Art scarves – transforming my paintings into wearable art

February 2018

A NEW YEAR, AND NOW A NEW VENUE TO SHOWCASE MY SCARVE

This spring, my scarves will again be available closer to home. Starting in April, I will have scarves featured at artEAST’s UpFront Gallery in Issaquah, WA.

artEAST UpFront Gallery has featured me 2D paintings among their artwork for a year now and the time seemed appropriate to bring in my scarves following on several inquiries from customers at the gallery. I am very excited to again have a retail venue close to home, where I will have the direct opportunity to see my scarves find their way into a new owner’s wardrobe. Looking forward to showing them off on my shifts at the gallery beginning this spring. So plan to stop by when you find yourself in Issaquah, and try one on for fun yourself.

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September 2017

THEY’RE HERE … THE SECOND GROUPING OF SCARVES HAS ARRIVED!

“Origami” – my personal favorite! This scarf has so many ways to wear it that will show off different color combinations to add a splash of color to any outfit.

So, with much fanfare and excitement, I’d like to share the second group of scarves that I’ve created and are now available. The fabric remains a 63% silk / 37% wool woven blend that drapes like a dream and wears so sensuously smooth and delightfully. Again, all the scarves individually produced and stitched by a talented handful of artists in the West Coast – printing in Oregon and hemming in California – these are a West Coast production dream. I’d like to thank Steven and Penelope Oshatz at Tancho Images for all their hard work in helping me bring these to completion – I’d be lost without these two amazing souls.

As each piece is an individual creation, the dimensions are approximate and will vary from one scarf to the next. That said, “Lost keys” is approximately 2″ wider than the other long scarves and “Origami” is not a perfect square … but they all wear equally fabulously!

“Messages” – approx. 67″ x 18″

“Hawaiian” – 67″ x 18″

“Jester” – 67″ x 18″

“Lost keys” – 67″ x 20″

“Origami” – 35″ x35″

Scarves will be sent to my marvelous retail representatives – Runway, formerly known as COURAGE b in Aspen, Colorado and Dancing Ladies de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I will have a few set aside for individual orders if you’re interested in acquiring one for yourself. Please drop me a note for more information at rough-gem@live.com.

Cheers all and happy accessorizing!

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Latest update on my scarves is their availability now in my home town. As of June 2017, look for my scarves at COURAGE b at 205 South Mill Street, just one block off the pedestrian mall in downtown Aspen, Colorado. Nichelle Bartel, the manager of COURAGE b’s Aspen location has the perfect eye for fashion coordination and is featuring my scarves with colorful and trendy fashion combinations. Whether you’re looking for a casual ready-wear statement t-shirt or a fun and flowing long cardigan, COURAGE b is the perfect spot to stop for a quick browse the next time you’re in the Rockies, and Nichelle will be more than happy to put together the ideal look for your personal style.

In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the summer sun!

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Exciting news on my silk and wool blend scarves, just in time for the holidays. Beginning in November 2016, my scarves will be available at Dancing Ladies de Santa Fe, located at 225 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cass Schuck, the owner of this colorful and unique gem of a boutique located in the middle of art gallery row in Santa Fe, has brought together a collection of fun and fantabulous colorful artwear from a wide range of designers and everything in her shop is a conversation-starter. So I’m absolutely thrilled to have my scarves join her collection and know that they will each find their way into the hands of a perfect new model for their color and flow.

If you find yourself in Santa Fe, please be sure to stop in, say “hi” to Cass, and treat yourself to a unique new addition to your wardrobe.

Cheers!

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Well they’re here! All six designs have arrived and are ready to find their new homes.

Here are the last two to join the complete set (Please, excuse the less than professional model, but her rates were affordable!):

“Waiting on my martini”

"Martini" - 35" x 35", 63% silk/37% wool square scarf

“Martini” – 35″ x 35″, 63% silk/37% wool square scarf

“In the beginning”

"Beginning" - a large 72"x40", 67% silk/37% wool shawl that drapes like a dream

“Beginning” – a large 72″x40″, 67% silk/37% wool shawl that drapes like a dream

Unfortunately, this group will likely be the only grouping I print in the silk and wool blend fabric. From my wonderful printer to the very talented seamstress who have both struggled with this lovely, but very difficult fabric and on to the challenge of locating the fabric again for future printings, I have surrendered to the inevitability of working strictly with silk going forward when I undertake my next print group. I have yet to locate the silk that I would want to work with, but the search should be interesting. I’ll keep you apprised of my progress. But for now, I’m truly thrilled to have put together this wonderful collection of scarves.

I am looking forward to seeing more photos of other women enjoying my scarves and making them their own as they integrate them into their wardrobes. They really are just fabulous and the colors will work so well with such a wide range of outfits and styles. Please contact me if you are interested in buying one of these limited edition art scarves, and I will definitely share locations where they can be purchased as they become available.

And the grouping –

"Martini"

“Martini”

beginning 1750

“In the beginning”

Channeling 1500

“Channeling light”

Joyful 1500

“Joyful”

Raindance 1500

“Raindance shadows”

forgiveness 1500

“There’s always forgiveness”

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The first four designs have arrived and are already finding their way into new homes for the holidays. The last two designs – a 36″ x 36″ square and a large 72″ x 40″ shawl should be coming in the next week to ten days. Early photos from Steven in Oregon show the four large shawls hanging to dry after steaming before heading out to the seamstress for hemming.

"In the beginning" - 72" x 40", 63% silk / 37% wool blend shawls

“In the beginning” – 72″ x 40″, 63% silk / 37% wool blend shawls

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The first run of my limited edition scarves will soon be available. Here’s a sneak peek at four of the six designs that I will be featuring for the Holiday Season and Winter 2016. For details on these or any of my scarves visit this site again in the coming days or drop me a line at rough-gem@live.com.

"Channeling light" - 72" x 18" scarf on lightweight 63% silk / 37% wool blend fabric.

“Channeling light” – 72″ x 18″ scarf on lightweight 63% silk / 37% wool blend lightweight fabric.

"There's always forgiveness" - 72" x 18" scarf on 63% silk / 37% wool lightweight fabric

“There’s always forgiveness” – 72″ x 18″ scarf on 63% silk / 37% wool blend lightweight fabric

"Joyful" and "Raindance shadows" - 72" x 18" scarves on 63% silk / 37% wool blend lightweight fabric hanging to dry in the sunshine

“Joyful” and “Raindance shadows” – 72″ x 18″ scarves on 63% silk / 37% wool blend lightweight fabric hanging to dry in the sunshine

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The Background Story:

As 2015 draws to a close, I am taking the next steps on a brand new artistic venture. This past February, I started looking into having some of my abstract flow paintings printed on scarves. The idea was simple and elegant. The execution, however, was a bit more complicated.

The first step was to find the right fabric. Although I love silk, I wanted a softer, more lush woven fabric like the blend fabric I had found on a scarf I bought in France in 2014. The scarf was made of a blend of wool and silk. Finding that blend was a challenge. I searched several suppliers locally as well as online, and purchased more sample swatches than one would need to make a good-sized quilt. Finally, I came across a 63% silk / 37% wool blend sold by Dharma Trading Company out of San Rafael, California. The fabric is luscious and drapes like a dream. But, it wasn’t immediately available, at least not in any quantity. So, I placed a back order for delivery in later spring and ordered a sample-size scarf to test the printing process.

Next step, finding someone to print the scarves. This was an even more daunting challenge. Through online searches, I found a company in New York and through a Facebook artist friend, I also found a small printer in Vermont who prints her own luxurious fabrics and garments. I got in touch with both, and there followed a multi-week exchange of emails and phone calls trying to figure out who could help me with the process.

MaryJane in Vermont (do check out her amazing work at maryjaneartwear.com) was a real gem of a find. She explained so much about the process of preparing fabric for printing, the dying process, the dying challenges and color challenges, and some of the general challenges one faces in setting out on a new clothing/fashion venture. She’s been at it for many years and her insight and advice were priceless. My only concern was that she is so far away – I really was hoping to work with someone a bit closer by, although I didn’t quite grasp that entirely at this stage.

The company that I contacted in New York, Sano Design Services, run by husband and wife team John and Tracy Sano, is a marvelous company that does design printing for a number of fashion companies nationally. John was extremely helpful and also gave me marvelous feedback on my plans. Sano Designs ran a couple of test prints for me, which came back with lovely color richness and depth. But again, I found myself wishing I could be a bit closer to the process to work with the printer directly.

My fabric bolt finally arrived, in mid-May. Having found out from MaryJane that the fabric would need to be treated and paperbacked before it could be printed, I contacted Dharma Trading to see if they could refer me to someone who could prep the fabric for me. From there, I was referred to Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Systems in Healdsburg, California, another small company run by a team lead by founder Michael and office manager, Sandy, who does the fabric prepping. Sandy was great on the phone and, when I explained my dilemma about finding a printer to work with closer by, she had an immediate recommendation, Steve Oshatz of Tancho Images in Eugene, Oregon.

Steve Oshatz and his lovely wife, Penelope, run Tancho Images out of their home in Eugene. Both Steve and Penelope are accomplished artists in their own right, and Tancho Images sprang out of the idea of printing Steve’s art on fabric, initially for room dividers, and later for scarves. Their printing business, which took some time to bring into full vision, grew into an enterprise that printed scarves for a number of arts, cultural, tourist organizations and companies, including the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Art Museum, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, The Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood, Oregon, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Opera, and the Museum of Flight among many many others. Steve also prints scarves for a handful of artists around the country. Eureka! I’d found my printer.

Jacquard prepped a 4 yard sample of my fabric, which was sent to Steve in Eugene, and Jeff, Riki and I got in the car to drive down and meet Steve and Penelope and discuss scarf printing.

Steve profiling one of my paintings for sample printing

Steve profiling one of my paintings for sample printing

I spent the better part of a day with Steve, during which he showed me the profiling process which is an art form all its own with the image being modified for proper color tone, density, and shading for the actual fabric print process. Before leaving, Steve had profiled and printed sample swatches from two of my painting images, and we left with Steve set to print three samples of full-sized scarves from the original 4 yard swatch of fabric I’d had prepped and sent to him from Jacquard.

The next step would be for me to find a seamstress who could finish the scarves with rolled hems. Again, this is far more of a challenge than one would think. Rolled hems are a tedious and difficult process and very few seamstresses will take on this work at a reasonable price, if at all. I took out an ad for a seamstress in the Seattle area, and after interviewing two possible candidates, had to admit defeat.

Turning to Steve, who had ample experience with the whole process of finishing scarves for his own work as well as for some of his clients, I found my next solution. Steve works with a seamstress in California who finishes all of his scarves and would be willing to finish mine as well. Of course, this would again mean sending the scarves to yet another location before they would be ready to go, but I was so relieved to have this latest hitch taken care of, that I figured I would make a wider search at a later date. For the moment, I was just anxious to have a finished scarf in my hands. It was already late July, and I wanted to see how the images would fare in the transfer to fabric process.

By August, Steve had printed three scarves and sent them to California for hemming. A few weeks later, the scarves arrived. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

"There's always forgiveness" - re-scaled for print on an 18" x 72" wool/silk blend scarf.

“There is always forgiveness” – re-scaled for print on an 18″ x 72″ wool/silk blend scarf.

The finished scarves required a few hand-brushed touch ups where the dyes had, for mysterious unknown reasons, not taken to the fabric entirely, but from my perspective this only added to their charm. With my brush-work finishes, they are truly each one of a kind and hand-finished. The colors are magical and the fabric flows and lies exactly as I had imagined. I am so excited about this new incarnation of my work.

Bringing my art scarves from just an idea to a reality has been a hectic six-month scramble with several detours and a few hiccups. My scarves will not become a mass-production item in the foreseeable future, but I am looking forward to having a limited collection of perhaps 10 or so of my paintings printed on scarves – and I may yet work with pure silk as Steve did manage to show me how a sample of my work on silk would look – it’s quite vibrant and striking, I should add here. I will be making another trip to Eugene to again sit with Steve and participate in the process of profiling my work for printing. I hope to have a small collection ready before the holidays still this year. I am thrilled that I am able to have this whole process be almost as much of a hands-on direct process as my actual painting. Beyond that, I’m very pleased that my scarves will be U.S. made and that I am able to work with a handful of skilled artists and crafts people in the production of these scarves. They are the product of a few very skilled hands. I couldn’t have asked for more.

I will add photos of new scarves as they are available. The first three have already found their forever homes.