Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Makers in Business

Oh my!  My television debut is coming!  I can't quite believe it, but the show taped last night and it went great.  Here's the scoop...

My friend Liz Smith, of Made in Lowell, is putting together a new television show for Lowell Telecommunications Corporation.  The show, called Makers in Business, is designed to showcase local artists and help viewers understand just what it takes to succeed as an arts business.  And, (drum roll please!) I am her first featured guest.  How exciting is that.  She asked me to be her first guest because I'm so "cool, calm and collected" (who cares that the calm comes from age, I was still thrilled).

You can read all about how this show came to be in Liz's great Mill Girl blog. It's a great story and certainly shows how you never know where each little adventure will lead.

So we met up in the LTC recording studio last night about 6:30.  It was my first time in a television studio.  I had no idea what to expect, but it was all much easier than I ever imagined.  Liz had set up a little round table with two comfy chairs and mugs of water for us.  (Absolutely gorgeous handmade mugs, by the way - and which beautifully picked up the colors in the jacket I was wearing - and yes, Liz did plan that)  There were bright lights shining on us and three cameras behind the lights.  They also turned on a monitor so we could see what was being filmed.

During the set-up the crew made us feel so comfortable.  Once we were miked, we each had to count to 20 so they could adjust the sound.  Once they did that, they assured us that we didn't have to worry about whether we started to talk louder or softer, they could adjust either way.  Then they showed us what the picture was from each of the cameras so Liz could tell them whether to zoom in or out--so we'd know whether to worry about the position of our feet and knees, for example.

Once all that basic set-up was done, they gave us a count-down, Liz did a little introduction to the show and we started to chat.  It was so easy.  You couldn't really see past the bright lights so it was easy to ignore the cameras.  It really was pretty easy to pretend we were just having a conversation in a cafe and we each learned a little more about each other and our businesses.  

I got to impart a few words of business "wisdom" and to toot my horn about getting into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  When the show is edited, a few of the great pictures that Adrien Bisson took of my friends modeling my jackets will be worked into it.

So we taped two 12-minute segments of the two of us talking, plus short closing and transition segments from Liz.  We were all done less than an hour after I arrived.  No redoing, no fussing around.  An awesome job by Liz and the whole crew.  Liz might have been nervous on the inside, but she was cool as a cucumber on the outside.  I know many of my friends will be doing this with Liz and they should have no worries.  It's fun...and did I say EASY.

But now that that's over, I need to get back to making jackets.  Here's just a teaser of the next one.  I'm putting together larger pieces of fabric this time and working with more dramatic diagonal lines.  I haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do for surface design to tie this all together.  That'll come when the basics have had a chance to stew in my brain for a bit longer.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Newest Art-To-Wear Jacket

Finished another jacket this morning.  I'm getting close to ready for my next product review for the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  I need to complete three more reviews before I'm a full-fledged juried member so I'm working my little heart out.

I'm trying to get better about documenting my work as I go, so I photographed it as soon as I finished it this morning.  Here's the completed version of the green silk jacket I'd started in my previous post.

Threaded Circuits - Size XXL
I called this one Threaded Circuits.  I had fun couching all those rectangles, but it sure was tricky.  I drew out each line with a disappearing ink pen, but sometimes the lines faded just a little too fast.  I'd get part way along a line and have trouble figuring out where I was to go next.  Luckily I managed to thing out okay each time.  I've been underlining each of the sections with silk organza.  That really helps to make sure that the couching lies flat.  It also makes the jacket more durable and less wrinkly...definitely worth the effort.
Threaded Circuits - Back View

I've set aside another selection of green fabrics for the next one, but first I need to take a break for some fix-up work.  I need to redo a couple of hems to get those jackets ready for the League review.  The hems are nice right now, but for the League they need to be spectacular.  So I'll fix them...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Finished with Circular Thinking

I'm writing from the Loading Dock Gallery here at Western Avenue Studios.  I spent a good deal of my morning hour here with a fellow member and friend, Glenn Szegedy, rethinking how my jackets are displayed here.  It was a very productive time and he left me with a long list of tasks to be completed before this coming Saturday's open studios.  I hope I can manage it all.  I know the effort will be worth it.

Over the last week I have finished one jacket and started another.  Here is how the jacket I called Circular Thinking came together.  Following the circular theme of the fabrics, I added inset circles of the same fabric as the lining, couched circles in a similar color to some of the embroidery in the fabric, and a great ceramic button with more circles imprinted in it.  It was so much fun.  I had a little trouble deciding when to stop adding more circles.

Circular Thinking Front
Circular Thinking Back

The next one I've started uses a variety of green silks I found in my stash.  Here again the patterning in one of the fabrics inspired the couching I've added. 

This will be the front
This will be the back.  I'll be adding another line of  couching  on the right.
I have a nice blue with a subtle stripe that I'm planning to use for the collar and lining and some great handmade glass buttons to give it pizazz.