2010, Off to a Good Start

3 01 2010

Is it something in the air? Or is it simply that people just couldn’t maintain that on-edge waiting-for-the-next-horror-to-happen feeling any longer? Or maybe all those positive economic signs that didn’t seem to be having any effect on normal folks finally trickled down? Or what?

All I know is that I’ve been turning up every day at the incubator, working on my various projects, talking to everyone who came in, passing out a few flyers each day, and so on and so on and so on.

There hadn’t been a whole lot of results. Enough to keep me motivated to continue for another month, but that’s about all.

Still, any day the buses have been running (except for one when the sidewalks were very icy and slippery), I came into the incubator and manned the place.

Then this week, instead of positive things that did nothing to pay the rent, positive things that WILL pay the rent began to happen on a regular basis, like one or two per day. Alteration jobs, commissions, opportunities to teach. Pocktorian Textiles is getting a bit of attention, getting noticed.

I’m still waiting for my other designers, but now I have much better prospects of providing them with a way to develop their skills and make a living.

I’m still waiting to sell the things of our own design, but even prospects of that are better. A commission turns out to be an “invitation” to develop an item for my line that had been in my mind for some time.

I may not be doing exactly what I had in mind….yet…but the way I think of it is this: I’ll do whatever comes in the door that will help me keep the incubator going. I’ll learn what I can from every one of them.

From alterations, I’ll learn more about how commercial garments are constructed, what parts of them tend to fail, how much time particular alterations take, what the going price for them is, and if I’m really willing to keep on doing them for that amount or whether my time would be better spent another way.

From commissions, I’ll learn about gaps that are not being filled by the high street, particularly fit problems that are not being addressed, populations that are not being well served, along with how much those populations are willing to pay to get something different and something that fits really well.

From the opportunities to teach, I will improve my teaching abilities and build other opportunities to teach, I’ll learn what stock I should buy in to fill the needs of students after they take my classses.

Now to find those other designers, bring in the stock I want to offer, and get this operation off the launch pad. I’m feeling confident, strong, creative, inspired, full of ideas for further projects, more likely to try something I’ve never dared before.


Tiles, Crochet, and Madonna

4 07 2009

No, I’m not going to try to connect those three things.

Tiles has to do with a trend report I saw a few days ago on


about some marvelous sgraffato tiles.


Being me, I couldn’t help thinking I’d like to try that. So today I stopped by a tile store to see if they sold bisque tiles that I could theoretically paint a glaze on, scratch my own designs on, and get fired. They had one possibility at a pretty low cost, so now to find an appropriate glaze and way to fire them, or to find real bisque tiles (not at one of those pottery painting places where it would cost a fortune). I’ll report of future progress on this idea.

Crochet has to do with the advanced crochet class I taught today. Some years ago I earned my living, a pretty poor one, mostly making crocheted sweaters. In the process, I figured out for myself how to do almost anything you’d see in a knitted sweater in crochet, particularly the textural bits. I also invented several patterns. Today we had a student at the center who already knew the basics, so I taught her some of these stitches. Afterwards, it occurred to me that there were several groups of them that I could offer as advanced crochet classes. Got to prepare an announcement and post on


which is like Craigslist for the UK.

I’ve now spent a good deal of the evening watching a Madonna performance from her recent Sticky and Sweet tour. She has always been an influence on fashion, and I don’t watch any performance without noting the costumes, so of course I took notice of these. She wore Hammer pants in satin for some of the show, and two dreadlocked dancers wore some very wide pleated or gathered eastern-style pants, which was a very interesting look I will keep an eye out for. I wish I knew the name of that garment. But what I will be looking for in the charity shops, just for the fun of it, will be some American style football shoulder pads. Her’s were glittered and beaded and sequined to a fare-the-well, which would be a fun project, whatever the results.

With ideas and influences as disparate as these in a single day, is it any wonder that my creative life splits in so many directions?