STRUT—part II

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STRUT—part I

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are some images from last night’s STRUT fashion show in Burlington, Vermont.  These are the more candid shots of getting ready and going through rehearsal.  We had such a great day and hanging out together was really fun.  Thank you to all who helped make the show happen.  I won’t name you all, there are too many of you who supported Elizabeth and I produce our collection.  You know who you are.  Many thanks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The devil is in the details…

now that all of the pieces are created.  It’s time to look for subtle threads (literally & figuratively) that unite the collection. I love this part almost as much as pizza & champagne when we’re all done. I really like that part.  Elizabeth Bunsen’s dyed fabric, my work in scrap leather and photography and Jane Frank’s jewelry is telling a story just as we had hoped from the beginning.  Storytelling through this collaborative work is maybe the best part of the whole shootin’ match in my estimation.

img_9483

The details are details. They make the product.

The connections, the connections, the connections. It will in the end be these details that give the product its life.

                        —Charles Eames

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

img_9495

This week in my studio…

I furiously got rid of stuff that was keeping my mind a complete mess.  I couldn’t even prioritize what I needed to work on first.  I spend one hour cleaning out and booked an appointment with GOT JUNK.  The minute they drove off I could breathe again.  The guys were great and both artists in their own right too.  Apparently GOT JUNK sites have a lot of materials, metal, wood and other things to scavenged.  I gave lots of things away and unearthed a few items I unfortunately would’ve purchased again because I didn’t know where they were.  The clean out felt awesome.  These are not very good before and after photos, but I think you’ll get the idea.

IMG_9405          IMG_9410

Yesterday, I got to the studio ready to work on my designs for STRUT and all 4 of my sewing machines didn’t work—broken belts, jammed up and one vintage and one, a 1950s SINGER I acquired I couldn’t figure out how to get the bobbin to thread even after I read and reread the manual.  Reading manuals is not one of my strengths. It’s like reading Japanese or Greek or writing code to me.  I called my sister to tell her that I actually had to laugh at the absurdity of having all machines fail on me when I was busy sewing. I was grateful that I could find the humor in the problem.  What else could I do, really?  What was the universe trying to tell me.  I then headed out to one of the most loved repair shops in northern Vermont…Smitty’s in Essex Junction, Vermonthttp://www.smittysews.com/

I was so grateful for the service.  SMITTY and his wife are truly Vermont Treasures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In an hour and half I had two of the machines in beautiful working order. I’m sewing leather and my sewing machines are taking a beating.  If anyone ever wonders what to get me for a gift, it’s leather needles.  As a bonus, I got to have tacos with my daughter, Willa while I waited.  There’s always a bonus, if we’re paying attention to everyday hardships if we dig deep.

 By 2pm I finally was able to get to work and nearly finish one of my pieces for the show.  I love to work with the tension of tough and soft materials.  I think the leather with the softness of the ecodyed silk from Elizabeth Bunsen is an interesting contrast…just like life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes things are hard and sometimes things are delicate and sometimes we just have to laugh at it all. 

Jeweler/Jane Frank’s work for STRUT

Check out the work of German trained, Master Goldsmith, Jane (Yanna) Frank.  Elizabeth Bunsen and my models will be wearing her work on the runway.  My request was for Jane was for her to create something prairie chic, bohemian and earthy and then total freedom.  Yes, she nailed it.  I love the quality of these pieces and the way they reference prairie grasses, nature and the palette we are working with.

It will be a pleasure to showcase these pieces with our clothes and accessories.

Beautiful work, Jane. Thank you.

You can see how well they fit in with what we’re working on…leather, ecodyed textiles and a print made from Elizabeth’s rust work on paper.  Oh, it’s fun to work with such talented creatives.

If you’re interested in taking jewelry classes at Jane’s very welcoming backyard WERKSTATT (workshop) or are in need of custom work or repairs, here’s the link: https://janefrankwerkstatt.wordpress.com/class-schedules-optionsclass-schedules/

Here is the link for more information about Jane, her work and other pieces for sale.http://www.janefrank.net/about.html

jane frank art hop jewelry

IMG_9307

IMG_9178_2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The benefits of novelty.

This weekend I wanted to feel like a visitor in my own city…I sought out some new experiences trying to see Burlington through a fresh lens.  This works anywhere…even in our own homes…change things up a bit for a fresh perspective.  It doesn’t have to be a huge change to make your brain happy.

novelty

Routine has it’s place and it’s convenient, but it doesn’t do much to spark our imagination or increase our problem solving skills.  Here is a great blog I found about this very subject.

Creativity Accelerators: Novelty, Unpredictability and Complexity

Accelerate your creativity by embracing novelty and complexity, and challenging yourself to stay relaxed and focused in the face of risk and unpredictability.

http://www.diygenius.com/creativity-accelerators/  (Sam Brinson DIY Genius blog)

“In order to create something novel and unexpected, we need to break the routine and insert some unpredictability, to look for the unknown and let our curiosity be our guide.”

My daughter, Willa and I went to see a POP ART Print Show  at the Fleming Museum at The University of Vermont—Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol oh my.  What a beautiful museum—it’s only 5 minutes from my home and I don’t go there nearly enough.

fleming museum lillibridge

 

Then we drove to Vergennes Laundry/coffee shop for a latte.  The light was as gorgeous as this french coffee shop is.  I also posted this on my INSTAGRAM profile. Follow me @ DAKOTA1966.

IMG_7684_2

 

On Sunday my twin 15-year-old daughters, Lucy and Willa and I went to ONE DAY UNIVERSITY at the Hilton in Burlington.  If you’re unfamiliar with One Day University I highly recommend you check them out in your area.  We spent a chilly Sunday afternoon learning about intuition, the universe, classical music and Vermont politics by well renown professors from around the country.  I listened to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a fresh perspective from what I learned before I got out of bed this morning…talk about feeding the brain some novelty.

Your brain is like a hungry child.  It has to be fed…frequently. 

a south dakota road trip in leather

I made this bag for a group show opening this Friday night at SEABA (South End Arts and Business Association) in Burlington, Vermont.  I like the idea of this piece being usable…although it has a few structural challenges for heavy use.  I’ll get it right next time…oh, how I love the process of trying to get it right.

IMG_5998_2_3_4_4I used the road image I love to work with for my muse.  You might be tired of all the ways I’ve played with this image…sorry, I’m not nearly done yet.  Too me this photo represents what I’ve always loved.  Independence.  Adventure.  Spaciousness.  Freedom.  As well as beef jerky, bad road coffee, Hostess® products, potato chips, loud music and infinite possibilities.

When I finished this bag I had a strange thought—I wished that Calamity Jane and/or Frida Kahlo had bequeathed it to me.  The road is always an inspiration to me and so are those two bad ass women.

I used a bit of ecodyed organza from Elizabeth Bunsen on the bottom to lend some contrast.  I love the lightness of the fabric with the leather and heavy stitching.

IMG_7607 IMG_7604_2

IMG_7606

IMG_7658  IMG_7662

IMG_7664

IMG_7667

why collaboration makes you think bigger.

Elizabeth Bunsen and I are collaborating.  We don’t even quite know what our project is because the ideas keep coming so fast and furious…often over burgers and beer.  These images are sketches of one of the ideas we want to explore.  I like leather, heavy stitching and raw edges.  Elizabeth’s work is such an interesting contrast and compliment to the fashion and accessory work I’ve created.

We’ve talked about printing the images I’ve created on the computer from our combined work…my prairie photos and Elizabeth’s textiles.  Alone they’re pretty cool.  Combined they  are an entirely different art form.  Here’s to computer sketches that can make an idea over beers and a burger seem much more plausible.  Cheers!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

bunsen lillibridge skirt prairie story

lingerie sketch bunsen lillibridge

bunsen lillibridge skirt with cornfield sketch

Thank you Stephen Mease Photography.

Lucy My daughter, Lucy.

Christie    STRU0872

STRU0879  Genevieve

Ina  STRU0866

STRU0888

I hope my friends and my daughter felt as beautiful as they looked!