While we have shared a number of mini-interviews with Teachers, there are still a couple more to go! I am so proud of the diversity and talent in this area, it makes me smile down to my toes. Last week after my talk at Pecha Kucha Portland, I met another young designer who decided to leave NYC for the wilds of Portland, Maine. It's always good to meet your 'people' (us fiber fiends) when you go somewhere new, we bonded instantly.
We now have all our studios rented, and as they move in this space becomes more and more special. When I was messing around with the website the other day I heard an unfamiliar sound. I got up to investigate and learned that actual weaving was going on at A Gathering of Stitches! Fiber was being created in this space! It actually brought tears to my eyes, but then I get that way some times. Our projected open the doors to you lovely folks date is Thursday, August 15th. We'll start by having a couple of stitch-in nights so you can come in and check out the space, get the lay of the land, and see what it feels like to play with fiber here. We'll have an official opening celebration in September with food, fun, raffles and other celebratory goodies. But for now we'd like to do a quiet opening (well, not too quiet) so we can work out any kinks that may arise. Stay tuned for more details!
Herewith I introduce to you, Suzanne Parrott, up-cycling wizard.
Suzanne is a painter and clothing designer who grew up in Maryland but has lived on beautiful Peaks Island for 30 years. She has taught art and craft classes for both children and adults, been a felter specializing in rugs and outerwear, and has had work in the Maine Biennial. Suzanne has been sewing and upcycling textiles since she learned to sew at the age of nine. For the past 2 years her company RickRack Upcycled Clothing has been a part of Portland’s First Friday Artwalk with their popular Flash Fashion shows held in Monument Square.
In the process of re-fashioning clothes she spends many hours sorting, washing, seam-ripping, and cutting garments. Her greatest pleasure is making the design decisions of choosing just the right mix of colors, patterns and textures and then engineering what kind of garment will highlight those attributes. Fun is the only word she uses to describe this process.
Suzanne also has a BFA in painting from The Maryland Institute College of Art and has studied surface design at Haystack Mountain School of Craft. You can see her work on her website: Rickrackupcycled.blogspot.com
• AGOS: What made you first take up sewing?
• SP: I have wanted to make things my whole life and loved the colors and textures of fabric
• AGOS: Did you learn from someone dear or important to you?
• SP: I learned a huge amount from my great Aunt Agnes who made my clothes when I was little. She was one of my favorite people. When I was 9, I learned all the formalities of sewing in 4H
• AGOS: Why do you sew?
• SP: Wow! I wouldn’t know how not to.
• AGOS: Who are your design influences?
• SP: I look at lots of paintings. I love Rothko’s colors. As far as clothing, I’m very drawn to vintage styles and modern Japanese clothing designers. http://edytaandco.blogspot.com/2011/01/mark-rothko-inspiration-for-color.html
• AGOS: Do you have a favorite material or fiber to work with?
• SP: I’ll sew anything
• AGOS: Tea or coffee?
• SP: Yerba Mate’