Friday, May 26, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Posy by Amy Reber

Crisp mornings in the Pacific Northwest with dew drops kissing the grass, majestic evergreen trees reaching for the sky, the smell of salt in the air when on a ferry in the Puget Sound and rugged, white-capped mountains that seem to hug you from every angle, are the framework for the place I am proud to call home.

Some of my fondest memories growing up in Washington are the times spent in the yard of my childhood home.  Even as a young child I can distinctly remember being aware of its beauty, and I
always felt we had the best yard around! The sheer size of the yard made it an incredible place to play. In addition to size, it had a stream, a bridge and waterfalls which added so much to the hours I played outside with my twin brother and our friends, ah the 1970s!

As an adult, looking back, it was truly a masterpiece of color, design and inspiration.  Willow trees, dogwood trees (my favorite flowering tree to this day), cherry blossoms, purple irises, azaleas, rhododendrons, roses….I could go on and on.

But what makes it so special for me is that this richly-hued landscape was entirely the handiwork of my exceptionally talented mom. Donning her rubber boots, which are a must in WA, and with her basic metal watering can, spade and shears, she’d lovingly tend to the leaves and blooms of her treasured garden nearly every day, rain or shine.  

The pride she took in cultivating such beauty and joy was really inspiring and it has very much influenced the designs I create as an artist. Though none of the designs in Posy are directly taken from the garden of my childhood, they do reflect the vibrancy and joy that mom’s garden evoked.
Color is incredibly important to me and the original palette for Posy are the Rosa colors with the bright red, yellow, green and black. The yellow is a special homage to the yellow rose bush that my mom took with her from her Mom’s garden when she and my father retired to the San Juan Islands where she has created a new garden that my children now enjoy and will  -  I hope - one day remember with fondness just as I remember the garden of my youth.

As I think about quilting and how designs are created and color schemes are formed, I think of how my mom planned her organic quilt of sorts. She took great care in considering color, placement and plant size and much like quilters love to shop for fabric, my mom gets the same joy out of shopping for the perfect flower or shrub to add to her “outdoor quilt.”

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Sunny Isle by Jennifer Paganelli

So picture an Island in the Caribbean surrounded by beautiful beaches and miles of ocean to forever and sometimes the shape of another island appears on the horizon or a ships silhouette and we all get excited and stand on the balcony or our home and the one who spotted it gets all the kudos.  

What we don’t realize is that we live differently from most folks and sometimes the extraordinary vision becomes everyday common place.  Its those memories of wonder that have seared into my memory and come through every time I sit down in my studio to create a collection. Sunny Isle is no different. It was the place we went to see a movie at the local theatre or shop at Woolworths.  It was on the other side of the island and felt so far away. I have never left there. St. Croix has never left me.  Salt water patinas on everything . Faded fabrics from the sun with highlights of their originality tucked into the folds of the fabric. That’s what I try to capture that faded piece with the unseen actual color way on the underside. The one that didn’t see the sun.  I like fabrics to glow that’s where I find the best of me.

So for quilters these fabrics and their resulting quilts love to make you happy.  I start with a happy heart and add joy. These colors burst on the scene with sunshine at their backs.  These colors inspired by the islands of my early childhood will take you places its almost like “vacation was woven into the fabric”  You begin thinking bright beach chairs,sun umbrellas, swimsuits and beach towels when you see these designs, its if we took your memories of all your vacations and wove them up.  So go ahead Welcome a baby, snuggle a pet , stay warm with your loved one, let it spark happiness in your mind. Let the fabric evoke that place in you where you first felt loved.  I hope I get to be that quilt. 
Sunny Stars Quilt designed by Monique Reynolds

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Artist UnSEWn Series-TokyoMilk presents Neptune & the Mermaid by Margot Elena

Q&A with Margot Elena!  A fun chat discussing her TokyoMilk presents Neptune & the Mermaid collection.  

Q: You are an internationally known Perfumer & Packaging Designer know for sophisticated layered fragrances and beautiful products. That's drawn you to design fabric?

A: When I design a new collection, I design in four senses. First, the visual, how your eye is drawn to the sparkle of a glass bubble bath bottle. The way the product feels when you pick it up. I use a range of materials in my lines from crystals, embossed linen papers, to natural wood boxes, like in Library of Flowers. I think about the way a product sounds as someone engages with it. Lollia candles have cut-glass crystals hanging from the side that tap against the luminary. Our bath salt sachets have paper wrapped in soft fabric that crinkles when held. And of course, the fragrances are the final piece of the puzzle.

I say all of this to preface the fact that my collections are often inspired by the warmth and texture of fabrics. Both fragrance and fabric can capture ones imagination. They are invitations to immerse into a moment.

I have stacks of beautiful vintage textile design books that I've collected over the years, filled with original gouache paintings and printed samples. Some of those one-of-a-kind patterns have inspired my packaging designs, and the patterns I am creating for textiles. I am so excited to finally be designing fabric - I have wanted to do this forever!

Q: TokyoMilk by Margot Elena is a cult-classic fragrance brand, including TokyoMilk Dark,
TokyoMilk Light, and now Neptune & the Mermaid. Do each of these collections speak to different audiences?

A: I believe fragrance is so powerful - one scent is never the same on two wearers, and it's never exactly the same scent day-to-day. Fragrance is alive and evolves with our body chemistry and our mood - it's the most intimate "accessory" we can select.
While the collections within TokyoMilk, such as Dark & Light, each tell different stories, they are not meant for one specific audience. The wearer chooses their own path moment-to-moment. Perhaps a woman wears TokyoMilk Light in the morning, Neptune & The Mermaid perfume for lunch with friends, and TokyoMilk Dark for a date night - she decides what her story will be.

Q: Neptune & The Mermaid is full of bright punked-up classic patterns paired with surreal scenes of mermaids, octopods, and guardian goldfish. Is there a story you're telling through this collection?
There's always something curious and unexpected to TokyoMilk - and that's represented in this fabric line. I had such a great time dreaming up the patterns for Neptune & The Mermaid fabric, where you have to look twice to see all that there is to see.

A: Similar to creating a fragrance story with top, middle, and bottom notes, the fabric line is a visual narrative told in dreamlike ephemeral collages. By mixing & matching patterns, it becomes a choose your own adventure, inspiring creations that are as pretty as you please, or as unexpected as you dare. I want the person shopping at their local fabric store to feel like they can create their own story. My patterns are just the beginning of the tale.
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