Even when I land in one of the most beautiful (peaceful) places on Earth, it takes me time to settle in, to relax, and to feel like I belong. Regardless, there is already a sort of “hum” in the studio, as my friend Cathy Bailey might say. You can “hear” thoughts coming together, the whisper of thread through fabric, and hands moving, all mingled with an underlying buzz that permeates the Penland campus.
I flew out of hot and dry North Alabama on Saturday afternoon and woke up in room #2 surrounded by the cool mountain airs of Penland, North Carolina.
Today I received a beautifully packaged c.d. from the talented Tift Merritt. The c.d. features many of her new songs that will certainly be heard during our work days in the studio.
We had the pleasure of hearing Tift’s amazing voice at her performance for the opening of our pop-up shop at the Billy Reid store in New York.
We hope to see Tift in New York, or perhaps Alabama, very soon.
Our stay at the Ace Hotel in Portland was outstanding – made better by the owl mural and Thoreau quote that graced our room. (Not to mention our One-Day Workshop at The Cleaners, catered by Clyde Common.)
My daughter Maggie has an affinity for owls. As a tiny baby, she was heard murmuring to an owl outside her bedroom window as she slept. Inspired by our time in Room 206, I have decided to embrace a different type of DIY this week and paint the wall of Maggie’s bedroom with a quote.
I just have to settle on the perfect paint and quote. Any ideas?
“I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have.”
-Henry David Thoreau
We had such an amazing west coast journey.
The words above, found in the bathroom at PNCA + OCAC, say it all.
I especially love the short paragraph at the bottom:
“Helvetica, one of the world’s most ubiquitous typefaces was released in the same year as the publication of this essay. It was chosen to juxtapose the modern and the pastoral.”
I think that E.B. White would agree.
Thank you to William Rueck for allowing me to share his work.
And thank you to everyone who came out to see us in California and Oregon. It was unforgettable.
Next Thursday, as part of Nashville Fashion Week, I will participate an educational panel discussing production issues in fashion. The panels and events for the day have been thoughtfully curated by Nashville Fashion Week and Imogene + Willie.
Visit Imogene + Willie’s blog to learn more about the origin of the educational panels.
Nashville Fashion Week Industry Panels Presented by Imogene + Willie
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 10:00 am
PRODUCING THE GOODS
The production process and what it takes to source, sew and manufacture fashion in the United States. An emphasis will be placed on the importance of and challenges to keeping production in this country.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND?
The focus, hard work, and thought required to define, build and market a fashion brand. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of social media and issues concerning propriety.
SOUTHERN FASHION NOW
An exploration of trends, characteristics, and the national and international affect of modern Southern design and designers.
Shakerag Workshops have been taking place on the campus of St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School for some eight years now. Among the rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau, Shakerag operates as a community where artists + those eager to learn a craft come together in a creative learning environment. Similar to our sewing workshops, the instructors work closely with students in a full-immersion studio course. This summer, I am eager to travel here with our studio Directress, Diane, to teach sewing, to learn, and explore the Sewanee Hollow.
We will be teaching Open Design: Sewing and Construction during the week of June 17-23, 2012, as part of the second session. This is how I intend to spend my days at Shakerag: coffee + breakfast, sewing, delicious lunch, more sewing, and a relaxing yoga session or a hike on the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Perimeter Trail. To end the day, a locally-sourced dinner- featuring adapted recipes from A New Turn in the South- followed by enrichment + faculty artist’s lectures. And of course, Hugh Acheson’s lecture, Wednesday evening, June 20, 2012, is a welcome interruption in the schedule. Continue reading
After a few months and a busy holiday season, I’ve finally begun to process the experiences of my momentous trip to Oxford, Mississippi, for the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium. I left the event full of delicious food and copious amounts of knowledge. More specifically, Elizabeth Engelhardt’s talk, “Tales from the South’s Forgotten Locavores,” filled my hungry mind with questions on how I can contribute to the preservation of heirloom fruits, vegetables, and plants.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr, know that I was in New Mexico over the holidays. What resulted from this adventure was a love for the west and an understanding of why so many artists and creative types have settled to work there. I was deeply impacted by the beauty, spirit, and (perhaps mostly by) the clear, crisp air. The day my friend Jennifer and I landed we spotted four rainbows. Our friend Jeff wrote that such an unlikely experience is “possibly an indicator of good fortune to come.”
My blog post at EcoSalon this Friday is about our trip and the inspiration I found in a woman – long dead – named Mabel Dodge Luhan.
Thanks to EcoSalon for the continuing bi-weekly collaboration – read all of my stories there and make sure you let them know what you like.
A TRIP OF ONE’S OWN
“I can’t believe that I am doing this.” Wait. Laugh. Repeat. These were the words I kept echoing over and over again as I sat at Gate B27 in the Atlanta Airport. My girlfriend, Jennifer Venditti, is sitting across from me, looking like a vision of New York City chic. I stare at her in amazement. We are waiting to board a flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plans to catch up on the last six months of one another’s lives.
While I was away having fun at the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium last weekend, my daughter Maggie was working hard at eating doughnuts and designing t-shirts for our new children’s line.
The top design features a glass of “sweet tea” on the t-shirt front – not iced tea as it “has to be sweet to be tea.” This is from a girl who thinks that doughnuts should be considered a vegetable.
Our children’s line launches next month in New Orleans at Angelique Baby on Magazine Street as a part of our New Orleans and Ogden Museum traveling show.
I can’t wait to get back to NOLA. See all of our upcoming events here.