Saturday, 31 December 2011

Latest Work

Loom woven, hand painted merino wool scarf  

It's been a few months since I last posted, but I thought I'd get one last entry in before the year is out. It's been a busy, eventful year for twofolds and for me personally; I created a new body of work this year, added new stores, tried my hand at pop-up retail, and ended off with a successful weekend at the Eastside Culture Crawl in November. I'm expecting a baby any minute now (literally), and look forward to the adventures of motherhood, along with exploring some of the new design ideas I've had in the last couple of months. My hope is to return to the studio as soon as possible, blissful, sleeping baby in tow.

That said, I'm very happy I was able to complete the scarf warp that has been sitting on my loom for the past several months. The hand painted piece shown above was purely experimental, and I love the results. I plan to do more hand painted work with acid dyes in the new year, though this will likely be the last woven piece that I complete for a long time. My plan is to give the old loom up to create more space in my studio for my production work, and perhaps a playpen...

Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to sharing more of my work in the future!

Sunday, 17 July 2011


My stall in the cool of the morning shade

My recent trip to Toronto proved both successful and inspiring. I met a lot of supportive and engaged art lovers at the Outdoor Show, and despite the blistering heat and super sunny stall location, the weekend went well. I debuted my new dresses and was excited to see that they were looking good on all types of bodies - short, tall, thin, and curvy. These are now available at Circle Craft on Granville Is., and will be coming soon to Twigg and Hottie on Main Street in Vancouver.

Otherwise, Toronto is such a great city. I got to spend some time on Queen West, where my friend Erin Candela is opening a new gallery called the Graven Feather with two other artists who explore print making, illustration, and water colour painting. Other trip highlights were visits to Kensington Market and dinner at the newest French bistro in Leslieville, Le Canard Mort where my man and I dined on 4 courses for just over $100!

Mum and I setting up Friday morning

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Natural Dyeing in Rwanda

various Rwandan dye plants

I stole this link off my friend Joni's facebook page. She must read a thousand blogs and always has interesting stuff to share. This one in particular talks about contemporary textiles in Rwanda, and the introduction of natural dye traditions where there previously were none. Interesting to note that a lot of the brightly coloured "african" cloth is actually imported to Rwanda, and not produced there traditionally.

Monday, 6 June 2011

September Shop

I've recently been invited by a group of local designers to join them for the month of September at a pop-up shop project at 10th and Kingsway. The space is owned by Rize Alliance, a Vancouver-based development company that is currently donating the shop space to a variety of juried artists and community groups throughout 2011. There are a number of awesome events to check out at the Pop Up Retail Store, including the Cheaper Show on June 25th. September Shop will be a collaboration of jewelery, clothing and textile art, personal accessories, and housewares. I plan to add some new pieces by then, including two styles of dresses, a tunic-styled blouse, and wrap skirts. Stay tuned for pics of the work as it progresses.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Studio Album of the Moment

I listen to a lot of music when I'm working in my studio. My studio mate Laura McKibbon and I constantly talk about new stuff we're listening to, upcoming shows, etc. She's in Finland right now but I think she'd probably approve of my recent favourite...

Monday, 16 May 2011

I've just received news that I've been accepted to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, which is a show that  takes place over 3 days in July at Nathan Phillips Square. I'm hoping to debut my new wrap dresses there, along with scarves, blouses, and coats. For what I hear, it's an amazing oppourtunity for exposure to galleries and shops in eastern Canada and the US. Time to get busy...

Check out the show link for more info:

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

For the last 6 months I've been focusing on making wearables other than scarves, coats and vests. Working with silk is challenging - particularly the gossamer silk paj I've been using for my blouses and skirts. It's slippery and damages easily so there's a small margin of error with mistakes. Once you've sewn it once, you pretty much can't rip stitches to correct or it will show in the fabric. Ironing over the old stitch marks does help, but it's best to be accurate the first time.

Monday, 11 April 2011

In between dyepots and sewing samples for my summer line, I'm weaving an all black warp at the moment. I stick to plainweave using black or white merino yarn - not very exciting to the serious weaver, but a means to an end for me! The white yarn I dye afterwards, and the black yarn I discharge to remove colour.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

This is me in my old studio at Georgia and Jackson. Behind me is this fantastic front display window from when the space had been a butcher shop - I can't believe none of us ever took advantage of it to make elaborate installations... but who had the time??

And that clunky, old loom. What to do about that loom? It's a 45 inch Leclerc with bent heddles and unbalanced shafts. It was given to me by a veteran senior's home out in Burnaby - it's probably at least 50 years old and has been used to weave hundreds of yards of cloth, mostly by men who served in WWII. Mostly by men who were heroes, and who are dead or really old by now - which makes it difficult for me to pass it on. I feel the pressure of that legacy! But fact is, it's just too big for my studio and since I only weave scarves on it, there's no sense in having a loom that wide. Maybe I'll meet a beginner rug weaver - any out there looking for a loom?