2014 has been an exciting year for my business. I rebranded, the website got a much needed facelift and I introduced you all to my surface design side. Along with these changes came a studio overhaul and my giant printing table that has quickly become the third love of my life after the husband and little one.
I quickly realized, after all the excitement wore off, that I wasn't quite prepared for all the challenges that come along with printing a full fabric width of 57”. Guess what folks! Your arms don’t actually reach that distance…
I needed to get used to this printing table and new way of working but it’s not always easy being a one-man-band. A friend had put me in touch with the lovely Kristine Zingeler, a Calgary based artist and painter, at the beginning of the year. Unbeknownst to me, and luckily, Kristine has a secret love for printing and textiles.
I have been wanting to have an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ in my studio for some time but didn’t think it would happen quite so quickly. Once I connected the dots, Kristine was more than willing to join me. Working with her from May through to September was an absolute pleasure. While she learnt the ropes of yardage printing I learnt how to print on a large scale with the help of another person.
It’s been a wonderful exchange for us both. I forgot just how solitary the life of an artist is until there was another person in the studio sharing the pleasure of a great days work!
To end off the exchange Kristine designed and printed a short run of her very own ‘Poppy’ print. This will be available online soon, as cushions in Danish Red and Deep Coral. So stay tuned!
The only thing more that I have to say is - it’s beautiful, a limited edition and I really hope that we get to print this pattern again in the spring because I’m sure it will be popular!
"I am so happy with how this residency turned out. It has been really beneficial to immerse myself in a completely different creative mindset from my painting practice. Not only did I learn a new technique, I learned a new way of thinking about colour, composition, and scale. I am already seeing a change in my own work that reflects this." Kristine Zingeler
In 2011 the designer revisited her home country of South Africa and connected with CAST (The Church Alliance for Social Transformation) a social upliftment initiative run in partner-ship with community churches and schools. Their purpose: “Mobilizing and aligning local churches to reach out with practical compassion, to empower and transform lost and hurting communities.”
The designer provided free drawing workshops to a group of people from KwaDabeka Township and collaboratively developed a selection of imagery for print. Upon her return to Canada the designer produced and printed a collection of African inspired textiles. This fair-trade opportunity not only paid the collaborating artists for the use of their imagery, it also benefited the group which receives a percentage of sales for items using the printed fabrics/imagery from this collaboration.
We plan to build on this experience and develop further special projects that support sustainable small business development opportunities through art + design.