5 sculpture artists using textile techniques

5 sculpture artists using textile techniques

One of the most impressive ways to bridge the link between craft and fine art is through textile work that acts as mixed media sculpture. These pieces may not fit within the confines of traditional fine art media, but nonetheless, capture the hearts of collectors. Galleries are more inclined to showcase pieces of this nature than ever before, and the format allows for a broad array of issues to be discussed in a way that will gather attention from critics and media. Sculpture permits the artist to break free from the concept of the “decorative” and focus more on a message and goal; these 5 sculpture artists use textiles and mixed media to do both.

Judy Tadman

Judy Tadman - Textile art sculpture

Judy Tadman – Textile art sculpture

Judy Tadman is a rope sculptor who creates large-scale abstract works using crocheting techniques. Recently, she has moved more toward capturing the shape of the body, while still retaining her characteristic style. Talman’s work is so effective because of the amount of time you can spend winding your eye around her pieces, a connection of intertwining lines, trying to figure where the mess starts and ends.

Rope sculpture by Judy Tadman

Judy Tadman – Rope sculpture

Tadman’s work, due to its use of rope, is incredibly smooth and organic. There are no sharp lines, rather a collection of soft movement and negative space. This is why her less figurative pieces succeed so well. Her work has extensive depth and texture, which is very pleasing and calming stylistically.

Discover how Judy Tadman creates rope sculptures in this Youtube video

Karine Jollet

Karine Jollet - Fabric sculpture

Karine Jollet – Fabric sculpture

Karine Jollet’s anatomical sculptures are pristine and soft, yet they are all a bit dark. The Parisian sculptor creates pieces that shockingly resemble the human body, from faces to organs such as the heart and nervous system. All of her fabrics are recycled from old bed sheets, shirts, and other linens, which she pieces together to create startlingly accurate depictions of the body. All of her work is in white, which only adds to the mysterious and evocative quality of her works.

Karine Jollet - Fabric sculpture detail

Karine Jollet – Fabric sculpture detail

Her works are reminiscent of old anatomy textbooks, in that while there’s a depiction of the human body, sometimes splayed, there is cleanliness, no sense of blood or disorder. Jollet’s representation of muscle tone is striking, its accuracy undeniable. Fabric forms as an allegory for skin in her work, the covering of the unseen underneath. After all, what is our skin but a fabric draped over flesh and blood, a living leather?

Jollet does very well at forcing the viewer to reconsider and deconstruct their views on the human body, both by isolating it from its discomfiting features, and the almost angelic white of the fabric.

To find out more about sculpture artist Karine Jollet visit KarineJollet.com

Mister Finch

Mister Finch - Textile Motifs

Mister Finch – Textile Motifs

Mister Finch is an English artist residing in Leeds who specializes in dramatic recreations of animals, using textile as his medium. Insects, spiders and birds are his main subjects, with his insects and spiders created on a much larger scale, but with an incredible depiction of detail. A self-taught artist, Finch searches for his materials in many places and finds hunting for his cloth is one of the most cathartic aspects of creating.

Mister Finch - Textile sculpture

Mister Finch – Textile sculpture

Much of his work is centred around creatures that hold significance in British folklore. Foxes and crows are among his most successful works, and the dye jobs on his creatures are absolutely fantastic. Finch works entirely alone and feels this solitude makes him more productive. He is a master of the imagination, bringing animals to life (and death) that remind you of Lewis Carroll and A.A. Milne.

For more information about Mister Finch visit Mister-Finch.com

Liz Alpert Fay

Liz Alpert Fay Tree Skirt: Moss and Lichen Series &1, 2007, wool and nylon on linen, hand hooked. Found wood and paint. {h. 23 in, w. 27 in, d. 15.5 in}. Photo/Brad Stanton

Liz Alpert Fay Tree Skirt: Moss and Lichen Series &1, 2007, wool and nylon on linen, hand hooked. Found wood and paint. 23″ x 27″ x 15.5″. Photo/Brad Stanton

Textile artists often find solace in the natural, and Liz Alpert Fay is no exception. Fay comes from a fine art quilting background, exhibiting at numerous major quilting institutions in New York City and beyond. For the past fifteen years, Fay has shifted to traditional rug hooking techniques, and now creates hooked work for both the floor and the wall.

Her pieces often centre around trees, and she uses found items, like aspen logs, to combine with her textile works, making them inherently sculptural in nature. The peaceful works are intriguing, juxtaposing the real with the depiction.

Liz Alpert-Fay Bees in the Trees Teapot Birch bark, filbert branch, paper from wasp's nest, dried plant material, reclaimed metal, waxed linen, cotton cording 11.75" x 12.5" x 12.5"

Liz Alpert-Fay, Bees in the Trees Teapot, Birch bark, filbert branch, paper from wasp’s nest, dried plant material, reclaimed metal, waxed linen, cotton cording, 11.75″ x 12.5″ x 12.5″

Fay also works in mixed media sculpture, depicting the natural with the synthetic in an amalgamation representing the plant or object. Often, these works rest on top of a unique hooked rug, and incorporates other various forms of cloth within the piece.

To find out more about sculpture artist Liz Alpert Fay visit LizAlpertFay.com

Lauren Scott

Textile sculpture by Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott – ‘No matter how hard he tried Mr. Hedgehog could not get himself out of this sticky situation’ Mixed Media/Textiles, 77cms x 45cms, 2013

Like Mister Finch, Lauren Scott works in producing animal reproductions through textiles. Marketing her art as “a veggie alternative to taxidermy,” Scott produces patchwork animals that are a bit rough around the edges. Her creatures have gnarled feet, made of ceramic pieces, and wiry whiskers that remind you of the long, erratic inkwork of Ralph Steadman.

While her work is definitely not the most polished, her work is highly charming. Her art evokes the movement of the stop-motion film “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and the askew fibres add to the effect. Badgers, foxes, and hedgehogs are all present, and all have their own brilliant source of life beneath the fabric.

Sculpture artist Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott – Forget Me Not? (Detail) Mixed Media and Textiles, 90cms x 35cms, 2012

Scott has noted that all the animals she portrays are animals that have been traditionally hunted in her home of Northern Ireland. With this in mind, there is an additional layer to her characters, building a level of cultural introspection. The viewer develops a bond with these creatures, and after such, it is very hard to imagine wearing fox fur or eating hare. Each of these animals is so unique, that it is impossible not to form a bond with them, imagining their personality.

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Friday 09th, December 2022 / 17:33

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe



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4 comments on “5 sculpture artists using textile techniques”

  1. cas holmes says:

    Again, A wonderful series of insightful interviews. Textural Space from over ten years ago. Work by Japanese artists organised by Lesley Millar is also worth a look


  2. Akingbeni says:

    They are wonderful works that inspire me as an upcoming textile artist

  3. Anna osborn says:

    I am looking for someone who can replicate a soft sculpture head on a mannequin I have had for many years. She is on a man’s size 48 suit form. I am not able to pay fine art prices nor do I think my LADY while precious to me needs that. Just a face lift would be wonderful. She was on my library for years and retired when I did.

  4. Gaylyn says:

    So delightful! Gratitude to you for seeking out and sharing! What a fabulous way to rise in the morning,
    after the wolf dawn… followed by the Dawn Chorus…I see these beautiful, extraordinary sculptures! What an amazing world
    we dance
    through! Love it!

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