Style 2016 in Palo Alto/ Mountain View

Style 2016 in Palo Alto/ Mountain View

This year’s Style show went smoothly in spite of the rain. And we were happy about that. Attendance was high, I loved my neighbors. On one side was Slice lab, a couple of guys using a 3-d printer to create jewelry. Fun pieces, some necklaces looking like they were made of tiny bleached bones. And very reasonable prices. I bought one that is ivory colored looking like many rubber bands strung together. Can I just say it’s hard not to buy something from your neighbor?!

On the other side was Old House—Sandra Althouse, making ponchos and dresses from old cashmere sweaters and remnants of knits or velvet. She went on a Paris tour with Marcy Tilton and so we had to send Marcy a picture of us together. I ended up with a graphic black and white dress of unknown fiber content and a wonderful poncho gradating from dark blues to light robins egg blues. She got a terra-cotta scarf! A shout out to her son, Xander, who helped me schlepp my fabulous and very heavy mirror. I couldn’t have done it without him!

The clothes I worked so hard to make were appreciated and purchased by happy women. I am gratified when I have been at my creative edge to have the confirmation that the work is good, will be worn and give pleasure to the wearer and the observer.

And I will say again how wonderful it is to be among my peers, to be energized by what they are making and they by what I am doing. I need, and I think all of us who work in isolation, need a fertile ground to exchange ideas and gossip and love each other up. And eat fine Korean food!! We do need the audience and hopefully we will continue to have one. Thanks to Diane Master for providing the venue!

Making yardage for Catherine Bacon’s art kimonos!

Making yardage for Catherine Bacon’s art kimonos!

I make fabric for Catherine Bacon about twice a year. When I was doing yardage for her a couple of years ago, it became more full-time than I wanted. I liked having a steady paycheck, but I missed out selling at other venues ie: the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, and at the Acqua hotel sales.

As I do love keeping my hands in many pots and in keeping with how Catherine’s business was changing, when she decided to hire surface artists to make one of a kind yardage for her Art Kimonos, I jumped at the chance.

She sends me old remnants of her double georgette, this time in “butt ugly” colors (her words). I love the challenge of painting them into something beautifully mysterious at the same time using up the old fabric from previous collections.

In the past I have planned the fabric to fit her pattern, motif-wise. This time I painted and screened a design not knowing where the pattern would lay. That was a holdover from the Diane Ericson/ Gwen Spencer way of working at the Taos Design outside the Lines 2015. Very freeing.

I would love to see how they turn out. However, Catherine doesn’t usually document each one. That’s another reminder of the fleeting connection I have to these wonderful pieces.

Cracked Open in Taos / DOL 2015

Cracked Open in Taos / DOL 2015

A year ago Diane Ericson asked me to be a guest teacher in Taos for her Design Outside the Lines workshop series. I immediately said yes. Why wouldn’t I want to be at Mabel Dodge Luhan House sharing what I know best with 20 women I had never met?

The excitement started building as I gathered supplies that needed to be shipped beforehand. Okay -I needed to make sloppy bags for holding scraps. Check. Okay -I need to bring all the Solvys. Check. I needed to pack what’s on my rack. Check. Okay -I needed to make some more pieces to show my technique. Check.

In the meantime my sleep is getting rattled. The energy is ramping up. It’s gonna be okay- I can do this, I remind myself.

After spending some days with my Albuquerque brother exploring Puyé cliff dwellings, I headed up to Taos via Santa Fe to see Elise and crew from Santa Fe Weaving Gallery. I met Diane at Mabel’s. We chatted and went to Love Apple for dinner. We share our life’s stories. A connection was made.

The next day the women start arriving. We set up the log cabin, where Diane has her store and we have our “products”. There we gathered in the late afternoon after dinner and introduced ourselves. My mouth is dry. 20 women.

But the room is cozy and we are all here for the same reason: to create, to share, to support the process of creativity and exploration.

Monday starts off with a bang. We do our demos. I am demo-ing my Pelt solvy technique, a thick dense composition of scraps, that could become clothing as in: what would the modern Neanderthal wear? In the afternoon, I demo the Dervish technique, how to lay out your fabric scraps with a pattern in mind.

Diane meanwhile is really speaking to the heart of playing/ exploring vs. the psychology of the workshop mentality, ie. I have to finish something to show what I did when I spent this time with myself. Doing vs. being.

What cracked me open was her talk about her “birthday” shirt. It is a special process she does for herself every year. She creates a theme for the shirt, in this case lightness, and brings that into play. She started by playing with paper airplanes, then folded airplanes out of cotton to use as a pocket, and stenciled

airplanes onto the shirt fabric. But it was really the way she talked about making time for herself and honoring herself that moved me. By the time I got up to present I broke out into tears. The thing was- that was perfectly okay. Everyone got what was happening. Everyone was right there, no judgment.

DOL is a safe place to be your most vulnerable. And as a result every one is open and supportive. Diane is a marvelous storyteller. She has comic timing. And yet there is room for the tender sharing of our hearts.

The time flew by. Some people made and completed items. Most did not. Most tried things out: stenciling, screening, pulling cording, making frogs, composing fabric, hand stitching. I made a purse/bag. I was happy to take part of the stitching process.

Next time I’ll be a student. Gwen Spencer, the very talented assistant said at the end to me: be a student. I’m taking her advice. I’m taking DOL in Taos where she’ll be the guest teacher.

The last day as we sat in a big circle I can safely say all our hearts were more open, that we were all bonded, all filled with new ideas and excited about the next creative step. I was honored to be a part of that experience.

Springtime at the Acqua…

It was a muted day. In keeping with the mystery that is a show. Who will show up? What will sell?

 

We had two new designers: Francesca Lewis Kennedy and Jan Badgley.

 

Francesca, a jeweler, plays with her metal and has fun. You can tell. There is a whimsical yet talismanic quality to her work. And it is easy to wear.

 

jan@acqua56Jan has her own take on shrunken (boiled) wool and Japanese fashion that is well thought out and architectural, with fun touches.

 

I had been working for a couple of weeks heading up to the show. (Minus 4 days to go to Mendocino)! I made two beautiful Cecille tops out of some yellow scrap dupioni that were re-painted twice. The colors glowed and I added very few embellishments. I wanted the background to shine on its own. The screens I used on one were the Klimpt apple and it’s partner, in gold. A tip of the hat to the master.

 

Ning in stripey cowl 52I also made a cowl using up dye I had around. Painted in the color-block style. I made it a little longer and with longer sleeves. It was so beautiful. It’s nice to fall in love with your own work. It makes me excited. That one sold to Ning Mercer, an artist as well.

 

Another piece I did was out of some dove grey tight linen I got from Susan Kirschner. (Nice to have friends with leftover fabric)! I painted it out of the same dye pots as the cowl. But because it started out grey, the colors were muted and subtle. The style was a combo of the CP top and the EF top. A slighty boaty/scoopy neck, a-line and pockets (!) with pleats. Really nice as a jacket or a bop around top.

 

Sales were pretty even throughout the day. What I love is when the good stuff goes. Not that it isn’t all good, but some is fresher and more sparkling. I didn’t sell any Cecilles. It was a grey day and they are a burst of summer weight color. They have been shipped off to Santa Fe Weaving Gallery and will be just right for the heat of New Mexico!

Re-dos Redux: Miguel Adrover

Miguel Adrover
 
I buy used shirts to embellish and re-figure. I call them re-dos. There is a satisfaction in the recycling-reuse nature of this work. (Plus, I don’t have to make a shirt from scratch). I sent my friend Annie a couple of pictures from the black and white series I am working on and she replied by sending me the name of the master/designer extraordinaire:

 
Miguel Adrover, a Spaniard, taker apart-er, layer-er, of all manner of clothing.

 

He divides the used garments, and pairs them with similar or random tops, coats, or dresses. He takes mountains of the thick folded clothes piled one upon the other to create a structure to wear. It is hard to describe the nature of these clothes. They arrest the eye, are mysterious, and provoking.

 

He is an environmentalist, whose commitment defines the character of his work. He is an inspiration, not just because of this stance, but the free and passionate way he compiles and creates. Truly a designer for our time.

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