I'm Julia Allen, a designer in Napa,
California. This blog is my place for
gathering and sharing inspiration.
It's also where I can share ideas and
processes for my design work.
(and sometimes, you might just see
a posting for the rant, of just because
a moment needed to be shared.)
Please feel free to say hello &
share your tendencies at
“A Place to Gather is about a respect for the power of Irish material culture. It is an exploration of how design, craft, literature, film - all these different parts of our culture - can connect people, ideas and places. It is about taking a holistic approach to Ireland’s material culture.” – Jonathan Legge, Curator
I can honestly say, connected for me it was. The vignettes of each artist/craft person motioning through their sacred cocoon of creation— of what their hands expertly and automatically operated is layered with thought-provoking dialogue. I find it fascinating... to hear them reveal their daily struggles of working with their Crafts and how those same struggles became the intrinsic quality of their romance of Craft-making. Perhaps even more importantly, it's the vehicle for which they learn and discover more about themselves.
Here, Craft has a much bigger meaning, more than what most of us realize, as the word has been simplified and applied to the notion of an innocent, every person's afternoon of art-making. That craft is sweet and fun, endearing too. Their Craft, their forefathers' Craft is different, deep and in my opinion, the most over-looked. A Craft that has taken them, to surrender their life to the sole purpose of making and doing at such high levels of precision.
It's so comforting to hear and see how personal one becomes in the creation of something. Yes, connected we all are in this. I am still smiling at what the basket weaver said... some passionate words coming from a sweet grandmotherly woman... I hope I never loose that fire in the belly when I get that old too.
I've written out some of the dialogue below. Being able to dwell on what they said and watch the video a few times created a ripple effect so wonderful! Enjoy!
Wood worker I like to use the knots, I of kind like because it gives more character. The product is quite a clean design so we do like to put a small bit of character if we can get a funny defect here or there. I quite like to use it. The thoughts of where my ideas come from?… They're just as much coming from architecture, sculpture and music as they are coming from anything else. Architecture is frozen music.
If I'm working at sixty-eight inches wide, there's eleven thirds to an inch both ways and lengthwise, and these robes are of a seventy-four inches length, and an have eight inch fringe, so the machine comes across directly across a seventy with a four and half fringe. This thing wool garmet here, I could actually could do seven days a week twelve hours a day.
I've spent my life picking up nails off the ground and straightening them because that is what my father use to do. ....You don't know whether you're going to be good at it, you have to become good at it
so whether a person has determination to learn, whether they have they have the burning desire to learn to make baskets is the REAL thing.
It's been likened to twisting honey up onto a spoon. It's a similar kind of consistency. And the whole way through the process it's about trying to balance it and trying to guide the hot glass in certain directions. I first worked out in the factory when I was in transition here. We were doing some work basements and it was just one of the ones I opted to do. I've been here almost ever since.
Ceramist I would use a kind of porcelain, it's a beautiful material to kind of use. it's quite a difficult material to throw because it tends to have a mind of its own. And so, it tends to warp or kind of crack. Or whether it kind of works, its a lovely material. My work would be quite refined, I wouldn't really decorate it, though it's more about the simplicity and minimalism. You know and that kind of showing more the kind of form in the material and the slight imperfection and subtle differences in each piece. There does seem to be more a lot more interest from the art world and design world, and there does seem to be a lot more opportunities for young designers…
Nathalie Lété lives and works in Paris. She works in many ways, mixing different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting… She is inspired by her travels, but also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. Her work is colorful, naive and poetic, sometimes strange, to the point of tending towards art brut. Her world is nurtured by popular and folk art. She produces children’s and graphics books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, but also postcards, ceramic sculptures, silkscreen printed t-shirts, rugs and jewels in limited edition… both for herself and for commissions.
Can I be her when I grow up?
Meet the crayons that can make anyone an artist. Drawing as you
normally would, the crayons make beautiful harmonious colors, making it
easy for anyone to draw pictures with nicely blended colors. Available Here.
Gotta get little Liam some!
The Hopper Creek Montessori 2008-09 quilt is completed! And just in time, as auction begins today!
It's been a great experience working on this project! I've learned a lot about what it means to be forgiving when it comes to a little mistake or when I need to rip out the thread and start over! All-in-all, I am pleased! I hope it does well, to raise funds for Hopper Creek. Of course, my heart and soul was poured into it, so I will bid, but have a limit in mind of what I can spend. Whoever goes over it to win the quilt, has my blessing!
A BIG THANK YOU to all the wonderful children that helped me to make it! Without their creativity in selecting their own leaves, and arranging the colorful felt circles for caterpillars, this quilt would not be as successful or beautiful! It's inspiring to work with such amazing young minds! (And thank you to Carmella for helping to direct the kids too!)
Of course Liam didn't want me to bring it to school today. His words were: "My friends won't like the pictures you took with the camera or the blanket" It's not cool for them. It should stay here (home)."