As I look back, I realize I gain so much inspiration and energy from travel and visiting other cultures. I feel truly blessed to meet so many different artisans and thought leaders in each place and learn the techniques, customs, and visions of beauty in different parts of our precious world. Travel helps fuel my creative outlet and keeps me inspired , creative , focused and engaged. After long trips, to tie together all the information I have absorbed, I find solace and clarity in running endurance events. Cross-country running through remote places and in the mountains is a peaceful outlet and also a time to do my best reflection/meditation on projects and design.
The past year with filled with exploration and inspiration. I traveled to India where I was part of the Ink conference and met passionate and caring thought leaders in art, technology, and design. , Paris, France where I attended the annual Maison et Objet Show, Buenos Aires, Argentina with Leaders of Design, and also visited Mercado Global in Panajachel, Guatemala where I met the social entreanurship visionary Ruth DeGolia and with artisans she collaborates with and learned about back-strap loom weaving and foot loom weaving techniques. Visiting the Mercado Global co-op particularly touched me. Mercado Global is a wonderful non-profit organization that links indigenous artisans in rural Guatemalan communities to international sales opportunities. The organization especially supports female artisans and the principles of sustainability; two facts that are important to me and my core value of working with artisans and organizations that can change the social fabric of their communities.
During my travels I also got the privilege to complete endurance-event runs in the Swiss and Italian Alps, Canada, Zion and Arizona. The long endurance runs are a form of meditation for me, where I let the images and ideas from my travels freely flow and inspire my work. I find that running is the common thread and tool to reflect on the journey of design.
I often work with local workrooms to create Old World details for a modern application. I find it brings together the best of all worlds. Recently, I completed a window treatment project where I worked with Fortuny (Venice, Italy) for fabrics, Houlès (Paris, France) for fabrics and trims, and a local San Francisco workroom, Kenneth Meyer for custom trims. Since I have been to Fortuny in Venice, I felt even more connected to the fabric and the inspiration the fabric gave me for my project. I also love to work with local companies and to support businesses that create details for projects using techniques that have been done for many centuries.
The examples below are of the gorgeous and timeless Fortuny fabric ( hand blocked printed in Venice , Italy)and hand carved details, which was created by Mariani in San Francisco and the gold gilding was also done by a local SF workroom, Villafranca Studio. I love working with skilled artisans and workshops that have a passion for detail and quality. The lower image I used Fortuny paired with Pollack k fabric: I love combing old world and new fabrics together