Friday, November 30, 2007

Press | A4

A bit of press from the beautiful Polish fashion magazine A4. Their coverage of the paper fashion show in Athens (and now elsewhere) is extensive and exciting, and I'm happy to be peeking in from the left side. Thanks A4!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Seamster Christmas Cheer | Aretha

In order to cheer myself up after a less than ideal doctor's visit, I bought a wreath and decorated it with dried flowers from friends. A bit of holiday cheer from 306!

A photo I am less excited to share | Hitchin'

A visit to the doctor yesterday ensured that my thumb is healing well and that I'm moving right along. It also ensured that I'll have to wear this new, even more limited and irritating splint for another 4-6 weeks. Saying I'm frustrated is an understatement. I cant as much as pick up a pencil. How on earth will I make costume renderings and finish commissions?

Anyone wanna hitch hike across the country for the holidays?
Any suggestions on how to make this monstrosity more attractive? I have some ideas but am, of course, open to yours.


The main reason I have not posted many photos from my trip is because I simply didnt take many. My hours were so occupied with other responsibilities that grabbing the cam for cute captures wasnt much of a possibility. Nonetheless, here are a few moments I'd like to share.

My wonderful assistants Paulina and Anya. I would have been lost without these two. They remain my top two reason to return to Poland.

Bleak and cold at moments...but still quite beautiful.

A happy seamster below a great big necktie.

Anya's boots made me squeal! She's part-fawn.

The infamous studio...offering up a lovely pattern overlay.

Tomec: reason #3 I'll return. He managed the unthinkable: being funny in a language that is not your own.

The source of my gluttony.

A building the the square across from my hotel.

The interior of a club inside a converted sugarcane factory which now hosts live music, theatre events, a cafe, a restaurant, etc. Its in Prague, a neighborhood known for its new bohemian tennants and late night stabbings.

A prototype for a wolf costume. Arf!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bringing It All Back Home

I’m on a plane from Warsaw to Chicago…hovering somewere over the Atlantic ocean at the moment. My stay in Warsaw finished on such a positive note; our run through was a success, most designs for the show have been confirmed and warmly received by Mr. Wilson, and I was even lucky enough to enjoy a day of sight seeing before flying back.

Saturday night Katarzyna Figura, one of the actresses in the show, hosted a fun and relaxing party at the restaurant she owns in Warsaw. I’ve come to learn that Kasia is quite famous in Poland…one of the country’s biggest celebrities and most famous performers. She evidently made a name for herself in the 80s in a number of films, and has since found work on the stage as her career matures and continues. She’s wonderful and kind…exciting to have her in the cast.

After the party we moved on to dinner with roasted duck and baked apples, a Polish standard, then some vodka and dancing at a neighborhood club to follow. Being on the town with my new friends was great. And we all know how dancing can take a friendship from good to great in no time at all.

After sleeping the morning away, Sunday took me to the National Museum where we skimmed over the older historic works to spend the bulk of our time in the Wispianski galleries. An absolute key player in Polish art history, Wispianski’s paintings, drawings, and theatrical design is quite amazing. Art nouveau works of this sort have always excited me, and these are particularly charming and inspiring. The monograph I purchased at the museum is a wonderful catalog of his works, and this illustration of a chair design is particularly amazing. Modern technical drawings generally bore me – they’re spit out of a computer, afterall. These hand-done illustrations from the past are endlessly exciting, however. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I first saw it in the gallery, and now I own a nice reproduction in my new book. I anticipate a series of new works of my own that will use this drawing and others of the sort as my primary source material. Its like a tailor’s diagram. Its like an entirely utilitarian tool that suddenly became art. Its like an abstract but spirited moment that accidentally became an articulately considered design for a chair. Its like a little piece of heaven.

Sunday continued with bits of shopping and searching for ways to fit everything into my suitcase. Per usual, I’m flying home with much more than I came with.

Saying goodbye to my fantastic new friends Paulina, Anya and Tomec was sad. This trip could have been a drag without them. Knowing that I’ll be seeing them again certainly made goodbyes easier, though. Neither Anya nor Paulina have been to the states yet, so I’ll be on a mission to find a reason for that to happen. Tomec is slated for another stint in NYC…either this summer or next year once he finishes school. He’s young, but his skill and charm are going to take him to very big and exciting places. Its rare to find people in the world with as much spirit and life in their eyes as these three. I’m so happy to know them.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Final Days | Teatr Dramatyczny

I'm in the final leg of my visit here in warsaw, and progress on the show is moving forward, designs being confirmed and falling into place, and my itch to return to my normal life growing stronger every minute. This afternoon we have a full run-through of everything that has been developed up until this point, which will be a nice chance to see the piece as it is at the moment, play with all of the costume prototypes I have made on the actors as they perform, and negotiate further thoughts for the designs that have yet to be confirmed.

I'm happy to say that the majority of ideas I have brought to the table for the show have been accepted by Bob, and I see a chance for most of them to be refined for the final production. Of course there is always the challenge of ensuring one's own creative and visual voice is present when design for what is ultimately someone else's project. I'll save the details of that for over coffee with you sometime. In the meantime, I'll be working hard to not lose track of my own aesthetic this-n-that for this show, and will continue searching for a way to use this experience as a chance to grow.

Its looking more and more like this show will be performed at the Teatr Dramatyczny here here Warsaw; a beautiful old theatre in the Stalin-built Palace of Culture in the city's center. I visited yesterday with my assistants and wonderful new friends Paulina and Anya, and was able to meet the dress makers and tailors on hand who will be eventually bring my designs to life next fall. Their workspaces were beyond charming, and seeing these wonderful men and women work in the small shops was a joy; people so deeply steeped in traditional garment making are few and far between these days, and one of the biggest visible blessings for me at this point has to do with the fact that I will be able to work with them when I return next year. Here are a few of the women at work in their space. Sadly, my camera battery died immediately after taking this photo and I was not able to photograph the tailor's workshop like i had hoped. It was, more or less, the male equivalent of this space. Tweeds and worsteds on the racks instead of silks.

Things like this keep me excited.

After our run through this afternoon I'll be documenting the work I have done thus far, taking actor's measurements, and doing all I can to ensure I return to the states with as many of my ducks in a row as possible. This is the last chance i"ll see these people or performers for a year, and a lot more work has to happen while I'm back in Seattle. Having a full toolbox will be essential.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Studio | Balance

Now that Mr. Wilson has returned from New York, I have had to hand back my workspace so he can have an office. As we searched for a new workspace, the best and only option was the janitoral storage space inthe cloak room of the theatre.

I was flown across the world on 3 days notice, am staying at a swank hotel with a marble bathtub and decadent breakfasts, and I'm working in a janitor's closet. I'd take a hostel and stale breakfast in exchange for a drawing table and industrial sewing machine or two.

Its a good thing all of those years in art school preened me to make the most of dismal conditions and limited resources. Like Elisabetta said, "its the Watermill spirit all over again..."

She is SO right!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wilson Walk | No Seam Ripper

I have just returned from the local physician here in Warsaw and my stitches came out quite effortlessly. I was anticipating finding an American military base nearby to get treated since I was told by a nurse in the states that I could see a physician there very easily and have them bill my insurance back home. But, with no base nearby, Joanna was kind enough to schedule an appointment with a private doctor here. We called on Monday, got a 10:20 am appointment for Tuesday, and it is now 11:00 am and already I have seen the doctor, had my stitches removed, was consulted on what to do next, and stopped by a drug store for some odds and ends. the stitches came out with a tweezers and small curved blade that the doctor said was "not sharp enough because it was made in everything today. It was a little dull, though I'm not sure the far east is to blame. But, to tuck another feather in the cap of non-American health care, the doctor visit cost a mere 40 zlotys. Thats about 15 dollars, folks. No wait, clean rooms, a bi-lingual doctor and nurse...everything I could need. Amazing.

The injury is healing up great, but I do have to wear this contraption on my hand for another 5 days. Bummer. This means I'll be bound (and determined) for the rest of my stay here in Warsaw. Its a small price to pay, ultimately, and I'll do whatever is needed to make sure I have a happy little thumb in the end.

I'm so happy to be on the mend, I've found myself laughingly doing the "Wilson Walk" by myself in my workspace...some old school country in the background as a soundtrack. I think we'll be adding this to our repertoire of moves at the Little Red Hen when I return to Seattle.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Last Day With Stitches | Not My Last Day Stitching

Tomorrow I visit a Polish physician to have them look at my hand. The plan is to have my stitches removed, and my excitement is intense. I peek at the injury each day when I clean and re-dress it, and its healing quite nicely from what I can tell. Lets hope the physician feels the same way and will go running for his/her seam ripper.

That said, I've been pleased with how my drawing skills have come around with my hand so wrapped up and immobile. The large graphite sticks I purchased seemed to do the trick, and bigger is most definitely better. Here I am drawing out a flat model of what will someday be a large black angel wing made of reassembled umbrella parts.

Working In Warsaw

My drawings look very funny, thanks to this crazy mummified hand (note Man with Telephone at far left).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sleepless in Warsaw | Boring Post

For as well as I was doing, it seems I have managed to completely mess up my sleep schedule after 6 days in Warsaw. Its 1:22 am and I just finished 5 hours of sleep. The combination of working hard and jatlag have left me incredibly exhausted starting around 5pm, and every effort to just take a quick nap at the hotel has been overpowered and turns into a full night’s rest, more or less. So, here I sit…wide away…anxiously awaiting breakfast in 7 hours.

This morning consisted of another trip to a flea market to gather things to use for costume elements and props. This particular market called Olympia was much more geared to serving people with very little money, rather than showcasing valuable and sought-after antiques like yesterday’s. Amongst piles of rusty tools, old clothes, and soup and smoked fish vendors we found everything we needed to really sink our teeth in; 3 bicycle tires, 3 umbrellas, and several pair of large scissors that will all become costume elements for rehearsal in some capacity or another.

Anya and Paulina were around all afternoon to help me get started, and they have both quickly shown their skill and general pleasant attitude when it comes to getting work done. We began assembly on a large hoop skirt make of interlocking wire coat hangers, a boxy head cage of sorts, and 12 paper rockets that will serve as a quick and dirty version of the originals to be made later on in the production. Being able to delegate work is a pleasure, but also difficult. Efficiently moving forward is paramount with such a short workshop, and I want to make as much happen while I am here as possible. To my delight these young women have very fast and deft hands. I’m confident in their ability to make nicely crafted objects to use in rehearsal for the remainder of the workshop. If I can have my way I will have detailed drawings and mock-ups made for everything in the show before I leave for Seattle. This is a tall order – there are well over fifty pieces in the show ane we’ve only just begun.

In other news, I visit a doctor on Tuesday or Wednesday to have my stitches removed, and I can only hope they give the ok to get rid of all this plaster and fabric that has been keep me immobile from the thumb up. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sorry for the boring blog; this one in particular really sounds like the diary entry of a very bored clothing designer in need of a better sleep schedule.

Saturday | Day Off | Polish Opera

After a full morning of staring down treasures at the flea market, Joanna, Sue Jane, Paulina and I grabbed a meal and warmed up. Not even the joys of blocks and blocks of other people’s junk could keep us warm. My new hat definitely helped, however.

The afternoon was free and my wonderful hosts were willing to spend the afternoon showing me Warsaw. We started at a national history and folk art museum that had a sizably gallery dedicated to Polish folk costume from the various regions of the country. I have made a vow to always see these garments in person whenever I travel, and once again it paid off. The intricacies of these pieces are amazing; beautiful hand crafted garments with loving decoration stand as such celebratory pieces in a country that has had a challenging history. The colors and embellishment were exquisite, and once again I got to see a culture where the men’s costumes were equally as lavish and ornamental as the women’s.

That exciting stop was followed by an impromptu visit to the Warsaw’s opera house, Opera Narodowa Joanna had connections there, and managed to not only get us in on a Saturday afternoon, but found a way for us to go on stage, visit the costume storage, and see the ins and outs of what I learned was the second biggest stage in the world. Spaces of this scale cannot be described in words. It was truly massive, and all-inclusive in every way. Everything happens right there on site; draperies crafted, fabrics dyed, costumes produced, all set elements built right there, and there is even a resident cobbler who hand makes all of the shoes for the productions.

Bob Wilson is doing a production of Faust there in February, which is sure to be exciting. I would love to design productions of this caliber and scale someday.

The afternoon required a nap…which turned into 4 hours…and then I returned to work for the rest of the evening. Now at 1:25 am I am feeling like a lot has happened in one day; culture experienced, new visions gathered, exciting new experiences with exciting new friends, and drawings tacked to the studio wall to keep moving forward with our project. It is the reason I’m here, afterall.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Picture Picture | Warsaw, Week 1 | Wilson Walk

A simple snapshot of one of the MANY sorted piles of wonderful things at the Saturday morning flea market.

Frigid temperatures and a love for the ridiculous make for a lethal combination. I look like my dad.

Blurry Bob Wilson guiding actors during rehearsal.

The wonderful group re-learns and practices the "Bob Wilson walk" before diving into scenes for the rest of the day. Functioning on stage without this engrained in one's thinking seems near impossible for a Wilson production.

A Hobby | New Assistant

The forecast for this weekend is VERY promising. I am headed out with Joanna, Sue Jane and Anya to scour the weekend flea markets for objects to use in costumes for the show. I have been warned repeatedly that these markers are quite a site and great fun. I have also been told to be as discreet as possible about speaking English if I am interested in buying something. Prices for an American who doesn’t know how to barter are guaranteed to be higher than for a local. Luckily we have Joanna who is not only a local, but has said that she loves to barter…or as she put it, “I don’t do it to save money, I do it as a hobby.” This is my kind of gal.

I met my new assistant Anya yesterday morning and she is wonderful. With a strong background in theatre, graphic design and set design, I am certain she will be excellent to work with for the next week. And, another blessing, her English is good and she was more than willing to take me around the city all day yesterday to procure what I needed in order to get working on the designs we’ll be preparing for the next week of rehearsals. Fabric shops, department stores and artist suppliers were scoured for the better part of the day before we were able to break for coffee and enjoy the new tools that I’ll be using to get to work this evening and tomorrow in the studio.

Without the help of these people I would be wasting incredible amounts of time to find the simplest of things. Surely it would have taken me an entire day to just fine a tape measure or one swatch of cloth. With Anya it was a matter of a quick train ride and a few quick taxi trips before we had everything we needed.

Big In Poland | II | For Jacob and Erk

Don’t for one second think that I have dodged the bullet when it comes to breakfast, either. The morning meal offered up by my hotel is amazing, loaded with European delights and fabulous variety. I would be a fool to pass it up.

Today’s pile: tropical muesli (oats, shaved coconut, bananas, almonds, plump golden raisins, diced apples, cinnamon and milk), pork sausages, smoked mackerel, smoked trout, smoked salmon with homemade mayonnaise, two cheeses I’ve never had before…one of which was rolled in minced red and green peppers, a whole grain roll with Danish butter, fresh pineapple and melon, dried apricots, cold cuts of smoked pork and turkey, fresh grapefruit juice and a cup of coffee.

Yesterday’s pile: pork sausages, seasoned smoked salmon with homemade mayonnaise, herb roasted tomatoes, scrambled eggs, two multigrain rolls with a soft Scandinavian cheese in an attractive foil wrapper, tropical muesli, bacon, smoked ham cold cuts, brie, black currant juice, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, and two cups of coffee.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Big in Poland

And getting bigger by the minute...its all their fault!

Gluttonous indulgence #1: A plate of 11 pierogi, each with a different filling, smothered with a side of "seasoning fat"...a warm bowl of melted fat and chopped bacon that is to be poured over the tastey little dumplings. A pint of some local beer that I cant prounounce or type as a chaser.

Gluttonous indulgence #2: A small pot of cream and sausage soup, served with 4 slices of bread, a fat sausage like the ones in the soup, and 2 boiled eggs smothered in horseradish. Sparking water as a chaser for added gastric decoration.

Junk | Flea

Moving forward with designs, I have stock piled a simple bundle of supplies to get me started today. Even more exciting is a trip to a famous flea market tomorrow morning with Joanna, Warsaw’s representative for the production company in Milan. She ensured me that it would be exciting and a great chance to see something “very Polish.” In my experience flea markets are always a great way to see and understand a new place…people’s junk is quite informative, and the ways they barter and sell always say a lot. I can’t wait.

I want bike tires, bird cages, wooden boxes and umbrellas for the show….and a big fur hat for myself. Seriously, who can visit eastern Europe when its SO COLD and not rock the big fur hat!?

Traveling alone is always difficult, and I am reminded of that again with this trip. I was hoping I’d have several friends on board with the workshop here, but it seems as though that didn’t work out and it is only myself and the stage manager for the rest of the run. Once Bob returns from New York I’ll hope to pal around with his assistant David – he’s good fun. One’s level of commitment to seeing a new place has to be even higher when you’re tackling it alone. Its so much easier when you have a partner in crime or someone else to help read maps, ask questions, find dinner, etc. And more than that, someone else with whom you can share the new and exciting things travel offers.

Once again I’m up far too early – but 6am today is a two hour improvement from 4am yesterday. I’ll get this jetlag thing figured out sooner or later.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Warsaw | Drawing Big

Its 6am in Warsaw and I have been awake for 2 hours. My best attempts to get a full night’s rest after so much travel weren’t fully realized, but I still feel pretty good. This is nothing compared to the jet lag I experience in Athens in March. No complaints.
I arrived in Warsaw last night after a lovely flight but LONG layover in Copenhagen, welcomed warmly from new and old friends alike here in Poland. After a driver brought me to my hotel (a quite swank hotel, I might add), I met with an assistant from the theatre at which we’ll be working and she took me to the tail end of a rehearsal for the show I am designing. I was happy to see Bob, and our wonderful stage manager Sue Jane Stoker was smiling and helpful as always. I was given a chance to introduce myself to the cast, and to meet each of them. They’re a lovely, young bunch…full of energy and seemingly happy to be part of this show.

Our show is rehearsing in a space literally around the corner from my hotel, so my morning treks to work will be a piece of cake after indulging in hotel breakfast. A two minute stroll at the most. I trust I’ll find a local café or bakery that will provide my breakfast later in the week, but for now the hotel will do.

My first impressions of Warsaw happened at night, so its difficult to make any clear assessment one way or the other. The driver took a direct and efficient root to get me to where I needed to be; a good sign – no scam right off the bat in what could otherwise be the perfect chance to run up the bill of an unknowing foreigner. And from what I could see, Eastern Europe looks a lot like I expected…and somehow not a far cry from what I saw in Athens. It is large and not particularly compact, plenty of space between things…not the romanticized crowded and packed cobblestone streets of western and northern Europe. Though a walk around my neighborhood this morning proved to reveal a charm all its own. Warsaw is a beautiful city, and its historic architecture and crisp air immediately charmed me. (Correction: the air is more than crisp…its down right cold here!) Last night’s perspective was clearly off, what with the darkness and jetlag and all. There’s a wonderful park within 4 minutes of my hotel, the city center is twenty minutes away on foot, and the people along the way of each stop have a distinct look all their own. Polish culture does not appear to be one that has lost its visual distinctions; the broad, round faces and pale complexions are consistent. And while smiles don’t seem to be offered up all that easily, there is definitely a pleasant tone in the air - a warm welcoming energy from the city as a whole. People who live here seem to truly like living here.

I have a small, impromptu workspace at the theatre. No big glamorous costume shop or tailors at my beck and call quite yet. That may happen down the road when it comes to mount the actual production. It has been decided that this workshop is for ideas, not making. So, I’ll be working with my assistant in the back room off the main rehearsal space with little more than a table and some hooks for things to hang on. A trip to an art supply store should get me what I need. Seems to me that drawing on a large scale will be the easiest with my hand wrapped up like it is. And as drawings materialize, I anticipate a good deal of flea market crawling and dumpster diving to get the found objects and junk of our dreams to use as prototypes for these costume pieces.

The images I have scattered here and there in this post are some of the first renderings I did for this show. Its not certain we’ll be sticking with any of these ideas, but the visuals are what are on my mind and seem suited to today’s ramble.

Copenhagen | Firsts and Sixths

My trip has begun and I’ve made it well over half way as I wait here at the Copenhagen airport for my connecting flight to Warsaw. This airport is a beautiful one; hardwood floors and the cheap furnishings at the varied shops and restaurants take design cues from the Danish modern aesthetic that made this neck of the woods so very famous over the past 60 years.

I am immediately reminded of the general European commitment to fashion that we do not see in the states. We don’t see it in this mainstream “everyone’s doing it” kind of way, at least. The basic uniform for the average male urbanite seems to include trousers of a fine fabric and flattering slim fit, colorful collared shirts with ties and sweaters, and a torso hugging wool coat that at least covers your bum, but more likely goes to the knee. Colorful, actively designed accessories are commonplace and feel welcome as their wrapped around a neck, displayed on a wrist or tucked in a breast welt. And then there’s the shoes….the beautiful slim, pointy shoes that will forever leave a flat-footer like myself feeling envious.

My flight seemed short and was a piece of cake as SAS Airlines made over 9 hours in the air remarkably comfortable and pleasant.

I’m dehydrated and can already feel my skin freaking out from the change in climate, the dingy airport air, and forthcoming stresses of a major project for me and my career. Great.

In so many ways I feel completely equipped for this trip, and am ready to sink my teeth into something so new and exciting. I’ve already done a sizable bit of work on the project and the feedback has been positive and encouraging. A solid direction for costumes is developing, and I’ll be working with Bob and the other designers over the course of the next 13 days to craft a more specific plan that suits the production. While my experience in theatre is relatively limited, it is this sort of collaboration that excites me most and keeps me engaged with the medium. Drawing for a specific character with a specific identity seems a bore – but Mr. Wilson generally tosses these bold limitations out the door and lets a concept drive the work; an aesthetic, a set of movements, and not much more than a generalized character moniker like “crow” or “young man” are what stay firmly in place from the start. The rest is left to us to decide…I’m given a chance to play artist/sculptor/designer all at once, using the performer’s bodies as the place where my ideas will happen. It’s all quite wonderful, and perfectly liberating for an artist who wants to design for the stage. The ordinary this and that of conventional theatre remains far too tight, and certainly too predetermined for my liking. The ideas that turn up over the next two weeks here in Warsaw wont be realized as real costumes until next fall when the show hits the stage in October of 2008. I hope this lengthy timeline is a gift and not a chance for ideas to become stale overtime. I suppose its our job as designers to make sure that doesn’t happen.

With confidence and assurance out in the open, I’m also feeling equally clueless about what will happen in the next two weeks. This is yet another addition to a long string of firsts for me – my first trip to Poland, my first serious project with Bob Wilson, my first professional project in theatre, my first piece for the stage (in Europe nonetheless!), my first string of complex business negotiations, my first chance to draw up a collection of costumes with a right hand that is more or less useless for the time being, and my list could go on. But, without firsts we cant have seconds. And I’m quite determined to not merely have firsts and seconds of this sort in my life, but thirds and fourths and fifths. Sixths, even!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Domestic Disturbance | Poland | And I Never Even Knew!

Upon forcing my hands into dirty dish water, I seriously cut my right hand on broken glass I did not know was there. And this was no small cut folks....this was a call-911-get-yer-neighbor-to rush-you-to-the-ER-cut-down-to-the tendon-can-see-my-own-thumb-bone kind of cut; so serious that the doctor on duty at the ER wasnt keen on handling the task and requested the presence of a hand specialist from the hospital.

I use my hands every day. My hands, among other things, pay the bills. I was horrified.

After several hours of x-rays, consultations, and mobility tests, the surgeon executed a beautiful stitching job both on the damaged tendon and effected skin. I watched every step, and would confidently hire this guy to tackle my own studio work. His many tidy stitches, each secured with a triple square knot, were a welcome sight.

On the very same day, I learned that my project with Robert Wilson in Poland is a go, and I will be hopping a plane to Warsaw on Tuesday evening. I'm headed off for a 13-day intensive workshop on the production, renderings in one hand, bum thumb on the other.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reuters | I Never Even Knew

This article and accompanying video happened months ago and I never even knew. Better late than never!

Work | The Greys of Greece

A bit more show and tell from my studio. This commission is for a highly skilled and respected blacksmith here on the West coast. His strong build and utilitarian sensibilities seemed to call for this square cut, workman's patch pockets, and prominent closures. The flashy lining was a treat for me (an art deco silk I purchased 4 years ago in Chicago and have just now found a use for) and having this fine quality wool I found in Athens in my hands all day made each minute at the machine a pleasure. Working with good fabrics makes ALL the difference, friends. The buttons you see here will not remain on the coat. Being the savvy designer/craftsman that he is, the new owner has plans to design and produce custom buttons for his piece - an excellent merge of skills and ideas. I'm excited to see what he chooses.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Work | In Green and Grey

Another example from the bundle of commissions leaving my studio and finding new happy homes. Its a joy designing and making with specific individuals, specific personalities in mind!

Friday, November 02, 2007


My project with Robert Wilson in Poland is currently postponed as a result of varied political changes in Poland. Regional and national elections seem to be effecting the status of state employees (folks in the arts, among others) and the theatre our production was to be shown at is seeing changes in management, causing delays, and consequently making our premier dates for the show more or less meaningless at this point. So, as the producers of the show search for a new venue, I am blessed with studio time of my own.

When I really take the time to boil things down, I want to be designing and making menswear. Projects in theatre and elsewhere are exciting and challenging, but the allure of putting men on the runway in my designs pulls the hardest at my heartstrings and makes me spring to my feet each morning.

As a prototype for a few other pieces, I have made this jacket to explore some new ideas, new techniques, new considerations. To my delight, it turned out quite well and has even been passed along to the wardrobe of Mr. Richards in Ohio. I couldn't pass up this Pendleton-esque plaid (a sturdy cotton designed for upholstery but to my eye better suited for garments), and the Hong Kong finish in red on the inside was a thrill.
As I work through these new ideas and varied commissions that are on my plate, I hope to share each and every one of them with you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An Uplifting Forecast | There must be intercommunication

This quite perfectly sums up my stance on art and where it needs to go. I proudly tack it on the wall of my studio behind my sewing machine where I see it everyday. Thank you, Mr. Jarman.