I worked up-state this weekend – warm days and freezing nights – perfect.
A rat with a very ratty back made from mrs. brown’s skirt. The remains of that skirt have been languishing in deep storage but it occurred to me last week that the strange weave would make a fabulous rat. It’s difficult stuff to sew but that difficulty inspired this new back detail/ texture I like, especially in profile.
And a delicate songbird – I began about a year ago.
She made a lot of progress over the weekend and this may finally be her week.
I also spent some time wondering around and looking at stuff like this down on it’s luck house.
There are a few more weekend photos on instagram. And even so early in the season there were a couple great yard sales and a friend with a glorious old farmhouse was down sizing before a move and gave me some marvelous things, so I hauled back a toyota full of treasures I’ll show you later.
I’m finishing up boat orders this week – if you’re waiting for one they will all be off by Monday. Merry Wobblers are preparing to board their boats, raise their sales and depart.
So long Wobblers.
I’m also working on a collection of new Fortuny creatures for their Venice showroom. I stopped by the New York showroom last week and got lots of beautiful and inspiring fabric to work with.
P.S. If you are in NY or will be before March 30th there is a wonderful exhibit at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute curated by Oscar de la Renta of of the work of Fortuny y Madrazo (1871–1949).
I’m working on a new shape, a new creature. For me this is all about persistence: lots of drafts, prototypes , experiments, failures and adjustments. So many failures and adjustments – these are just some:
Over the weekend I felt close enough to the shape I was looking for to cleanup the pattern and try one in good fabric. After a few more pattern refinements and adjustments I finished a little fellow made from beautiful silvery grey Fortuny fabric tonight and I’m going to photograph him in the morning - here’s a little shadow preview of him on an evening stroll through the toadstools.
These are the two of the qualities I wanted my mushrooms to have – a sense of sponginess and sometimes a little oddness in the shapes.
I also very much wanted a concave underside for the cap – that has been the biggest struggle in creating the patterns and process . I didn’t want to make something realistic or botanical, not this time anyway, but I did want a great deal of mushroom-ness. Mushroom strangeness. Also contributing to mushroom-ness, I hope, are the curvy stems and tilted caps – impossible balance but for stem bottoms weighted with glass bead fill thanks to a tip from abby glassenberg.
It’s marvelous stuff. It is also magical stuff- pretty and sparkly and there is some delight and ceremony in taking out the wooden box I keep it in and spooning a bit into the stem.
There are new Fortuny toad stools too- I’ll show you those and more new things from that collection tomorrow.
Not exactly suddenly - my ideal mushroom shape has been eluding me for years. And this shape is still a work in progress – as the scale changes the pattern and technique have to be adjusted – but I’m very happy with the last few trys. I wish I had time to make more right now but there are lots of other projects that are more urgent this week.
Above – another, larger and made from vintage and antique garments in shades of black. And below a new little arrangement of things on my wall that’s making me happy right now – including a new sort of mini owl- more on those soon.
Happy Columbus Day where applicable and one more photo – some new, dark gimlet eyed owls in progress:
A long time ago, way back in 2010 I visited the Fortuny showroom here in NYC to talk about making some creatures with their exquisite fabrics. There have been fits and starts and interruptions in the process but lately solid progress has been made towards creating a full collection of creatures that will be available beginning this fall.
Working with patterns, large scale patterns, has challenged how I think about my owls in particular and some interesting things are happening.
More progress photos soon as well as information on where and when things will be available.
I’ve started several new owls including the two robust grey fellows below. The owl on the left is made from a silvery Fortuny pattern and the other from marvelous Japanese textiles courtesy of Sri.
I have also gathered a little pile of things for another fabric ship and owl captain – a moodier pallet than the last – I love the purplish tones – those are for the ship and the indigos are for the little captain. These are all Japanese and again courtesy of Sri. These are the colors I’ve been most attracted to for weeks now – silver, stone shades, and bits of violets and blues
I finished the quilt ship but I haven’t taken it’s official photo yet, this is an instagram shot of the very nearly finished ship and captain.
I found this great old quilt top upstate a while ago.
Unfortunately a lot of it is too damaged to sew but I love the colors and prints and there is enough for a couple boats and ships.
The pattern for this ship evolved out of my fabric sailboat pattern as I was revising it a little before teaching the boat making class at Squam. It’s just about complete now and I’ll photograph it later this week. There is a little gentleman sailor captain.
I ‘m pleased with the shape and I’ve already begun another ship in a kind of grayish hibiscus color that’s been on my mind lately.