I work on a five-yard painting rack, layering dyes
and paints in eight to ten stages, to build unusual
color transparencies and textural interest over jacquard
and crepe de chine silks. Rather than using
resist, which corrals the dye within an outline, this
intensive layering process builds a more nuanced
and multi-dimensional sense of color and shape.
Because the fabric weave is integral to surface
design, I have begun designing my own jacquard
patterns to be woven for the Sea Silk line before I
begin the painting process.
My fabric designs often have a narrative line which
uses the traditional Asian calligraphy and nature
motifs filtered through a distinctly contemporary
Californian style, sensibility and craftsmanship. My aesthetic sense is probably influenced by the
period I spent living and traveling with my family
in Southeast Asia as a child, and later, in my studies
for my undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and
Religious Studies. Art was never a matter of formal
study, but a form of play throughout all stages of
Some of my fabric designs incorporate 12th century
Buddhist text and traditional Chinese blessing
ways. Rendered in Japanese calligraphy, the Haiku
Collection is a design series drawing on the work of
Issa, an 18th century poet. Exquisitely simple, the
haiku form distills and frames a moment of quiet
observation of the natural world, and at the same
time, alludes to the transitory nature of the moment.
Continuing in the Japanese “Gyotaku” tradition, I
use botanical blockprints taken from leaf rubbings.
These multi-layered designs may use 19th century
British etchings of dragonflies, butterflies and
moths in flight over Issa’s poems and falling leaves.