Monday, September 15, 2008

Surface Design Crash Course Wrap Up

Wow! What a week. Spending a week with insanely creative women making art is just .... awesome. I was really glad I jumped on the chance to take Kat's Surface Design Crash Course last week.

There is almost too much to write about - so I'm gonna pull a DJ Lance Rock (Yo Gabba Gabba, anyone?) and "breakitdown!" for ya.

Instructor Love: Kat proved herself, once again, to be an incredibly prepared, patient and fun instructor. She so clearly has an incredible passion for what she does, and she really knows her stuff. She provided amazingly thorough instruction, examples, notes and experiences. I feel like I've taken an entire college course in one week. Kat just plain ole rocks.

Classmates: I don't think a more fantastic group of classmates could have ever come together. Honestly, I was in dreamy company all week long. First off, I got to take the class with my beloved Leslie Bonnell. I mean, yeah, we *work* together, but getting to spend a week *playing* together? That's just nirvana straight up.

Then I was able to do a last minute plug for the class to a gal I've admired for ages: Curlin Reed Sullivan of PippingTooth Studios. I first met Curlin a handful of years ago in a mom -entrepreneur group, and instantly developed a little crush on her. She's got the most fun spirit, and her work is just ... well, you can't look at it without smiling is all I'm sayin'. And you can't be around Curlin without smiling, so she made for a fantastic classmate.

There was Laurie who just moved back to Austin after living in Brooklyn for several years (she even took a class at Etsy labs - how rad!) She's an advertising exec who's tossed the soul-crushing corporate life to pursue a craft-based business. Hurrah!

Victoria had, perhaps, the best idea of anyone I've been around in a while: she took the Surface Design class as part of her vacation! That's right - she had a staycation of sorts and took the class during her week of vacation. How brilliant! Then there was Laura, who designs costumes for local theater companies and ended up making some of the most gorgeous dyed silk scarves I've ever seen in class. Her husband recently accepted a job in Portland, and they'll be moving in October. I asked if she could stick me in one of her boxes.

With a class this concentrated in time over one week, it's important to enjoy your classmates, and I truly can't imagine having a better group of women with which to experiment with surface design. Ladies, THANK YOU!

Class Lessons: Whewboy! We covered loads of techniques! Dip Dye, Low Water Immersion, Over Dyeing, wax resist, painting with dye, bleach discharge, screen printing, stamp carving ... and more, I think! I learned some great stuff about color that I wasn't expecting, and found the subject of surface design to be just darn interesting.

Deeper Class Lessons: This was an interesting class for me to take, because I tend to be a very bold, crisp, graphic kinda gal, and haven't done much with fabrics that have so much depth and texture. But as we learned a new technique each day and I watched the layering take place and the depth and interesting bits started to show themselves ... I was sold. It was very cool. I still don't know what I'll do with all my fabric, but I had loads of fun making it, and even more fun exploring my reaction to what I was learning.

Other notes: Studio 1408 is such a cool place to take a class. It's cozy and fun and a perfect creative environment in which to learn. Kat is an incredible instructor, and I know bits and pieces about some of the other folks who teach there, and would highly recommend them. Be sure to check it out.

And, if you have loads of spare time (don't we all!) you can look through all of my Surface Design Pictures to learn more about what we did. Enjoy!


  1. What an amazing experience that class was! I am so glad that we got to dye our little hearts out. Your pics and recaps are fantastic. I added a link to your post and pics from my blog. Thanks for sharing them with everyone. Hopefully will get to see you at an open studio sometime soon. And it was great to see you at the Obama fest last night!

  2. Looks like so much fun! You're making me want to move to Austin!


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