Saturday, May 5, 2012
Two weekends ago I attended "Shop. Talk. Stitch" - A gathering at Heath's Sausalito factory/store with Catherine Bailey and Natalie Chanin. They shared stories about their individual businesses, friendship and the lovely tableware collaboration they completed at the end of last year, Alabama Chanin Collection for Heath.
It's always cool to hear about the process and "behind the scenes" of a collaboration - especially when the designer's mediums are so different. Natalie and Cathy shared some great stories about how they translated their ideas - from the beginning design stages, patterns & color palette, to the inevitable production obstacles & creative problem solving. I was amazed to learn that the traditional embroidery patterns are each hand drawn, mark by mark, on each piece, by one women in the factory! I applaud her patience, steady hand and excellent graphic eye. Similar to the action of hand-stitching on a garment - this pattern is hand-etched in clay. Inspiration for the color palette came from the mineral rich, red soil of Natalie's home state and the French blue colored dishes she grew up using with her family.
It was a gorgeous day and after the talk we all gathered in the sunny courtyard to sew tea towels, drink wine, savor delicious biscuits and fresh veggies (and talk some more). My tea towel is coming along beautifully and will be sent off to mom this week. A perfect Mother's Day gift, no?
I think this collection really celebrates the esthetic, creativity and intention of each designer.