Moths Matter - Bell Armoire feature

The Moth Series scarves have been featured in the Summer issue of Bell Armoire! Get yourself a copy and check out the many many other talented makers featured in this issue!

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Moths Matter    

The Moth series scarves were born out of a curiosity and passion for the exploration of the natural dye process. They also represent an integral part of the manifesto of my work, which reflects a central belief that the earth is a living organism upon which every living entity depends on every other living entity for its survival; a concept of no singular species holding the most importance, humans included. The more familiar a person is with something, the more knowledge they gain of it and the more value they place on it, meaning the more fervently they may fight to protect it. Through my illustrations of non-human organisms — moths, in the case of these scarves — I’m hoping to plant the seeds of familiarity, knowledge, and value for less appreciated species, in order to preserve and strengthen the delicate balance of their ecosystems. We can’t positively identify the complete effects a particular species has on its surroundings until it is no longer there. With that being said, I strive for my concepts and art-making practices to be congruous with one another. Through my dedication to translating my illustrations onto natural fibers by harnessing the powers of plant color, I am able to make sure that my practices are as low-impact as possible. I utilize plants from my immediate area by collecting food scraps, harvesting leaves, flowers, nuts, and berries from the local landscape, and growing plants I know to be good dye material. In order to put less waste into the world, every scrap of material I purchase is used in some way. I am constantly researching materials and techniques to ensure that I am developing work using the most ethical goods and processes with the least amount of environmental impact. I believe that the process is just as important as the concept, which is as important as the final product.

I choose to send my concepts and ideas out into the world via utilitarian objects so they may be used as daily reminders to the user and maybe, hopefully, as a conversation starter. Moths are important pollinators, many for nocturnal bloomers. Artificial lights distract moths and prevent them from pollinating plants that depend on them for reproduction. We can mitigate this by using colored light bulbs, installing outdoor motion sensor lighting, or putting a cloth or a net (maybe a naturally dyed silk Moth scarf) around the light. We can also help the populations of moth species, as well as other important pollinators, by planting local wildflowers in our yards and by continuing the conversation of their importance with our loved ones and community.

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Constructing the Moth Series

I began the Moth series with questions about the science behind natural dyes in mind and techniques I wanted to learn. My primary technique for applying plant color to fabric is through a process called eco-bundling. The plant is placed on wet pre-mordanted fabric, rolled, secured, steamed, and then left to sit for a number of days or weeks. Within this step, I conducted pH balance tests to see how the plant color would be modified in the bundling process. The bundles were then unwrapped and washed. I made a natural dye print paste and used it to screen-print the illustration of moths on each square of silk. The squares were then steamed and washed. At this point, some of the silk squares were deemed finished. I then selected a few to do mordant modification tests, and a few to be batiked and dyed in an organic indigo vat. To finish each silk square, I hand-rolled or hemmed each piece.

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My lovely model, Olivia Rose, is also a wonderful photographer.  Click here to check out her work!

To cure infinitely and beyond...

The studio I work for, Lovelane Designs, is doing the crowd funding thing (through Etsy!) and asking fans to help expand the company. Demand is growing and production is unable to keep up! We need a special piece of equipment, a large scale conveyor dryer which cures the printed ink to the fabric, in order to stay in flight. This With your super powers and ours, we can continue to create hand-crafted heirloom quality imaginative play-wear for the little ones. Check out the video and the merchandise, support if you're into it!

Thanks!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

Savannah Mossterpiece illustration

Before being awarded the opportunity to complete the Savannah Mossterpiece, I was asked by Judge Realty to create this illustration. It was for the invitations to a party that was held to celebrate the tenth year anniversary of the company, to raise funds for a local non-profit organizaton, ArtRise Savannah, and to celebrate the completion of the Savannah Mossterpiece.


Savannah Magazine for Libbie Summers

The May/June issue of Savannah Magazine is here and guess who has tiny tape bugs featured on page 97!? A few months ago I was asked by the vivacious and multi-talented artistic director, producer, and food stylist, Libbie Summers, to make a few masking tape insects for her spread in the Epicurean issue of Savannah Magazine. Here's a snippet of my feature, make sure to grab a copy so you can see the entire editorial!  All photos were curated by Libbie with the help of Candace Brower, Anthony Lunsmann, and uber-talented photographer Cedric Smith

And here are some up-close-and-personals of the praying mantis and io moth.

A-Town Get Down: Dragonflies Over Mount Kenya

Transformation, Adaptation, and Harmony

The A-Town Get Down is a one-day festival is put on by the Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation, a foundation created in memory of Alex Townsend by his family to help support art and music development and appreciation all around the country. The installation is comprised of over a hundred dragonflies flying above a negative space which makes up Mount Kenya. Alex and his family were avid hikers, and Mount Kenya is one of the mountains they hiked.  My installation is linked to artist, Katherine Sandoz’s stage installation through our concept of linking Savannah, GA with a mountain the family hiked together by referencing the landscapes and ecosystems of each. 

I would like to thank the following people for help on concept and origami folding: Katherine Sandoz, Lane Gardner, Gianina Gabriel, Lyn Bonham, and Payton Gardner. 

The Nature Conservancy of Minnesota

While serving with AmeriCorps NCCC, I was able to work with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Minnesota. I was fortunate enough to have Toni Agular as my crew captain. She led us, chainsaws in hand, to save the prairie, one invasive species at a time. Once my service year was up, she contacted me and asked if I would design something for their region's T-shirts. I was more than happy.

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I also took this design and screen printed it on a heavyweight cream BFK paper at 28 x 22 inches. These are for sale in various colors. Contact me for more information.

Going National

Today, the Made in America segment of ABC World News Tonight featured the studio I work with, Lovelane Designs. The mastermind behind it all, Lane Huerta, designs unique and imaginative EVERYDAY play wear for the small ones...and sometimes big ones too. 

Check out the segment here.

And feel free to buy all of the things here.

Oh, and here's Pixie. She likes to help out as much as possible. 

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The Currents run faaaaar-ish

This past week I was fortunate enough to be a part of Currents, a Westobou Festival art exhibition curated by Susan Laney of Laney Contemporary. Laney brought me on to help assist, sort, and to be the one who remembered that thing that was said and had to be done at what point? Oh yeah!

I was also there to help the lovely katherine sandoz (pictured below) install her crape myrtle works that she'd been working on for the past 14 months.

Laney selected seven Savannah Artist to exhibit work, including; Marcus Kenney, katherine sandoz, Tobia Makover, Melinda Borysevicz, Michael Porten, Will Penney, and Elizabeth Winnel. 

The show demonstrated a very thoughtful cross section of contemporary works by extremely talented Savannians.

The Augusta Chronicle  writes about the opening day of the Westobou Frestival. *photo by Michael Holahan*

The Augusta Chronicle writes about the opening day of the Westobou Frestival.
*photo by Michael Holahan*

SCADpad

In March, I assisted katherine sandoz in the creation of the bathroom for the North American pad, as part of the Savannah College of Art and Design's SCADpad

*photo by John Amis/AP Images for Savannah College of Art and Design*

*photo by John Amis/AP Images for Savannah College of Art and Design*

*photo by  Travis Grant *

*photo by Travis Grant*

*photo by  Keith Morgan *

*photo by Keith Morgan*

*photo by  Keith Morgan *

*photo by Keith Morgan*

Process photos of fabric being color matched and dyed:

A-Town Get Down: Kehoe Remix

I have been fortunate enough to have a hand in creating this large scale, up-cycled, collaborative fibers wall that hung on the fence during the 2014 A-Town Get Down at the Morris Center in Savannah, GA. The work was conceived and led by artist katherine sandoz, and completed by a team of multi-talented creatives, including: 

katherine sandoz, Anita Akella, Emily Chao, Cecily Charles, Alyssa Drennen, Marcella Frankil, Jesse Jordan, Bartira Lobo, Vincent Mccraw, Hale RardinBenazir TorresAutumn Van Gunten, and myself.

What this looks like broken down (courtesy of the sandoz):

size: 3′ x 60′

2,688 square feet of up-cycled vinyl donated by SpeediSign 

4′ x 100′ construction mesh donated by J.T. Turner

6 t-shirts donated by A-Town Get Down

1 ArtPort Shuffle used canvas 9′ x 12′

1 random piece of canvas 2′ x 3′

1 1970′s bed sheet

9:30 – 5:00 (lunch .5 hours) = 7 hours

10 full-time workers = 70+ hours or 2 wks work 1 person

1 color sorting wonder (Oliver, age 7) 1.5 hours

12 pairs scissors

5 pairs needle nose pliers

10 staplers

a lot of staples, zip ties

 

*Photo by  Earl Bryan *

*Photo by Earl Bryan*