Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Announcing New Pattern Line Launch!

When I decided to launch my line of patterns, I built the initial concept for the Claudia Mills’ pattern line on the intricacies of woven thread and fabric. Overall, my custom rugs display a repeating pattern, but it is inside of this pattern where the subtlety lies. Different shadow blocks create multiple hues out of one solid block of color. We built upon this theme with our patterns, letting the over and under of the thread compete against the shade of the fabric, throwing a new light on our original color spectrum. The patterns are made of this color-play and a trick of the eye creates tonal color blocks that give our print patterns the depth of woven fabric.

With every pattern I create, I have the same goals in mind as when I begin a custom rug project: I build around color and texture to create something that can be viewed in a several different ways. There is the overall pattern that you see at first glance, then there are the minute repeats of yarn and color that create a unique pattern within the overall scheme. These patterns are interesting to me as they are intended for print, but very much give the impression of a woven article. And like woven material it can be a totally different item on a large scale – when you see the gauges of fabric and yarn – and when reduced to a repeat you are able to see the topography of the pattern whole.

It’s fascinating how weaving and 2-D pattern making can be so similar.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Greetings from Westfield

Working this summer in my Westfield, New York, studio has offered a break from the busyness of the city, but things in my studio here have not slowed down. I’ve been busy creating new items that are reflective of the feel of summertime skies in softer blues and sunny yellow shades. I’m working on several runners and rag area rugs in these shades and have recently finished a pale blue, tone-on-tone area rug that was a commissioned project. Working out of my cabin-like studio here has fueled the creative process and I have also been busy developing new color concepts for fall rugs. You can peruse through the gallery below to get an idea of my process from planning to selecting colors and materials to make sure the end result is something my clients will cherish for a lifetime.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fishing Rock Farm Design Home

We were recently asked to participate in a design house benefit at Fishing Creek Farm, an historic stone farmhouse in Media, PA that was built for the Beatty family in 1928. The design home is being staged with the work of various artists, the sales of which go to benefit the Community Arts Center, located in Wallingford, PA.

We worked with interior design firm, Michael Shannon Designs, on the staging of the show home's kitchen, lending him a number of our leather rag rugs and a cotton rag runner. The rugs are placed in the kitchen and hallway and give the space a rustic appeal that fits with the period of historic significance of the home. The event kicks off tonight with a preview reception and the design home opens to the public May 2nd and runs through May 27, 2012.

All of us at Claudia Mills Studio are excited to be involved in this benefit event and extend our gratitude to Michael Shannon Designs for working with us on this fantastic event. Take a look at the gallery below to see our work expertly staged in a beautiful environment.  

For more information, go to communityartscenter.org.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rag Rug Project for Nantucket Home

Rag rugs are perfect for reinventing old fabric remnants and turning them into something functional, durable, and beautiful. A way to do this yourself is to braid various strips of fabric, then coil them together, and weave or sew these pieces into a flat spiral. The end result can be whatever you want it to be. This is what I feel is the beauty of rag rugs: the final product is only limited by your imagination and the fabric remnants you have available.

For my projects, however, I use new fabric in 100 percent cotton, woven on floor looms. This fabrication is durable, colorfast, and machine washable. Also, using new fabrics as opposed to remnants yields a consistent end-result, which is important when you do as much custom work as I do.

The pictured project was made for a client who wanted a rag rug for the master bedroom of her Nantucket vacation home. I worked closely with the client’s interior designers, Becky Wein and Holly Amsterdam of Wein Interiors in Wayne, PA on the style and color scheme. We wanted to get the look and feel of a Nantucket fall landscape perfectly right for the sunny bedroom in this beautiful vacation home. The final product measured eight by fourteen feet, and was woven out of seven two- by eight-foot strips of fabric, including cotton, various strips of printed material, and silk accent pieces. You can take a look at the photo gallery below to see my process.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meet Jennifer Clark

I met Jennifer Clark this past January and she joined the studio as a full-time assistant in February. She has a wealth of experience and a great appreciation for textiles. She graduated from Philadelphia's University of the Arts, after which she traveled to Switzerland to take on an apprenticeship where she worked with textile designers and artists. Upon returning to the states, Jennifer landed a job as a textile designer for Jhane Barnes, a New York based menswear designer, where she worked on a line by Barnes for Knoll Textiles. She returned to Philadelphia to raise a family and it was while she was at home caring for her two children that her passion for design was reignited via socks. She designed her own line of hosiery that was sold locally before she started here. Currently, she’s breathing new life into the studio with her enthusiasm and keen eye for color and design.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome to Lydia Trott

As of September, Lydia has been a part time member of the studio. Lydia graduated from Philadelphia University in 2007 with a BS in Textile Design. She concentrated on woven design and developed an interest in large scale weaving. A professor noticed this interest and offered to sell her a Cranbrook rug loom (which is the same loom we use in the studio). Lydia jumped at the offer and immediately started using it to make rugs. After moving several times with her loom in tow, she finally landed in Kensington (a Philadelphia neighborhood) after getting married. And her Cranbrook found a home at Part Time Studios, where she continues to weave part time under the name Home Terrain. She spends the rest of her week here at Claudia Mills Studio weaving stock rugs, custom pieces and helping with design. I have known Lydia for several years having met her at an ACC Balitmore show when she would come with her father, Brad Smith, furniture designer and maker. She would hang around my booth asking questions about weaving. I like to think I might have had a slight influence on her choice of textile study. Whatever took her there, I am certainly delighted. She has been a wonderful addition to the studio.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Designing Rugs

There is a process to creating a rug. We don't just put yarn on the loom and start weaving. If it were only that simple! As with any design project there are many steps to go through before one gets to actually make it. There is always a concept; either a group of colors from an image, a facade of a building, a piece of interesting fabric etc. Because we work with the right angle we do have that as a limitation. When we decide on the size of the rug, we go to our fabric samples and pick the colors to use. They are then cut to fit the design that has been drawn on paper. This "mock up" can be rearranged until the design it complete. See below for examples of the designs on paper. I will post the pics of these rugs after they are woven.