Living fibers, living forms: The work of Jappie King black

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Jappie King Black, a professor of fine arts at Kean University in New Jersey, focuses on loosely woven pieces of grapevine bark. The natural properties of the organic material dictate the twisting, turning, and undulating forms with gnarled cracked surfaces and enticing tactility. The Rhode Island School of Design and Syracuse University, she has earned scores of solo exhibitions, prestigious exhibition awards, and artist grants in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Michigan. Black prefers the thickest vines for large sculptures, especially when right after the rain they are flexible and the bark comes off easily for crocheting. Black allows the materials' natural properties to dictate her shapes, as in Wishful Thinking, a bowl woven with bones. Black's sculpture begins with two-dimensional prints and drawings; and filled out into three-dimensional fiber or even bronze.

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Surface Design Journal

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