Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
UNIFORM Studio, Summer 2007, Summer Stripe Raglan
I’ve been working on some summer things for kids, a few of which will be in my shop update tomorrow, 5.30.07. (I’ll be updating it at approximately noon, CST).
I had lots of plans for summer items, but not alot of time to execute them. Hopefully I’ll have time for a few more before we’re in the thick of summer and thinking about fall.
These raglan t’s and dresses are a tissue weight cotton interlock, which is perfect for summer. I overdyed the original red and off white stripe with a dove grey, which deepened the red and muted the whole palette, softening it just a bit.
UNIFORM Studio, Summer 2007, Summer Stripe Raglan dress
I’ll also have a few women’s clothing items and some more girls linen simple dresses in the update.
And speaking of Etsy, I ran across this amazing shop the other day. Le Bouton makes simple, modern children’s clothing with a European sensibility. Really beautiful fabrics and details. They have a journal too.
Friday, May 25th, 2007
I worked out a simple plan for the remodeling of our lower level*. As you can see from the existing plan below, there aren’t many changes. The main plan change is to open up the wall between the two big rooms (play space and studio) at each end of the existing wall, to make it feel more open and to share the light from the two little high windows that are on opposite ends of each room.
Right now the space is in total disrepair due to a bad build-out in the 60’s and major water damage. If there is any money left after gutting the space, drain tiling the concrete slab and fixing some major plumbing problems (yikes), we’d like to do an epoxy resin topping, new lighting throughout, white cabinetry and a wood veneer plywood on the entire long wall of the play space.
Next to actually having a space to work in other than the dining room, I think I’m most excited about the long desk that spans the length of the wall between the two spaces. Besides providing space for the computer, my sewing machines and tons of storage, visually I feel it will link the two spaces and make it seem like a larger, more open space.
Now on to the not-so-simple part: figuring out how much this will cost.
(sorry about the poor quality plans -I haven’t figured out how to get my illustrator drawings into an uploadable format without compromising quality. Click on the images to see them a little better in flickr)
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007
Carson has tagged me for a meme. In this cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes* I am supposed to list 7 random facts about myself. She also correctly surmised that this isn’t really my sort of thing (see item 4 below), but in the spirit of social belonging here we go (imagine deer in the headlights superimposed with fake grin here):
1. I had to look up the definition of the word meme (see above*).
2. My favorite word is scurvy and sometimes I say it aloud to make myself laugh.
3. When I was young I wanted to be an accountant.
4. I am painfully shy and socially awkward which often translates into something else completely as I try to overcompensate.
5. I have been fingerprinted twice. The second time they couldn’t get prints from two of my fingers as apparently they have worn away.
6. I LOVE candy. The look, feel, texture, taste, idea, packaging -all kinds except circus peanuts.
7. I haven’t owned a television set since 1996.
Some other random things-
A picture of the cell dress (and its random cells) for those who were wondering how it fits:
This work in progress is beautifully simple.
And -I just realized that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend. How did that happen? Not a good weekend for a shop update, so I am going to change it (again) to Wednesday, May 30th. Sorry to be so disorganized.
I tag Ah Yi, Daphne, Eireann, Kelly, Jen, Maria & Sally for the meme. Sorry if this isn’t your thing…
Friday, May 18th, 2007
sketching on the bus
I work best when I have some parameters to work within – an idea or concept that I can use to bump up against when making decisions about form, function, material, etc. If I don’t have this, there are just too many possibilities and not enough time to try them all out. If I have an underlying concept , I can quickly eliminate things that don’t fit within this framework and work on developing a few ideas more fully. This is a natural way to work when designing something complex, like a building, but I think it’s appropriate for all types of design.
My spring line of women’s clothing started with an idea that had been running around in my head for awhile: taking a simple shape and making it less ordinary by reducing it in spots (subtracting), emphasizing a beautifully simple shape. I started by making quick sketches on the bus. I have to say here that I feel a bit vulnerable showing these stream of consciousness doodles -at the time I made them I had no real ideas, just forms in my head.
But as I kept drawing and thinking I returned again and again to the sketch of this tunic with the deep v neck and elastic. Something about the shape seemed right when thinking about subtracting. The front and back integral with the sleeves, darts to add shape by reducing material, just a slash for the head opening, and then using the elastic to draw the fabric away from the neck.
UNIFORM Studio: gather -Spring 2007
Even though this looks simple, it actually took me a long time to figure out. Many patterns were drawn, several prototypes made and it still needs tweaking. But I love the developing part. And from this the idea of gathering just seemed to grow. There are still elements of subtraction in some of the pieces and I will continue to explore that idea, but for this collection I ended up focusing on shaping through gathering. And I feel like I could continue with this idea for years. You can see the whole collection here.
The trunk show was really fun. The best part was seeing old friends, and meeting some new ones. Having people introduce themselves to me and tell me that they read my journal was delightfully surreal. Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come -it was wonderful to meet you in person.
And thank you as well to all who have commented on these designs in the last few days. As usual when I am nearing the end of a big push, I start to question everything I have done and feel like nothing is working. Your kind and encouraging words were exactly what I needed and gave me the energy to finish.
One final note: I have postponed my shop update until Sunday, May 27th. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I scheduled it for this Sunday, but I’m tired…and I need a break.
Friday, May 11th, 2007
wrap, UNIFORM Studio, Spring 2007
I am in a whirlwind of finishing up pieces for an upcoming trunk show as well as final grades for my design studio (which happen to be due the same day as the trunk show –why does that always happen?).
I have been working with the idea of gather, and I have to say I feel really excited about my process. Each piece seems to lead to a new one, and it feels to me like they are holding together as a group. Lots of elastic, tucks and gathering. I haven’t had time to take many photos yet, hopefully soon.
There will be about 6 designers. If you’re interested, here are the details for the show:
Spring Trunk Show and Sale
Thursday, May 17th – Sunday, May 20th
Opening: Thursday 6-10pm
311 West 50th Street
If you’re in town, stop by and say hi. I’ll be the one in this dress.
And here’s some inspiration for you for the weekend. My latest web crush is ah-yi. Another architect and she is also an aspiring textile designer. Take a look at this pattern design – swoon.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Tomorrow my architecture students present their final projects. I have been teaching an architecture studio for the last 6 years, and I still have that feeling at the end of the semester: Did I teach them what they needed to learn, did they learn enough, was it valuable? Do they look around at their world in a new way? I know I do.
This is our studio space, although it didn’t look quite that clean earlier this evening when I stopped by to check in on them.
I haven’t actually had my own studio space since I was in school. The photo above is my “studio” now, but it’s also the dining room, playroom and office. It’s the biggest room in our very compact house, but it often feels pretty small trying to accommodate all of these activities. And the level of clutter? Let’s just say I cleaned up a bit for this photo. You can see the other side of the room here. (by the way, the cabinets are walnut and they were made by my good friend Matt).
Right now I am in the very very beginning stages of designing a studio space that will go in our lower level (that sounds so much better than basement doesn’t it?) It’s a long way off, but so fun to dream about. I am envisioning a very open white space, with lots of light (electric, alas) and big work tables in the middle. I have an aversion to furniture pushed up against walls. I think what I see in my head says Donald Judd, and the reality is basement. Oh well -it’s fun to dream. It will just be life changing to have a studio.
In the meantime, I need some organization in my current workspace. I know the perspective of this photo is a little wonky, but I wanted to show the three high windows. I was thinking that one of these pin+strips would be perfect on the wall under each window. Good thing Sally just opened her shop. (each window is 4’4″, if you’re wondering Sally:))
It looks like Amanda is dreaming of a new studio too. I am excited to see what she comes up with.