Tuesday, July 19, 2011

matisse house

Henri Matisse, Pianist and Chess Players, 1924 

 Henri Matisse, The Painter's Family, 1911

The work of Henri Matisse has been a constant joy and reminder to me of the energy created through art. One of the many reasons I'm so drawn to his work is his use of repeating decorative motifs within his paintings. Matisse created pictures within pictures by depicting patterned textiles, wallcoverings and furniture in his interiors.

When I decided to undertake an extreme make-over on my old dollhouse as a gift for my niece, who better to look to for influence than Matisse. Each room of the tiny three floor home draws color and design inspiration from one of his vivid, ornamental paintings. So far, it’s the closest I’ve come to my daydream of sitting on the green chair in My Room at Beau Rivage.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

pioneers of repurposing

My Fourth of July week was spent screen printing flour sack towels. I’m so thrilled to have a new set for my kitchen as well as offer them in my Etsy shop. I've always loved the old-world feel and look of flour sack. I envision myself and my customers using them, not only for their intended purpose, but also creating new end uses for this beautiful fabric. 
Originally woven to contain flour, oats and other dry goods, flour sacks were replaced by disposable packaging in the 1950s and this had a huge impact on the availability and reuse of the material. Prior to this modernization, during the Great Depression era, women stitched everything from curtains to underwear with the lightweight sacks after the rice or chicken feed had been used. Many producers even started printing the cloth with floral patterns in recognition of this movement in frugal ingenuity. How wonderful to be scooping sugar from a lovely natural vessel one day and buttoning up a dress made from that very flour sack only days later.