Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arts and Crafts Revival

This piece is in homage to the original movement of the later 19th century that sought to raise aesthetic standards as well as improve conditions for workers, believing that beauty was a result best achieved by contented labor.and that beautiful design would improve the whole of society. That they were thinking in wholistic, sophisticated terms well advanced of the capitalist economic sector, deserves respect and remembrance. We should also be reminded that they were eventually undermined by the marketing of the machine made as being the better more modern product.

So here's to the great handmade revival, the crafters uprisings and all that creative independence and here's to you Stickley, Morris, Engels, Ashbee, Wright, the most famous Anonymous and all who followed their art. I thank you for the beauty you gave this world.

Oh and the chair was painted and stenciled. The seat fabric was replaced and machine stitched to mirror the pattern of the chairs back with a little trapunto to punch out the design.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

re-do Home Ec fashion

This 80's chrome chair was a 3rd level rescue. After washing the rust brown velveteen I appliqu├ęd the floral motif using a fusible adhesive with topstitching then stippled the centers. Curves work well if you dislike fraying; edge stitch the straights to keep them tame. This chair still isn't comfortable with the bar back but it looks great and works in the studio for a short perch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Okay, I am a harpy when it comes to fashion I abhor the fast fashists. I realize that Godot isn’t coming, Uncle Sam is lunching with Big Brother and sorry, yes, Oz was faked. So let’s embrace the truth for denial is absurd and boring.

I read “The Waste Makers”: by Vance Packard (1960) over summer. This book showed up when I made a wrong turn. I flipped it open and read “In the fifties, designers in a great many fields earnestly studied the obsolescence-creating techniques pioneered in the field of clothing and accessories, particularly those for women,” Then, later “Every industry tries to emulate the women’s fashion industry. This is the key to modern marketing.” (page 71 ) The universe spoke and I was paying attention.

So now I am angry. I feel used, manipulated, disrespected even and yet I can’t just un-love “fashion”. Style, good design and change are part of the best of being human; we are drawn to beauty, novelty, fresh ideas. The question is how to navigate the balance between desire and need? What is style lust and what is the longer, loving relationship that is considerate to the unity of life and planet. and is it possible to have both?

Perhaps the answer is in the natural progression that evolves from street expressions as culture and art combine. New Wave, Punk, Goth and Grunge with Hip Hop opening the door for Rap; all names that evoke the power and influence of Street Up Style. It’s the music, clothing and expression of change, the voices for alternatives. The Beats of the 50’s influenced Givenchy. The spare simple lines of the black Capri pants and turtleneck sweater he designed for Audrey Hepburn was plucked from the coffee houses. The look became fashion news when it appeared on the big screen The cycle constantly repeats as ideas are snagged and then sold by those with the means to exploit them

Sustainable style is the antidote to the fashion pushers. It embraces the heart and mind, is ethical and wholistic, it is the alternative to madness. It is recycouture and organic cottons. It is repurposing and hemp. It is about taking responsibility and taking care of a great place called earth in a great venture called life. Sustainable style is about empowerment and saying no to being used and it is up to each one of us.

Privatizers and pillagers are cracking the Wall of Denial in many sectors; yet consumer habits are hard to break. Stay tuned……

Monday, October 8, 2007

Display for Sustainable Ballard Festival

Full Circle Window

I want to thank:
Patricia of the Full Circle Yarn Shop in Ballard for her support of the Recycouture classes and her window.
Lou Kinner of Nelson's Sewing Machine for repairs on the machines that were donated for use by
The Wallingford Senior Center, Marcella and
The Northwest Senior Center who also provided the space to work in,
and to the wonderful people I had the pleasure of guiding as they turned out some really great, creative pieces.
Andrea, Beatrice, Carol, Christine, Debra, Nicole, Vija and Vivienne!
You all are an inspiration and a lot of fun.