Friday, August 31st, 2007
simple dress, UNIFORM Studio, Fall 2007
photograph by Steven Visneau for small magazine
The new fall issue of small magazine is online and and it’s beautiful. Their concept of focusing on design for kids from small and independent companies is unique and such a great contrast to the usual mass marketed products and advertising. There are a ton of great illustrations, interesting products and projects to make things for and with your kids. Don’t miss their previous issues as well.
I am thrilled that they have used some of my children’s clothing in their photo shoots for this issue. Go take a look.
wrap sweater dress, UNIFORM Studio, Fall 2007
photograph by Steven Visneau for small magazine
Friday, August 24th, 2007
A whole year has passed since my first journal entry here. It’s unbelievable to me how many interesting people from around the world I have met in just one year, all because of this of this little diary. I started this as a way to record my design thoughts and process (you all know by now how much I like to talk about process), but now there is this other aspect -the ongoing conversation with people who bring a point of view that is shaped by different experiences and cultures -that has become really important to me and motivates me to continue. Thank you.
Looking back over the year of writing, I thought I would re-post my first entry, as it really is the essence of how I think about process, making and inspiration.
The Sweater and the Sweatshirt
I think about texture a lot. And material and light. And what makes things beautiful to me. I like seeing how things are made, and how their form takes shape through the making. There is a simple beauty to things where the making process is integral to the form as opposed to a form that is embellished with a printed pattern.
It’s like the difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt. The sweater is formed by the linking of stitches -it’s shape and pattern come from the structure of the garment. If the stitches are taken away there is no form. A sweatshirt has a pattern or logo printed onto it. The pattern has no relationship to the shape of the garment – if you remove it the sweatshirt remains intact.
The sweater is much more complex in its making than the sweatshirt, but has a more simple beauty. When I look around, this type of simple beauty is what inspires me.
Process, making and inspiration.
Thursday, August 16th, 2007
columnar tunic, UNIFORM Studio, Indigo, Fall 2007
The +/- show is next Thursday, August 23rd, here in Minneapolis. This year it’s at the Soo visual arts center, which has a great space and location. We are super lucky to have mnartists.org as a sponsor. There will be food and drinks and a 4 piece jazz band. Should be fun – stop by if you’re in town. Here are the participants and details:
Too Many Suitors
boiled art editions
Brittany Foster Jewelry
Jon Renzella, printmaker
Zoe Adler-Resnik jewelry
Tia Salmela Keobounpheng
I will have women’s clothing and accessories. You can see images of some of the things here.
I know I said I would be updating the shop at the end of July and here it is mid-August. Now I’m getting ready for the show, and school is starting in a week and a half. Looks like it won’t be until mid-september until I get to it. I do have one of each of the children’s items from the summer into fall collection in size 5, and a few size 6’s. You can email me if you’re interested.
The one in ten auction starts this Sunday, August 19th. If you haven’t already, go take a look at the donated items. There are some really beautiful things. All of the details about how to bid should be up on the site shortly.
Saturday, August 11th, 2007
Thank you for all the nice comments on the stone bag. I had worked on it so long I was tired of it – hearing your positive feedback makes me want to continue to refine it. A few people asked what I would change. It’s really in the details. The edge stitch I used isn’t quite right yet, and takes a long time to do. The time isn’t really the issue for me, but rather the time vs. quality quotient. Not quite equal yet. I think I also want to use a heavier fabric for the exterior.
This is another bag I have been working on. Here I was trying to make a textural example of a gradient. I have seen some beautiful examples lately of color that blurs together from bleaching the fabric or gradation dyeing. I thought I would try to do it by shading the fabric through stitching. It’s really hard to capture in the photographs, and it would probably be more apparent with black thread, but there is a subtle, random gradation. I also really like the edge between the stitched and non-stitched fabric. If you look close, it sort of looks blurred.
I love this woven and dyed piece, especially the narrow blurred edge between the white and indigo. I might try something with a higher contrast like this using the same stitching technique from the bag.
The bag is rather large, and fits nicely over the shoulder. Sorry for not posting a photo with it in use -it’s just too hot here for anything more than quick snapshots. The shape was loosely inspired by this great photo of little buckets that Lisa Solomon took on her recent trip to Japan. And if you haven’t seen her collection of photos from the trip, go take a look. Really amazing. Even more amazing is her installation for the Currently West exhibition in the Koumimachi Museum, by Tadao Ando. Completely blew me away.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
stone bag, UNIFORM Studio, Fall, 2007
In architecture, the simpler and more minimal something is, the harder it is to construct (generally). It’s difficult to have clean edges where materials meet without covering them up with trim.
I don’t know why I thought it would be different when sewing something. I had this idea for a really simple, flat bag, with a shape based on a flat stone I have that I really like. I made a simple little sketch. Two pieces, with a contrasting color on the inside, integral handle, bound together on the edges.
Many iterations (and a pile of discards) later, I feel like I almost have it.
Friday, August 3rd, 2007
When Eireann told me weeks ago about the auction to raise money for her mother, who had just suffered a brain aneurysm, I knew that naturally I would make something. Here was something concrete that I could do in a situation where I was otherwise unable to help a friend.
I had no idea of what that concrete thing would be. I guess it didn’t matter -I just set out to make. This isn’t something new – I have boxes of experiments like this combining different materials, techniques and processes. For me, the act of making, without thinking about what will be made, usually results in something unexpected. The unexpected might be physical or phenomenal, but it almost always becomes something.
This time that wasn’t happening. I became so wrapped up in the process that I didn’t want to stop making to make a thing. It felt good to be able to physically do something. In the end, of course, I had to make something. It feels sort of random to me though, this object.
The act of making, as a verb, is hidden. Once something is made, the focus is on the object. Yet in an auction like One in Ten the engagement and force of 30 people coming together to make seems just as important if not more so than the things that are the result.
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
Added: An excellent article about the outrage over how something this tragic could happen.
Thank you everyone for your emails of concern -my family and I are fine.
My husband drives over the bridge twice a day with the boys, taking them to their school, which is just a few blocks away. Last night he went a different way. Two friends drove underneath 5 minutes before the collapse, another stopped to talk to a co-worker and missed it by 5 minutes. We are so lucky.
Please keep those less fortunate in your thoughts today.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
During my recent explorations into subtractive processes, I started wondering if it is possible to subtract by adding. Starting with a thick fuzzy wool, I began subtracting the pile by stitching over it to flatten it. I became so entranced by the process of stitching, it sort of got away from me. Complete textural overload.
Some simpler, more calming things to look at today:
This little house, and its setting, is just perfect.
I want to step inside each of the polaroids in this set.
Eireann has updated her shop with the new oceanside collection. So pretty -go take a look.
oh, and I almost forgot –YES.