Wearable Art

I became aware of wearable art in 2004 after enrolling in a Design Outside the Lines retreat offered by Diane Ericson and Marcy Tilton. Bored with making banners as I’d done for the last fourteen years, I emailed Marcy and explained a bit of what I was doing and my desire to expand my horizons and stir my creative juices. I also mentioned I hadn’t sewn any garments in twenty years except for my granddaughter’s flower girl dress for her aunt’s wedding. She said the DOL experience would probably be good for that. What an understatement!

Early to arrive at the Padera Lane campus of the Casa de Maria  Retreat Center in Montecito, I set my nerdie newbie self up in the back of the room and began to work on watercoloring lightweight interfacing for an Advent hanging I wanted to do of the Three Kings. I can only imagine what the other participants must have thought. That year I was a commuter and when we were invited to bring something to share at the opening circle the next morning that represented our personal creativity I headed home knowing just what I’d bring – my Grandmother Doll.

Just the fall before I’d made Grandmother at a continuing education workshop on Grandmothers as Archtypes presented by Joyce Lombard and Patty Van Dyke, both therapists and fine artists. Completed over a period of three months, the making of Grandmother was an especially meaningful experience of artfully entertwining aspects of my life with women from my family heritage. Among other things Grandmother wears my wedding dress and pantaloons from my maternal grandmother’s 1907 wedding trouseau.  So she qualified as wearable art…sort of.

Lets just say Grandmother joined the opening circle the next morning sitting in her own collapsible camp chair. During the week I learned I could attack a ready to wear orange plaid shirt with a pair of scissors and make it into something amazingly different. My horizons had expanded beyond what I could have imagined and I had a year’s supply of creative juices ready to uncork once I got home. 

If wearable arts,  creativity, inspiration, designing outside the lines and fabulous fellowship interest you, please check out the links on my home page to Diane and Marcy’s websites. You’ll be in for a treat! And perhaps a retreat…


Embellished Ready to Wear 

Vests & Purses