hand painted silk

Show Times

Returned back from the show last Sunday night, but headed straight into holiday planning as soon as I woke on Monday. I'm finally coming up for air.

I didn't pay for internet access at the show, too expensive and not necessary. Turns out I didn't have free internet at the hotel either. But frankly, I was too tired to do anything more than eat and sleep anyway.

Many of you have wondered how the show went. As always, it was a mix. I was pleased with my booth and the buying crowd wasn't all that bad. Most exhibitors felt that breaking even was a good number for a first time show. Richard did a great job promoting it. He also jazzed the show up by having many demonstrations and even some drawing sessions with models. He is looking to put a committee of artists together to help plan for next years' show.

If anything, I came away with an acute understanding of how very important merchandising and salesmanship are. Of course, I have always known this. But this show really brought those realities home for me. I'm just not a salesman. I try. But I'm too shy about it. I simply get tired of talking. Three days chatting it up from 10am to 7pm seems to not be in my realm of skill sets. I hate admitting a failing. But it is well over due. I have to either stop doing retail shows, or make sure to hire a good salesperson to come with me. The cost of the salesperson should make itself over several times. I did however, certainly see an increase of traffic to my website during and after the show. Always a good sign.

The next scheduled show is the Rosen wholesale show in Philly. I'm looking forward to this one. My job between now and February is to work on the book and make samples. Yahoo!. Although I am planning a holiday sale at the studio. Probably on the 12th. I'm trying to get a few more artists to set up shop with me. And there is always teaching. Looks like I have enough students to run another surface design class.

Also, two fellows from the show will be coming up to take my dyeing workshop in January. I'm looking forward to that as well.

Snowing this afternoon in Western MA. Simply beautiful.

New Work

This is one of my latest pieces of wearable art. It is made from a very light weight china silk. I started with a 3 yard piece of fabric that was stretched on a frame. I then painted it with Setasilk textile paints.

The funny thing about this piece is that it all happen accidentally. I usually buy my spray bottles from Prochemical and Dye along with textile paints and dyes. The bottle I was familiar with was sold out. So I ordered something different. When I first started spraying, I was aghast that it was a dribbler!!

Of course I hadn't tried it out beforehand on a scrap piece of fabric. Not wanting to be wasteful, and always working with the assumption that if it is already bad, I might as well keep going, since there was nothing to loose, I continued.

Low and behold the dribble method of spraying created this wonderful effect. The secret was to wait very patiently for each layer to dry, before spraying on another layer of color. I also used a silk flower as a resist throughout the layers. Moving the resist around between layers created a lovely "ghost" image of the flower.The final step was to add the blue and pink foil.

I have gotten wonderful reactions to the jacket. It has been refereed to as my "Monet" or "Gustaf Klimt" jacket. People love the easy fit to this pattern. It was created by inserting large gussets in the side seams. With no button closer, it has the freedom to float around and behind your body as you walk. Very fun and luxurious!

I'll be bringing it with me to the Berkshire Arts Festival in Great Barrington, MA this July 2, 3, and 4. It is always a beautiful weekend to be in the Berkshires. I'd love to see you there!

One of a Kind Show New York 2009

Back from the One of a kind Show in New York City last week. It was so very cold! But as we walked through Columbus Circle every evening with the Christmas lights twinkling overhead and our steamy breath lingering in front of us it was magic. The show itself didn't bring many sales, but I understood from the start that it was going to be an information gathering show more than any thing else. Between the early morning seminars the show offered every day, and the wealth of information and ideas my seasoned booth neighbors offered, I feel it was definitely time well spent. The most informative seminars were one presented by a group called Hello Craft and one by Bruce Baker who talked about booth design and salesmanship!! Later he visited the booths of artists who were interested in a personal critique. All very, very helpful. The show also held daily fashion shows with real models, a runway and speaker. It was so exciting to see my clothing in that context.