May 15th, 2019
It has been a while since my last journal entry. I am happy to be finally writing from my new studio above the 422 store, set to open in 10 days. (!!) Below are some images of the new studio and some things I've been working on.
The image of the woman is a detail of a group photo of The Twilight Club, a sorority in Franklin which disbanded in the sixties.The image below is of Frank Taylor running the Spring herringbone at Thistle Hill weavers.
The Twilight Club
November 10th, 2018
Delhi, New York. I was lucky enough to shoot in this abandoned second story bank in a building on Main street in Delhi. Naomi Yang, Susanne Sasic and Laura Kenner and I shot a short film with some inspiration I provided about this guy who lived in a crawlspace unbeknownst to the tenant below him from a radio program I had heard. Laura who plays the “crawlspace ghost” wears two dresses I made from antique tapestries, unused upholstery needlepoint and burlap needlepoint artwork.
Naomi shot and directed and Susanne (lighting designer legend) designed the lighting. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result. I’m thinking of using the incredible Castle wall paper as a print for this Spring and need to go back and document all of the wallpapers before they disappear.
Film to be shown in December Photos by Susanne Sasic
October 28th, 2018
Almost All Hallows’ Eve. When I was four years old, I owned a Wicked Witch of the West doll. At some point in the 1970s, figurine editions were made of all the characters from the Wizard of Oz. I only wanted the witch, and for some reason, my Mother indulged me. I remember we were living with my grandmother in Cedar Hill, Wilmington Delaware, and I can still feel her disapproval.
I was a witch for Halloween for many years. Later in high school, I found one of the costumes my mom had sewn for me at the Family Thrift Center in New Castle, DE. There it was, draped on a mannequin in the days leading up to Halloween. I knew it was mine because of the bullion fringe my mom used around the hem, and the polyester with the simulated home-spun linen texture. It was 1986. I was a Goth and was really happy about who I was for the first time.
Two months ago I asked my dear friend, Naomi Yang—collaborator and designer of some of my favorite album covers and books—to design a Goth-worthy graphic tee for me using the photograph from 1909 that Sean and I found of 422 Main Street. I love how the three women look right into the camera; the story is writing itself. They wanted to do something really great on their own and, as is the case with anything worth doing in life, faced much resistance. From there, the story unfolds through many decades.
Happy Halloween. T-shirt available this December.
October 10th, 2018
I spent a wonderful day at Thistle Hill Weavers finalizing yarn qualities and colors for the Lincoln Jacquard. The Mill is owned and run by Rabbit Goody--a weaver, historian and founder of the Textile History Forum. Her husband John operates the jacquard loom, and together we finalized five different yarns for the weft. This means I will have a limited series of cashmere, camel and alpaca shirts. I was thinking I would use the Big Shirt pattern to make the pieces feel like a really luxurious flannel shirt.
The design is taken directly from a surviving sample of Damask curtains found in Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois that Thistle Hill Weavers replicated and produced. The fabric was originally woven in gold and red, but we are running it in a black cashmere with other colors and qualities. Just in time for the Holidays!
October 8th, 2018
Last Winter I traveled up to Thistle Hill Weavers in Upstate NY to go to their annual fabric sale. I fell in love with these Ingrain Carpets from the first half of the 19th century and bought 3 yards of each which was as much as I could afford at the time. I went home and washed them,they shrunk (a lot) and got very soft. It took me until this past September to cut and sew them into a favorite shape of mine.. the old man coat..inspired by that famous Amy Arbus photo of Madonna in the tattered over size coat. I made one in the red..Maple Leaf from 1850.. and the other in the beige/orange color way. The sleeves use the very first jacquard I designed with Gina Gregorio that we had woven at Raxon Fabric Mill in Pennsylvania.