My Pal Julie and I took a trip to Morocco, a place I have been wanting to go for so long. We planted ourselves in Essaouira for a full week. I came back so inspired and ready to make my winter line for 2015.
When I started my business I didn't really think about the idea of manufacturing--I was just excited to make things I was passionate about. But when I got some larger orders last year I realized I needed figure out how to manufacture on a larger scale. I guess the easy route would have been to find a factory that already existed, but I really wanted to tell a story through my production.
A year ago my assistant, Alex, (who has now become my business partner) and I began to seriously investigate manufacturing opportunities in the Northeast. Alex had worked with a group of Guatemalan artisans in New Bedford, MA for a project while he was at Brown U. When we traveled there to train them to make samples it was very clear we had found our answer. They are a group of women and men who are extremely skilled with their hands. They make beautiful back-strap weavings, do embroidery work and were eager to learn how to block print.
Over the last year we have built a working factory that I am immensely proud to be a part of. Without this amazing group of individuals I couldn't do what I do.They give me purpose and drive me to continue to create well designed products. Perhaps that is the wrong way of thinking about design but I have always been interested in people and their stories. And because I think of myself as more of a painter than I designer I always knew it wasn't enough for me to make things just to make them. I found my answer in New Bedford.
We have some really exciting things in the works for 2014. Soon we expect to take on new designers and create small runs of products of artisan products. The pics below don't tell much about our community of workers, but for now you can see a few glimpses of the town that has become a sort of second home to me.
when I take photos of my work I generally use a wall on the roof of my building--it has the perfect amount of texture, great light, and has this white warm glow that makes it feel like summer all the time. My building is covered in scaffolding for a renovations of the exterior and they sadly had to cut a massive hole out of my favorite wall. darn it! so today I went hunting for new walls to shoot on. I found a bunch that may work and actually realized I really like photographing nothing. just white walls, which I guess is something after all.
below is what my favorite wall currently looks like...bum-doggy.
and the pics that follow are some of my favs from todays scout.
I am not one for big New Years eve parties. maybe it means I am getting older but my perfect way to ring in the new year would be to take off to a small island like this one (this place works just fine too), or to cook up a meal with good friends and hunker down by the fire. This year I got to do the later. We rented this beauty and invited some pals to join us and it was one of the most memorable new years eve's yet....and guess who we have to thank for that...Storm Hercules! Shelter island is a real gem of a place, it still maintains this beautiful campy vibe that much of the Hamptons and Montauk have lost. it was pretty desolate in the best way possible, sunset beach was closed for the season and even the dory bar right by the ferry. it was a great place to spend the years end and felt a bit like magic waking up to the photos below. I hope you enjoy!
i finally did it, i signed a lease in bushwick and couldn't be happier about the space. it's quite a bit larger than what I had at my last residency and also than my last studio in Dumbo. its SOO nice to finally have space to spread out a bit. I built a shelf to house all my inventory which is such a relief, such a nice and easy way to get orders out the door.
setting up my studio has been a long process and though, I am still not finished. I still want to built a wall of hooks, build shelving for my drawings, get stools for my work table etc etc, but a gal only has so much time in the day! I am falling in love with my little street and the mexican music that wafts through from the bodegas below me. here are shots of what I have in the works so far.
Its hard to describe just how much I love the Vineyard. I have somehow managed to make it there almost every year since 2000, its like a gravitational pull or something. This year I rented my pal John Robshaw's friend's house in Menemsha and it was a real treat. We cooked elaborate meals made from all the local produce, meat and fish on the island, we caught up on old new yorkers, watercolored, hiked, and re-charged. We ate a lot of amazing food, but my favorite meal was cooked by my old pal chris, who runs beetlebung farm, he really knows how to cook a chicken like nobody's business. below are a round up of my fav pics. I am already ready to go back. maybe I should start production of my textiles in MV, is that totally impractical?
I'll be spending a week in Menemsha for my most favorite time on the Vineyard. The summer crew has left for the season and its just the islanders chilling and enjoying the Fall. I'll be posting a bit more about how--yes, I am going to say it--magical this place is but for now I wanted to share my fav apple pie recipe that I made our first night here. Its made from apples picked from Tabor house farm.