What does it mean to stay above the fray in the textile world?
Manufacturing locally is the biggest way that I stay above the fray while creating high-end, luxury fabrics. I embrace the highest level of quality from concept to production. My studio creates all printed yardage, displays, roadlines, memos, and many of our promotional materials in house and by hand. We also do tons of one-offs and experimental pieces. All this is accomplished while sustaining a minimal footprint on the environment. My linen grounds are eco-friendly and vegan. The custom formulated paints we use are non-toxic and water-based. Their formulas are manufactured locally by Jacquard, in Healdsburg. I am continually learning about new ways to manufacture a sustainable product for a very discerning client. I also want to feel expansive with new products as opposed to feeling like I am using a watered down version of the real thing. There is more to do here and I am excited about the future. This process is pretty expensive in terms of manufacturing costs - production.
Staying true to the Eco-friendly without losing sight of my creative vision.
I employ local artists and students that bring not only years of experience to the work but an eagerness to learn the esoteric processes that I have learned and developed for nearly 20 years. Its also pretty awesome to employ people that might have trouble finding a creative job or a job that utilizes/values their unique skill set as a fine arts painter and/or otherwise creative person in the arts.
Employing people locally supports the arts. This spurs creativity and the credence that creativity has in our lives.
Local employment reduces the need of fossil fuels and enhances the local economy. This helps build community and sustainability.
Although my formal background is in sculpture, my textile work is steeped in tradition that began for me with my apprenticeship with Mark Thomas, textile artist. I worked for "free" in exchange for after hours studio time. Here, I learned how to create woodblocks and woodblock prints, shibori, and the dying of fabrics. I wanted to be his eyes and ears and hands. Mark fascinated me (and still does). My role was to anticipate his next move and facilitate his needs whether by handing him a needed tool or shlepping a wet lump of fabric to a drying station. I did many routine and laborious tasks. I watched and listened and supported him. I allowed him more room to be the incredible genius he is. What I learned from him was a treasure and I am grateful for those early beginnings.