Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Points of departure

A mock-up for a pillow made of new and vintage fabrics-- the idea of layers that meet in the center was inspired by this rock which comes from a rock collection my sister made when she was twelve. She's a geologist now, and I'm making the pillow for her; I like that the design has a personal connection to her.

My first pass at the design was more starburst-y.
I decided to simplify it after I completed and trimmed....

.... this wall hanging I made for my niece . I cut a wide piece of fabric off the left side  (orange silk and yellow burlap), and liked it so much that I decided to organize the pillow design around it.  You can see in the first photo that it's one of the cross-bars ... a good example of how projects can overlap and influence each other.


A close examination of the wall hanging reveals lots of possible designs within the overall design, any one of which would make a great pillow.  These  cropped views, which in reality are only about 3"x3", could definitely work at a much larger scale.

So a project which started with a fairly literal (for me anyway) interpretation of this photo my niece took in Istanbul has yielded a wealth of materials, both physically in the form of leftover fabric,  and conceptually in design ideas for future projects.

From past to present...

I've been looking through some slides I took 30 years ago in Europe which have been stored away for years, and came across this courtyard view in Milan, taken from the kitchen window of a good friend's apartment.

As soon as I saw it,  I was astonished to recognize the loose organization of lines and textures around a central, choppy, irregularly-angled shape of the bird's nest pillow  -- a testament to the catalog of visual references we retain in our unconscious which emerge in the most surprising ways.  It's no wonder that that kitchen has staked out a space in my head. I spent a lot of time there, staring out the window, laughing with my friends and listening to their stories, and learning about and eating a lot of good food.

Day for Night Shirt.... adapting a pattern (in progress)

I'm working on adapting the design of this linen shirt made by a company called Matchpoint. I have a couple of these and enjoy wearing them so much I decided to make my own using two different linens.

It kind of reminds me of the dress my great Aunt Myrta is wearing in this photo.  The buttons I'm using for the shirt are vintage grey mother-of-pearl from her collection  

I call it the "Day for Night" shirt because it reminds me of an old-fashioned nightshirt, and because I would like my daytime, waking life to be as creatively articulate as my nighttime, dreaming life. There's also the expression "day for night" which refers to film scenes shot during the day with a special filter to make it appear as if it's night.... an idea that jives with my desire to blur the lines between my dreaming and waking life. 

... back to making the shirt--- first I worked out the front tucks, designed a  neckband, and then added vertical seams in the darker linen which contrast the direction of the pinstripes.  I'm waiting to cut the armholes and side seams until last-- will add in some in-seam side pockets which the original shirts don't have.  Love pockets.

The back has a yoke--the pale center line is the exposed selvage- 
and a long vertical pleat.....

which brought to mind this  runnel at the Salk Institute designed by Louis Kahn ...speaking of pictures embedded in one's memory-- the giant projected slide images from Prof Rodriguez's Architecture 101 obviously have carved out a place in mine.

Clothes and making things

A friend of mine and I frequently have conversations about clothes and what they communicate. Lately I've been thinking that I want my clothes to say,  "I'm ready to make pillows or pies, anytime, anywhere."

Pear pomegranate pies from this NYT recipe  .... served warm with sea-salt caramel ice-cream,
so yummy I must have been dreaming.

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