The Artisan Project

My award winning Artisan Project, Shades of the Sea, was well received at the 2018 International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa. Many had questions about the process so I thought I would tell you how it all came about.

The theme: "The Future's Looking Bright - Gotta Have Shades" was announced by Terri Booser, director of the Artisan Project, in the summer of 2017. Each entry was required to include a safety compliant operational shade and to incorporate "shade" in another way as well.

My inspiration was the Caribbean and the shades of color in those gorgeous waters.

My design was to be evocative of water and its waves and flow. I incorporated a soft cornice with curves and layers of color, a swag with sparkles of fringe, draperies with horizontal color blocking and a puddled hem, and a marvelous layered Roman shade like the waves of the sea. I envisioned the sheen of silk with beaded trim to bring to mind the glimmer of sunlight on the water. This is my initial rendering of the project.

Entries were due at the end of October and were judged by a panel of eight judges. I was contacted that my design was one of six winners in November. Then my work really began.

First I had to choose fabrics and trims from the supporting vendors who donated everything we needed to produce the winning designs. Catania Fabrics had three perfect shades of blue silk dupioni and Belagio Enterprises, Inc. had pages and pages of sparkly trim on their website. It took several sessions to narrow down my choices. We ordered memos and when those came in I made my final decisions for trimming the swag and the fabric shade layers.

Then it was time to make a fabrication plan and list all of the supplies that would be needed to complete my design. Rowley Company provided all the workroom supplies and Hanes Industries provided all of the linings and interlining.

Now remember, there are SIX winning designs. Terri Booser is coordinating all of the necessities for six designs with the fabric vendors, trim companies, Rowley Company, Hanes Industries, and Safe T Shade who donated all of the motorized lift systems. Her organization and coordination of all the parts and pieces was phenomenal!

Fabrication Weekend was scheduled for the first weekend in February and I made travel arrangements to fly into Houston, Texas where Rachel would meet me and drive me to the workroom in League City, Texas.

Stay tuned for the next installment: Artisan Fabrication Weekend.

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