Seven years ago, Sao Paulo-born artist Cristina Suzuki started to research a tropical version of the Indian floral cloth tradition known as chintz. Her experiments in making patterns digitally led her to develop a series of illustrations called Rendas Digitais (Digital Lace).
“The first step was to draw my own patterns and engrave them on wood—like Indian wedges. As I wanted to improve pattern construction, I started to draw them on the computer, and then I realized there were infinite possibilities,” explains Suzuki. She developed a technique to “weave” her lace. “First, I draw with a pencil. That drawing is a model that I scan and remake using CorelDRAW. And then I start to build other shapes, mirroring, rotating, and superimposing that figure.”
Suzuki sometimes uses actual urban images. Her work, in picture frames with digital printing on cloth, printing on giclée canvas, and plotter-cut vinylis, are currently on exhibit at Academia Brasileira de Arte, the Brazilian Art Academy in Sao Paulo.
Cristina says that merging craft and technology is a natural thing in her creative process. “I easily absorb every technique I’m interested in and go from one to the other without blinking an eye. That process is part of me. They are tools that work for my poetics, and not the other way around,” the artist says. She compares her digital lace to Brazil’s Northeastern lace.“Lace looks complex, but it is actually simple details that together amplify the view and bring a complexity, startling the viewer. That’s how I feel when I see the work of Northeastern weavers. And I’ve built my work from that. The difference? I don’t use thread. Yet.”