1. Designing a piece of furniture with furniture maker and Sheridan graduate Jean Willoughby.
2. Studio Remix: a collaborative project opening at the Ontario Crafts Council in July, 2011. Lizz will be working with Ceramic artist Sylvia Nan Cheng. Lizz will be learning new ceramic skills, as well as teaching her craft, culminating in the creation of a collaborative work with Sylvia.
Both of these projects present the artists involved with the opportunity to transcend their chosen material and confront- or embrace- a different set of material challenges.
Notes on Aston’s Works:
Spun paper: Lizz uses handmade Kozo paper from Japan in the spinning process. The sheets are folded lengthwise and cut into 2mm strips, leaving the edge of the sheet intact. She tears the paper end to end, to create one continuous thread and then spins it on an old fashioned spinning wheel. (The fibres are dry.) Spinning paper into fine threads is referred to as shifu in Japan and has a long history.
Kozo paper: Japanese tissue may be made from one of three plants, the Kozo plant (Paper Mulberry tree), the Mitsumata shrub and the Gampi tree. The long, strong fibres of the Kozo produce very strong, dimensionally stable papers, and are the most commonly used fibres in the making of Japanese paper (Washi). Tissue made from Kozo, or Kozogami comes in varying thicknesses and colors, and is an ideal paper to use in spinning fine shifu threads.
Wavering Paper Form: For this piece Lizz used her spun paper fibre and crocheted it into a beautiful, delicate doily form.
Antiquated Notions (paper fibres, free-motion embroidery, polyester thread, burn-out): In this work, Lizz used free-motion embroidery on paper that has been starched using konnyaku starch. She then burnt out the negative spaces using a soldering iron, creating a doily pattern.
Antiquated Notions is a series of works that explore the relationships and residual connections we feel to domestic objects of the past. The patterns and forms explored take reference from the knotted and interlaced structures of lace doilies. The process of free-motion embroidery and burning are used to intricately render a fabric of negative spaces, as the images are laboriously burned-out and excavated from within the fibre. Each piece in the series works to examine themes of attachment, transience and mourning while celebrating a reverence for the preciousness of materials and the hand-made object.
Increasing Your Knot Vocabulary uses the same methods as Antiquated Notions however this work references macramé patterns. Comprised of a delicate network of paper and thread, each strand works to interconnect a structure of fibres that weaves notions of the contemporary with the traditional.