This journal has revolved around my enriching experiences running a small textile/fiber studio. Now more than ever I am revived and inspired to continue recording my reflections on those experiences. After a year of health issues, I have returned to the studio to reunite the many strands of my practice and forge a path forward. Here’s a recap/update of how things have unfolded/are unfolding so far this year. My focus until recently has been my wearable work so I will start with it.
I have been spending more technical and production energy on developing fabrics for my micro wearable line, Petal-Una Collection (where you can also find my Petal Insta and FB page links). Between dips in my indigo vat and direct application (painting and printing) of natural dyes, I am shifting my wearable practice to incorporate cloth enriched with more naturally sourced colorants. I have written in the past about my intention to integrate naturally sourced colorants into my work and to address sustainability in my own studio practice. As a small textile and fiber workshop, I am arguably already producing a sustainable product but there is always room for improvement. From examining material sourcing and supply chains, to energy use, and material waste reduction and reclamation, I continue to look for ways in which I can be more sustainable as an artist/designer-maker. It is a process. A major step for me is the embrace of more conscious fabric enrichment practices in my wearable work. About Petal-Una: Every season I produce a ready-to-wear group (as well as commissioned work). I market my wearable pieces through studio events and, when available, on-line.
Decorative/Interior. I have focused primarily on felted works in the decorative realm but I am currently developing a new collection of textiles incorporating the technical groundwork I laid while creating cloth for the Petal-Una collection (as noted above). These decorative works will include a new line of architectural 2-d pieces. Images will be coming in the next couple of months. In the Atlanta area, his work is exclusively represented by Markay Gallery in Marietta, Georgia. Links to the Kathy Colt Artisan Insta and FB pages are in the left sidebar on the homepage of this website.
Special Creative Projects/Artwork. I am also in the process of developing new work pathways in this stream. Of all of my work subsets, this is the most related to personal excavation, elucidation, and articulation. Its development marches behind that of its more visible creative siblings but it is still alive and well. I will have more to say about this work in the future.
Teaching. Finally, looking ahead, I will be reintroducing the teaching component into my studio practice and outreach. Workshops will resume this Fall (2018). Information and a calendar will be coming soon and will be announced in the usual locations.
July already (yikes!!)and still much to do to pull everything together for the ACC San Francisco experience. It has been a veritable 3-ring circus (in my mind and in the studio) – between making and selecting finished work, creating an inexpensive, dynamic and functional set-up for a 10×10 booth, lining up the logistics for the trip, keeping my energy level up and my body in top felt-rolling condition, and staying open to new inspiration for future work. After many years of making, this is my first major show and I have been assisted at every level by other artists, family and friends who want to see this project finally take off (fingers crossed!). I am extremely grateful for their help (and I will be mentioning them, one by one, as the show approaches); producing an event like this definitely takes a village, as they say! I have been doing my part, working at a steady pace now. Given the physical demands of the technique, I am focusing on quality rather than quantity. The work is varied and features functional textiles along with some fine-art relief pieces and other fiber-based artwork.
In addition to my own booth, I was invited to collaborate with SF interior designer Jiun Ho in the ACC/SF Make Room installation. Back in May, I created a new wall piece along with 10 new Shelters for Transformationfor the installation (some below for some images). Other artists and designers will be featured, as well, in this series of vignettes promoting the use of fine craft objects in interior design. Images from this portion of the show will appear in the August/September issue of American Craft.
In other news, my spring petal-una collection was well received…in fact, I completely sold out!…I have already begun dying for my Fall collection which will be out in late-September. Looks like a busy high-summer on the horizon but meanwhile….many plates in the air and the focus now is on the ACC show. I have just revamped my website – please check it out – and I will continue to shoot more photographs of the work as it is finished. From this point forward, selected images and other info/commentary will be posted more regularly on a number of platforms – this blog, Facebook, Instagram (my handle: kathycoltartisan) and I will be resuming my Twitter feed (@kathy_colt). The studio work is my priority but I want to include you in the adventure! Thanks for reading/following/commenting/sharing!
Hello all! Relieved once again that it’s Spring? I have been in the studio or at the drawing board most of the Winter and work is beginning to emerge. Included in that work are felted interior textiles and artworks, artwear from the petal-una collection (original designs made with hand-dyed/printed & discharged cloth), and 2-d work (more on that later). Also in the mix: I finally started my organic indigo vat in February (yay!). Although, I have been distracted by other dye work in recent weeks, the vat has been maintained and is patiently awaiting my return. I did recently take some time to make a rice flour paste resist. It was labor-intensive and the paste didn’t hold up past the first dip…but the results were gratifying. Although the rice paste resist resulted in some beautiful subtleties, I am planning on working with the gum-Arabic resist I learned from Catharine Ellis last Summer at Arrowmont – my experience demonstrated that the gum paste holds up better in the vat (i.e., 2 dips were possible, yielding a more intense indigo).
4 months until the ACC/San Francisco Show!!!….things are progressing there and I will be blogging more about that in the future but first, back to the petal-una collection – my show of that work and a sneak preview of the ACC work is on Saturday, May 3rd. Mark your calendars!