Tancredi & Morgen's Spring Celebration
April 28 in Carmel Valley
I am excited to announce that I have been invited to show my textile work at the lovely and inspiring Tancredi & Morgen shop.
Come say hello, and see the textiles in person!
My Q and A Session
With Tancredi & Morgen's Megan Alldis
Describe your process and approach to this particular collection of work.
I have a meditation practice and somehow, when I get into that meditative state, I see pictures of symbols, shapes, icons, and patterns. I have been drawing what I see for many years, filling notebooks quietly. With this line I get to share some of that imagery, which I am really enjoying. I feel that these shapes conjure up a layer of universal visual knowledge, a primal type of information. Hence the name The Knowledge Remembered Collection. Having these shapes on textiles means that the wearer can be cocooned by them, have a physical connection with them, use them in their homes and on their travels.
What inspires you as an artist and designer? How do these inspirations present themselves in your work?
I continue to be inspired by experiences in my life, times spent visually absorbing the textures and colors and iconography of the different cultures that I am so grateful to have had the chance to call home: mainly South Africa, South and Central America, and now California. I continue to be constantly drawn to, and curious about, the artifacts and markings of ancient cultures and the repeating shapes found in Nature.
How and where are your scarves made?
The cotton batik pieces are each hand made by the artisans of Baobab Batik, in Swaziland. It’s a social enterprise employing 37 Swazi women while keeping the batik textile tradition alive. It’s a truly wonderful project and I cherish the time I spent over there, working with them on my designs for this line. Each khadi piece has a vibrancy to it, almost a presence, which I attribute to the many hands that went into the creation of each one and the time the textiles spent drying under the African sun.
The silk pieces are hand painted and printed, using all natural dyes, by me in my studio here on the Peninsula. The silk is an Ahimsa (vegan) silk. It is made by Indian families who work together on the various aspects of the process: from the planting of the castor plants that the caterpillars live on straight through to the weaving of the cloth. As the caterpillars are able to complete their life cycle uninterrupted during the process of harvesting the silk threads, the silk is a “peace silk”. The resulting cloth is soft and a unique light golden color. It takes the natural dyes beautifully.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Natural materials. Definitely. For textiles: cotton, linen and ahimsa silk are my favorites. I really enjoy extracting and mixing up batches of all natural dyes using plant material and natural mordants (which bond the color to the fabric so that it doesn’t wash out). And I also have a fondness for paper. And metals. And wood. I guess have more favorites than I realized!
As an artist living on the Monterey Peninsula, does the natural beauty of our area inform your designs? If so, how?
Oh yes. I find my attention most often goes to rocks and stones during hikes and time spent outdoors. Their colors, shapes, and textures all fascinate me. To think that they have all been around for SO much longer than we have always reassures me on some core level. I love being able to access Nature so quickly and effortlessly here on the Monterey Peninsula. Having lived in cities for many years, I value that immensely.
Do you have a favorite item from Tancredi & Morgen?
I have been a fan of Tancredi & Morgen (as has my mother) for many years now and I have a small collection of clothing items from the shop. What I love most is how timeless these pieces are and how they get softer and better with each wash. A big added bonus is how well they pair with the textiles in my collection. I especially cherish these two linen tunic dresses I have. One is a lightweight and one a heavier weight linen. They are easy and effortless choices for when I want to be comfortable and still look elegant (which, if I’m honest, is always).