Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Big Sur

It's been a strange Summer. Not necessarily the one I expected, or wanted, but the one I needed. 
Work on ERMIE has been sporadic at best, but new things will be coming to the shop, soon. 
I am finally feeling more energized, and have many new ideas that I cant wait to execute. 

Above, photos from a restorative trip to Big Sur. Breaks are important, spending time with your loved ones is important. A pause, a retreat, will ultimately make you more productive. 

We stayed in a beautiful hand-built house closer to Carmel in a canyon filled with Redwoods and deer. Had incredible massages and soaked in the hot springs at Esalen...ate an amazing supper at the Big Sur Bakery (one of my all-time favorite restaurants). We read, played guitar, slept in a yurt, saw the spiral arms of the Milky Way, hiked in Garrapata Park...enjoyed every moment. 

I hope your Summer has been the one you needed, too. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Things get made, and sent off into the world. Sometimes I forget to document them outside of Instagram. 

Here of a few images of cotton scarves that I made for Platform. They were woven in India, and hand-dyed with indigo & fiber reactive dyes by my assistant Nicole Steel (whom I convinced to model the scarves above) and myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Living Desert

I recently came back from the desert- my third trip out this year. 

Most people think of desert as a dead, colorless, barren place- while nothing could be further from the truth. If you allow yourself to slow down, and watch quietly- it quickly becomes apparent that the desert is teeming with life, color, and texture. 

One of my favorite things to do in the desert is just walk (don't worry, I always bring plenty of water and stick pretty much to the trails) and take in the beauty. I saw quail, roadrunners, jackrabbits, lizards, all manner of rodents, and of course the plant life pictured here. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


 Chez Cambras
Celebrating Max's 38th.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rye, England

While we were in London for Tomory's show, one day, we decided to meet Milena and Matt in Rye, taking the train and seeing a little of the countryside. We ate a hearty portion of fish and chips at a local pub, and took blustery hike afterwards out towards Camber Castle. It was one of the first full days after the spring equinox, wonderful to walk the green fields, see the new lambs and blossoms.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Palm Springs & Joshua Tree

A quick trip to the desert, taken a couple of weekends ago.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mycopigments with Alissa Allen

A few weekends ago, I was able to take a class, Exploring Mushrooms for Dyes with Alissa Allen at the Los Angeles Arboretum. I'm always looking to add to my skill set as someone who works in textiles, and lately I have been fascinated with the process of working with natural dyes.

 I initially came across this workshop on Instagram, and in doing so I was surprised to learn that fungi and lichen could be used as natural dyestuff. I had to find out more, and after taking Alissa's class, I was not disappointed! The spectrum of colors that can be extracted from lichen and fungi is truly amazing.

At the class, we each were able to create and take home a sampling of fungi & lichen dyes on wool, that had not been mordanted, and/or mordanted with alum or iron (first image). We also brought fabric of our own choosing (I brought 2 pieces of silk/wool gauze--as protein based fabrics tend to work better with natural dyes) and submerged them in vats of Dyer's Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii) - in one vat we mordanted our fabric in alum, and the other we used iron as a mordant. The alum- mordanted Dyer's Polypore turned out a golden yellow, and the iron-mordanted fabric emerged olive green. Once at home, I overdyed the yellow Polypore silk/wool with a quick dip in indigo using simple shibori techniques (last photo). 

I'm uncertain as to how often I will actually be able to dye with mushrooms in Southern California, as our climate is not naturally conducive to the growth of mushrooms commonly used in dyeing, but I feel Alissa's class was very worthwhile- she possesses a wealth of knowledge, and is a patient instructor. I highly recommend taking a workshop with her if you ever have the chance.