ARTeries: Art in your genes, er, jeans

Arteries - exploring embroidered expressions with Arlee Barr

Fibristas and Fibristos, who doesn’t love denim? In all its permutations and connotations, it’s a constant in our lives now, no longer just for the working slob, but the haute couture designer, the artiste and the Artist. On one hand, it’s utility, conformity and cost effectiveness, on the other, it’s history, comfort and individuality. As jeans, no matter the placement of a pocket, a waistline, a leg flare or not, everyone has them. We deliberately rip, stain and fray, cut and scribble on them, use them to rub out the ashes of our illicit smokes, and can place timelines in movies by the cut. (Guys in the 70’s may look silly with all that hair and the pointy collar shirts, but OH those jeans….)

Denim is a rugged cotton twill textile…in American usage since the late 18th century.The word comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called serge, originally made in Nîmes, France, by the André family. Originally called serge de Nîmes, the name was soon shortened to denim. Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue “jeans”, though “jean” then denoted a different, lighter cotton textile; the contemporary use of jean comes from the French word for Genoa, Italy (Gênes), where the first denim trousers were made.

Ol’ Serge is a popular companion in many studios. Thrift stores abound in racks of jeans, dresses, jackets and shirts that are fodder for many imaginations and treatments. The fabric is supple, homey yet modern, easy to manipulate, takes stitch treatments like nobody’s business and is perfectly acceptable as re-purposed clothing or cut, torn and transformed into new clothing or accessories, and innovative art.

A car? Why not? From Jason and Jill.

Jason & Jill's denim car

For the home, Sylvia Windhurst’s fly pillow:

Sylvia Windhurst’s fly pillow
Buzz over to my couch!!!

Checkout Sylvia’s Etsy too for some more amazing denim awesomeness.

Denim Devil by Page of Bats:

Denim Devil by Page of Bats
Sexy!

Rolled art wall piece by Ludingirra:

Rolled art wall piece by Ludingirra
Yarn from Velma’s World–sorry, no downloading or hotlinking with her work.

Skirt from GEOLOGY urban fossil:

Incredible evening gown by Renaissance Brighton:

Incredible evening gown by Renaissance Brighton

And traditional Japanese clothing remade in denim by Rina Karibe:

traditional Japanese clothing remade in denim by Rina Karibe

traditional Japanese clothing remade in denim by Rina KaribeSorry, no online info about Ms Karibe.

Denim can be dyed, discharged, stitched on by hand or machine, be clean and fresh looking, grungy and old, sexy or demure, shibori’ed or painted.

Dress from Angels Never Die:

Denim Dress from Angels Never Die

Shibori from the elements by Michelle Griffiths, an ongoing project in co-operation with nature:

Michelle Griffiths

For fun:

As sculptural art:

(Sorry, i lost my note about the source of this photo above—if you know please tell!)

Above: WOWZERS, that’s a LOT of old jeans re-purposed!

And a tutorial to make a sweet tree:

Art is in your Jeans, Genes, Genes/Jeans both applicable, Jean Jeanie!

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Arlee Barr is a Canadian artist, working primarily with textiles. She describes herself as “curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated“.  Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, Arlee likes the eclectic, explorative and absurd. Sprinkled around the interwebs, she can be found hanging around her fantastic blog.

Arlee
Arlee Barr is a Canadian artist, working primarily with textiles. She describes herself as "curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated". Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, Arlee likes the eclectic, explorative and absurd. Sprinkled around the interwebs, she can be found hanging around her fantastic blog and shop.

4 thoughts on “ARTeries: Art in your genes, er, jeans

  • Lovely work everyone and great article Arlee

  • i like the pillow with the fly on it.
    phantastic, psychedelic, funky !

    Bzzzz !

  • Thank you for including me in this amazing collection! I am amazed at the different uses that artists have found for this wonderful material – from covering a car to recreating a traditional kimono and giving it a modern twist, this is a fantastic sampling of creative works. Great article!

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