Calica Studio: Experimenting with New Materials
In 2013, before Calica Studio was even a dream or idea, Meghan and I started getting together and revisiting old sketchbooks full of watercolour paintings, collages and dye recipes. Eager to use the studio facilities that we had access to, we began our experiments on fabric with polychromatic screen printing, where dyes are painted onto a silkscreen and then the dried paintings are transferred onto cloth. The resulting prints looked like silky watercolours.
The polychromatic exercises had us feeling excited to explore other ideas. We painted on wool, embroidered canvas, made cards and posters and scarves and hankies. We began working with digital textile printers with facilities in Canada and abroad. We printed on silk, cotton, wool and spandex. This year, a jacquard weaver in North Carolina is helping us create pillows and blankets.
The Shadow Mirror series is the first time we're exploring the possibilities of our designs on a material other than fabric or paper, but the digital printing process is similar regardless of material substrate. The equipment is almost identical and the designs always involve colour, texture and pattern. This is familiar territory for us on fabric, but glass allows for our design process to adjust and grow.
We love taking a peek behind the curtain to see how things are made, so let us show you the production facility where the Shadow Mirrors were created.
Inspiration from around the facility includes experiments with colour, painted glass, tinted mirrors, and the industrial elements found in a production shop.
These pieces remind us that we can continue learning and changing as we go and that specially made goods come in many different forms.