Tell us about your creative background.
I grew up surround by a family of makers in rural Central Ohio. We were always making and building things from a very young age like ceramics, dyeing fabric, and sewing so naturally I wanted to purse a career in art. I attended Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and University of Tennessee where I studied fine arts making sculptural paintings and installations. While working as a fine artist I found a love for textiles and decided to combine my passion for textiles and fine art. This is when I began dyeing and printing limited edition textiles, designing custom bags and accessories, thus inspiring the start of my own business.
What inspired you to start your business?
My business grew organically after graduation when I relocated to New York and my process of making art changed. For a period of time, I was crocheting large mismatched colorful blankets, collecting vintage textiles and using them as inspiration for paintings and lino prints. I was given a secondhand sewing machine and started altering clothes and making small zipper pouches with leftover swatches and vintage remnants. I started imagining my own drawings and paintings on fabric and began creating original textiles. I took classes at the Textile Art Center and Fashion Institute of Technology and develop a series of textile collections and pouches. I was asked to sell my products at a local craft fair and found the opportunity to be invaluable. The craft fair proved to be an excellent place to share and sell my handmade goods, grow as a business, and to be surrounded by other artisans who had a similar vision. In 2013 DOVELET was officially hatched, specializing in original printed and hand-dyed textiles featuring dreamy aquatic patterns and geometric prints available on handcrafted pouches, totes and accessories.
What is your creative process like?
Most of my designs begin with experimenting with different types of dyes and fabrics in order to find the unique combination of colors and to compliment my current lines and pallets. I create a series of drawings and paintings inspired by patterns found in nature and vintage textiles. Researching past and present trends is also in important influence when developing my designs. My local Queens library has proved to be a great resource providing a variety of textile, fashion and craft “how-to” books which are a great starting point for my creative process. Collecting a series of images from these books along with magazines, blogs and photos help create the pallet of colors and designs.
What is your workspace like?
Over the years my workspace has grown quickly to accommodate larger projects. I always have large tables to do my dying and cutting on along with access to a slop sink that I use for the dying process. A collection of specialized sewing machines that cater to the many techniques I use when creating my bags and accessories also fill my space. Within my current Queens, New York studio my inspiration board with color pallets and designs is a reference point and guide to building a collection.
Who are your favorite designers and artists?
I have so many favorite designers and artists but have always admire works by artist Polly Apfelbaum, Sheila Hicks, and Henri Matisse. Recently, I have been inspired by Sugar Weather Textiles, Duro Olowu, and Dinara Mirtalipova.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and your photos!
This Sunday, May 3, 2015, I will be joining Rachel at the Ridgewood Market!