Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere. ~Vincent Van Gogh ~

Recycle, Reuse, Renew ...

This dress inspired by my love of art, cooking, gardening, sewing and all things natural is made entirely of used coffee filters. 
 Working intuitively this project that began in December 2009 was completed in June 2010.  

This dress became a comforting place to for me to play while working on other designs.  It grew into an obsession sewing each coffee filter element to the dress.

In between working with fiber reactive dyes to create colorful work I like to clean my pallet by working with handmade paper in monochromatic natural shades.  It is important to me to be very involved with my materials. 

Everyday I emptied the coffee grounds into my compost pile, rinsed each coffee filter of excess grinds then carefully hung them up to dry.  This dress object is actually made of several hundred coffee filters.  So many coffee filters are sewn into this dress that a portion were lovingly collect by a variety of people including; Kara, Tim, Jomarie and Jake. 
There is a beauty in itself for people answering my call for help to contribute their trash for my Trash to Treasure art project.
Image here showing  close up of the dress top.
Each  individual coffee filter is folded then stitched with ecru color floss onto a cotton muslin shift dress.  
Each coffee filter has a unique stain that remains even after it has been washed.  
here is an even closer detail of the luscious layers.

When I completed the sewing portion of the dress I poured hot bees wax over the layers. The wax gives a more translucent quality to paper making it look more like skin than paper.  I also love the sculptural quality of the paper impregnated with the bees wax.
The layers remind me of phyllo dough I use to make the honey sweet, almond pastry baklava. 
 "The Greek seamen and merchants traveling east to Mesopotamia discovered the delights of Baklava. It mesmerized their taste buds. They brought the recipe to Athens. The Greeks' major contribution to the development of this pastry is the creation of a dough technique that made it possible to roll it as thin as a leaf, compared to the rough, bread-like texture of the Assyrian dough. In fact, the name "Phyllo" was coined by Greeks, which means "leaf" in the Greek language."

Sometimes when I stare at the dress it looks like the rich, creamy, vanilla Buttercream Frosting I've used to make a special Birthday or a Wedding cake.

Maybe the dress looks like Roses or Peonies ???
Comments from women who have seen images of this dress tell me they don't know if they want to eat the dress or wear it ;~)
Having the dress in my home is a constant source of joy and contentment.  Every time I look at it the inner meaning of this intuitive work continues to unfold the wisdom of this dress.

Added note on September 15, 2010 
 title of this dress art object is
Dressing Gown to Filter Out Bad Chi

It am honored to announce Dressing Gown to Filter Out Bad Chi was juried into the
Northeast Regional Juried Contemporary Fiber Exhibition

 Rochester Contemporary Art Center

April 1 – May 9. If you are able to attend one of the First Friday openings on April 1 and May 6, 6 – 10 PM, we hope you will come and join in the celebration.
The jurying for the
took place on Saturday, February 5. The three jurors reviewed approximately 253 entries from 99 artists and selected 28 works from 21 artists. The accepted artists are:

Marilyn Beal, MA

Jodi Colella, MA

Linda Rae Coughlin, NJ

Cady Fontana, MA

Rebecca Fricke, MA

Meredith Grimsley, PA,

Marilyn Henrion, NY

Tracy Jamar, NY

Pat Klein, PA

Elaine Longtemps, NY

Saberah Malik, RI

Jane Ogren, PA

Carol Rafferty, NY

Michele Ratte, VT

Dana Connell and Elena Shandalov, NY

Adrienne Sloane, MA

Priscilla Smith, MA

Laura Tabakman, PA

Betty Vera, NY

Jeanne Williamson, MA

Vivien Zepf, NY


Monday, June 28, 2010

" In summer, the song sings itself. " ~ William Carlos Williams

I love hot summer days and nights ;~) 

Being transplanted into Western New York, even after eleven years my body has still not adapted to the seven months of long, dark winter weather.

As a flower searching for the sun when the days grow longer and the temperature rises I come to life. 
Last Friday night was a perfect, feel good, summer fun evening for me. 
Looking back at the images I took it was an evening all about being mobile.

Summer evening fun begins @ 2nd Annual Kick-Off Summer Center Fest. 
Captain Jack stopped for a quick picture @ Clarence Center four corners was all dressed up and ready for summer fun ;~) 

 Here are Kara and her friend Crystal in front of a section of the Antique Cars Collection.

Children were enjoying pony rides...

Young boys dared to dream when bikers drove into the action.

Friends of Clarence Garden Club decorated  Bikes In Blooms all along Goodrich Rd.
It was all good fun; an evening of music, good food and meeting friends.
Then it was time to move along to Lockport Canal Fest for the Rusted Root Concert.
Here is Rusted Root singing, Send Me on My Way

  Great summer evening under the stars with old hippies and young hippie type people.
  Two hours of dancing and singing sure does a body good :~)
 Last quick pics to document the evening fun.
  Here I am with fellow artist and friend Marcia Ross.
last pic with Jimi.
All too soon the evening was over and it was time for this one to go home ...   

Friday, June 25, 2010

Every picture has a story - rice rafferty- the story of us ;~)

We're the rice rafferty girls - aka the real Gilmore Girls. We're not the typical mother/daughter we even share the same names.  Kara's middle name is my maiden name hence we share the names rice & rafferty. Since neither of us have a sister so we're best friends and actually enjoy hanging out together. While each of has our own friends we share; inside jokes, love watching foreign and old movies together, attend concerts, cook, garden, work on our designs, and doing our own photo shoots.
We share cross generational information. I took Kara to see Cyndi Lauper, Leon Russell & Mikhail Baryshnikov. Last week Kara took me to an Ingrid Michaelson concert to meet up with her friends. Tonight we're going to see Rusted Root at the Lockport Canal Fest!

We even went to colleges together. When we were looking at art colleges for Kara, I answered the nagging call that I had unfinished business to do. The same day Kara started at University at Buffalo, I entered classes at Buffalo State College. We  shared a joke that morning from Romey and Michele's High School Reunion, " If this doesn't work out, you want to fold scarves ?" It was actually worked out really well because we would share information, critiqued each others work, and share supplies. Kara's university education was more conceptual while my college program was stronger with craft and technique. Together we were able to fill in the gaps everyone finds in their education. This is when our serious art work camp began.

Kara's silk screening class projects were heavily influenced by my fiber background. While the professor had all of his students printing on paper, Kara was off silk screening on t-shirts, up cycled denim skirts and even created her own fabric then made a bras to ward off breast cancer.  From handmade paper which I taught Kara to make, she silk screened her designs then built into lamps for her Senior BFA Thesis Project. Graphic design became more interesting for her when she combined fiber elements - embroidering book covers, binding handmade books, and scanning in interesting textures.

After graduation Kara began working graphic design jobs while I taught classes for two years at my college fiber design program. Working fulltime jobs left less time to make handmade items at first, but Kara quickly learned she also finds joy in the making.  I kept designing devore scarves, working with fiber reactive dyes and burning out the designs.  As Kara would assist me with the process we soon began a partnership that keeps building. Kara designs the business cards, labels and websites. I keep making new garments, statement necklaces and devore scarves.

Always hungry for knowledge, in fall 2008 I moved to Savannah to attend Savannah College of Art and Design masters fiber program.   Kara stayed in Buffalo working as a Graphic Designer. We were miserable apart.  Kara kept researching about textile and accessory businesses while I was gathering information @ SCAD. Last June I returned home full of ideas and armed with more knowledge we started working on more projects together and that is how rice rafferty our cottage industry was born. We specialize in making one of a kind accessories items; statement necklaces, devore scarves, silk scarves, copper jewelry, hair accessories, aprons and tutus.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend." ~Author Unknown

ricerafferty is a cottage industry conceived by mother and daughter indie designers.  Our style is nouveaux antique - new items that are meant to resemble treasures you may find in your grandmother's bureau.

A small business of women focusing on accessories for women we formed out of our dissatisfaction with inexpensive, commercial items that are poorly constructed. We create one of a kind accessories made from our own hand dyed fabric and up cycled materials. No two pieces are alike, but we can try to make items similar if you request more than one.

Our items are meant to last so you can have treasures to pass down to your family members. We make bib/statement necklaces, devore scarves, hair accessories, and tulle accessories. We thrive on experimentation and unconventional ways of making things. Our line is continually blossoming and new items are posted to our website regularly so check back soon.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

"What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us."

                                                  Julia Cameron

What I really want to do is play with flowers. Since I was a young girl I have loved to plant seeds, water gardens, cut flowers then bring them inside to make a beautiful arrangement.
                  I LOVE FLOWERS... 
                                                       I LOVE THE FRAGRANCE OF FLOWERS

                                                                                   I LOVE THE HUES...
notice the elements of vintage jewelry worked into bib necklaces

each necklace is adorned with hand dyed silk cut and sewn into floral elements, stitched, up cycled beads and buttons are added to compliment the composition.
all items are hand made, each original design,  made in limited quantity,

each item has our rice rafferty label is sown in to show authenticity of the product 
back closure detail shown here

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The sun is but a morning star. ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Wish every day would begin like this :~)

I'm a morning person awake with the first rays of sunshine everyday. Today is my idea of the perfect day in Western New York or anywhere for that matter.

A cup of hot coffee is my favorite way to greet each new day.

This is a view of my garden from a balcony right outside of my bedroom.

This morning the air is washed fresh from an overnight rain.
Wonderful fragrance of flowers blooming in my garden fill my garden retreat.

Here is the patio my son Barry designed and built five years ago.

One of my favorite place to be is in the backyard.
When we moved into this house eleven years ago this yard was empty.
Everywhere I live, I create recreate a garden retreat to enjoy alone or as a special sanctuary to have meals with my family and friends.
Being a very sensually aware person I need to surround myself with beauty that feeds my soul. Colorful plants and wildlife feed my sight, fragrant flowers in bloom my sense of smell. I love to taste fresh herbs and vegetables in my garden as well as the good feel of barefoot days in the garden.
Water elements are essential in my garden retreat. The sound of bubbling water is a relaxing as well as an open invitation to birds in my garden. I love to have the windows and doors open to enjoy the birds chirping all day.

In the warm weather I love to work outside in this space with my dyes, making paper or burning out velvet to make Devore. My garden retreat becomes my studio space.

Here is a view from the deck I designed that opens into the house.
Just behind my grown up "playhouse" are the compost bins and our pet cemetery.

The boxwood on the right was gift from my friend in May 2005. It is so fragrant that when Barry was home for Memorial Day weekend we planted two more small boxwood's in this expanded garden space behind my lawn swing. This year I have planted my tomatoes, beans, lettuce and peas in among the ornamental gardens.

There has been five inches of rain in our area during the past two weeks. The soil saturated with fresh water and the plants are lush with hydration.
If I could save time in a bottle this would be what you would see ;~)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let your light shine ...

Trapeze dress - aka - oversized tulle tutu embedded with fiber optic lights

"We can go through life cursing the darkness, or we can simply light a candle."...unknown
Tulle tutu with fiber optic lights...
Fiber optic embedded tutu, trapeze dress, bracelets and embellishments available @ http://www.carolannricerafferty.com/shoppe.html
Related Posts with Thumbnails