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Color work

This kind of work is very important to me as a designer. Color sets the stage, not just literally but also psychologically. Faber Birren, a color theoreticist, noted that "the sound of the oboe is violet, bass notes are brown, percussion notes are orange.” This brings to mind what John Ruskin said in his “Elements of Drawing” 1857: “The whole value of what you are about depends on color. If the color is wrong, everything is wrong: just as, if you are singing, and sing false notes, it does not matter how true your words are.”

Today I am refining the Inspiration board for Ma Cong's new work for the Tulsa Ballet. A beautiful piece set in part to the very evocative Fado music of Portugal. My inspiration comes from the palette of the ocean, sand, rusted and oxidized metals as well as the natural murex purple dye produced from shellfish.

Colored shawls on the left with my dyed samples on the right. This kind of work is very important to me as a designer. Color sets the stage, not just literally but also psychologically. Faber Birren, a color theoreticist, noted that "the sound of the oboe is violet, bass notes are brown, percussion notes are orange.” This brings to mind what John Ruskin said in his “Elements of Drawing” 1857: “The whole value of what you are about depends on color. If the color is wrong, everything is wrong: just as, if you are singing, and sing false notes, it does not matter how true your words are."

Artist + Choreographer

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Today I met up with the artist Steve Jensen (http://www.stevejensenstudios.com/) and choreographer Olivier Wevers (http://www.olivierwevers.com/), to work on the stage and costume designs for Wevers new work for his company Whim W’him. We had the pleasure of working in Steve’s Seattle studio on Capitol Hill. I brought along my dyed fabric swatches plus a quick costume rendering and we spread out the color groups to see where we were in terms of contrasts and harmonies.

The objective was for Steve to work up scale paintings for the floorcloth, backdrop and wings. Paints had been mixed based upon our previous conversation, canvas cloth was stretched ready to be painted on with an assortment of large sponges and brushes.

An organic process, Olivier’s inspiration stems both from his vision and expression of nature and his admiration for Steve Jensen’s work. So, ideas begin in conversations, then the painting begins…

These painted drops are all about gestures in shapes and colors, so to get it right the artist has to ask what gesture does it have? What is it doing? Curving diagonally from top to bottom, right to left? What is its energy level? What is the spirit of its movement, its light, its color? Then, one begins to see the actual composition of the painting in gestural terms.

Gesture is, whether conscious or unconscious, a “significant” movement of a body. The act of putting the paint onto canvas, the gesture, begins by distilling the canvases movements into the principle forms that make up the image.

To do this Steve uses his paints boldly. Like a dancer, the body and mind are prepared mentally to deliver the energy needed for the brushstrokes movement.

Not as easy a process as it seems, as the conversation can complicate the understanding and prose often lies more fluidly than images. Nevertheless, quite a few painted samples down the line, and… success! A perfect collaboration between choreographer and artist.

Tiara

The finished Tiara.

The template in black and the substrate in white. Two layers with a wire center will be stitched together to form the shape of the base.

Another Black Swan Tiara on the workbench.

Hammered copper base wired to crown, gessoed then filed and sanded. Size and silver leaf applied.

The finished Tiara.

Monochromes

{WOG}1

Practically perfect monochromes. Neutrals tones can be the easiest color for an accessory, as they go with just about everything. The {Wallet-On-The-Go} holds your identification, a couple of cards and a little cash, and is just the thing for those of you who often wonder who you are, and why you’re there… and, conversely for those who also need to know who you are, and why you’re there…

Black Swan

{BLACK SWAN}
{BLACK SWAN}

Another {BLACK SWAN} in the workshop! The green/black iridescent hackle feathers are particularly beautiful, set against the variety of blacks in the tulle and bodice, but be warned, they are not easy to sew into a project!

All the ornamentation is applied by hand. The feather “wing” extensions are individually graded, controlled onto a ribbon length, than bound and sewn down. Bloody fingers ensue!

The larger jewels are hand-wrapped in tulles which are dyed to “colored” black shades. The settings for the jewels are enameled in black.

These tutu's always take an extraordinary amount of time, which translates into labour... and quite a bit of that is hand-sewing and finishing work, around 80 hours of labour for that alone. Swarovsky crystals, vintage iridescent sequins, black glass jet beads and wrapped jewels are hand sewn onto the venice lace motifs, which are hand sewn onto the bodice and basque before the embellishing begins.

The ballet costume includes a 3 layer Silk-dupioni boned bodice, with lace-up back closure, a classical hooped net and tulle tutu skirt with silk basque and “hip- wings”. Since it is custom made, it is sized to specific proportions. For those who want to wear this as a costume, I would advise them that it is a real ballet tutu. The skirt is standardly short and stiff, shows off all the leg and thighs and presents some difficulty when sitting or getting through some doorways. No slouching in this and you cannot relax your hands down by your side!

Chroma Necklaces

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{Chroma Swatch Necklace} Inspired by chromatic explorations of color, this fun necklace makes use of my surplus of custom hand dyed wool color swatches. A color for every mood they are light, soft, colorful and comfortable. Find them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cjdldesign?section_id=10027938

Inspired by chromatic explorations of color, this fun necklace makes use of my surplus of custom hand dyed wool color swatches. A color for every mood they are light, soft, colorful and comfortable.

New Colors!

new colors

I am adding new colors to the {wallet-on-the-go}, something to please everyone… view them in my shop and let me know what you think!

Look who’s wearing the {WOG}!

gareth-pugh-rabbit

Just when it seemed like the good old days of rebellious eccentricity were over, you nabbed *this* at the thrift store. You are the first to admit your perverse obsession with balloons, yet you don’t really know what this is. It is defiantly ridiculous but you will wear it… because, after all,  you are a masterpiece in yourself and will pay homage to the chi chi, style obsessed ethos and love of ‘the perfect circle’, culminating in a fusion of curvaceous chic, spank-me-spandex, free floating spheres and blow up couture. And while it’s not the most practical of outfits, it’s cool and you know you’ll be channeling your inner rabbit, as well as everyones wireless signals.

How will you carry your essentials without pockets or hands you ask? Why with your {Wallet-On-The-Go} you silly wabbit! The {Wallet-On-The-Go} really is the best accessory for those who are overwhelmingly preoccupied with appearance because even when they can’t see it, they know it’s there.

* with thanks to Gareth Pugh

Look who’s wearing the {WOG}!

venus

Heaven and earth may rejoice at her coming, but this prescribed naturist and mother of 5 has to be practical without being hampered. Try juggling countless lovers, children, graces, gods and zephyrs, only wearing whatever breeze happens to be blowing! You will quickly find out that a scallop shell is not enough.

Shown in our popular magenta color, the{Wallet-On-The-Go} leaves Venus’s hands free for the task of bringing Civility, Refinement and Love into the world. . . and her legs free to kick off the dogs.

Look who’s wearing the {WOG}!

Frederic_Chopin

A positive miracle of refinement, Chopin believed that time was the best censor, patience a most excellent teacher and the {Wallet-On-The-Go} the best accessory for the dexterously inclined.