Beauty * Usefulness

I drove over the hills, past the farms, fields and woods of beautiful New England today to deliver my hand printed work to the holiday show at Washington Artist Association in Washington, Connecticut. It is almost the stick season here with few trees still holding on to their golden yellow and brown leaves. Red berries on bare bushes waiting for birds. The beauty and utility – wild nature and cultivated farmlands made me think my work can live happily in this setting. As I drove my SUV I thought about the beauty and practicality of life and my work as artist-maker.

Beauty

is the thing that isn’t always practical but it is vital and necessary in a most mysterious way: it’s an emotional thing and as an artist I need to think of it while creating and “manifesting things” even if it is a practical item.

A story behind a pattern makes it more interesting. All my patterns and drawings start from contemplation or a memory and also from observation of shapes of nature. I won’t accept a design merely because it has a mass appeal. I need to be emotionally invested in my work. It’s the artist in me.

The texture of a fabric can seduce me but I usually take time with fabric and see if it can be sewn into something beautiful AND useful.

Usefulness

is sort of the opposite of beauty. Yet, important to the designer/maker in me. Reusing, recycling, making things that support the sustainable, make-less-waste lifestyle. For my block printed kitchen towels I look for fabrics that can do the job: it’s dry dishes. Linen is very strong fabric, stronger than cotton and gets better with washing. However not all linen or linen blend fabrics are the same. I recently tested digitally printing my pattern on linen-cotton fabric (fabric provided by the on demand printing service). The digitally printed linen (even after washing) was quite rigid and stiff, which I would not like in a kitchen towel. Therefore all  my kitchen towels are (still) hand printed on the fabric that I feel is right. Besides, linen I have printed on cotton flour sack fabric which is also great for towels.
Most of my BLOCKprintedArt items are items that are practical: towels, table runners, table cloths, tote bags and the most recent addition is going to be silk neck scarves (still useful but also can make someone look beautiful 🙂  ) . Making things that are practical is just what I prefer to create.

WAAThe upcoming show –  WAA Holiday Show  – featuring BLOCKprintedArt towels and table runners is opening on November 25th, 2016 and will be
running until 2pm on
December 24th.

The gallery is located at 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza in Washington Depot, Connecticut (their phone is 860-868-2878).

 

 


blue-flowers-linen-towel-with-kabotcha

linen-towels-2016

table runner-rowan-berry

 

hand-written-label-back

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