Flotsam and Jetsam, (day-to-day studio life).

Hello from the Granaté Prêt studio,

Sometimes I can’t believe the amount of mess the design process creates: tools, equipment, and materials, they eddy around me as I work. Sometimes the studio corners have veritable DRIFTS of fine, multi-coloured wool dust while cutting garments out, (seemingly only minutes after vacuuming or sweeping!) and it’s inevitable that I will have a small hill of scraps tossed in the far corner when I’m finished a collection of samples.

.Flotsam and Jetsam-3


I dislike getting rid of these small pieces of fabric, they’re so potentially valuable…to test stitches on, to make a small embellishment from, to give to nieces or send to a woman I know who creates the tiniest gorgeous fairy dolls.


Flotsam and Jetsam-5   Flotsam and Jetsam-6

Then, too, they themselves are often gorgeous examples of negative space…


Usually the scraps get bagged in large clear bags, and I use my own textile stratigraphy to interpret the sedimentary layers clearly visible from the side…Spring/Summer ’15, Erika’s Wedding gown, Susan’s skirt, Erin’s jacket… Fall/Winter’15… A tactile trove of textile treasures.

Flotsam and Jetsam-8

textile stratigraphy


Then there is the flock of scissors. How many pairs do I own? I don’t know.
The swooping, ever-moving murmuration of my scissor collection amuses as it exasperates me. After a big project, I find pairs tucked under every machine, balancing precipitously on the edges of tables, and usually several pairs at the bottom of each bag and handbag I carry to and from teaching and client fittings. It is lucky they migrate, as I’d never be able to keep them all in the cage they are supposed to live in next to my ironing board.

.Flotsam and Jetsam      Flotsam and Jetsam-2.

I have a tiny regiment of size .09 lead mechanical pencils, what a sense of richness when I see them all together on parade after a teaching term or collection! Strong, dependable, always ready for action, I do love a good .09.

.Flotsam and Jetsam-4.

And so the creative process continues. There is a scuffle, a bustle, the errant scissors get rounded up from their perches around the studio, the pencils lined up rigidly in their barracks above the precious packs of slender Lance needles, the magical colourful fabric dust swept regretfully into the dust pan, the bags of precious leftover fabric nudged back into place beneath the table. I’m ready for whatever process is next.

Flotsam and Jetsam-7

The glamour of the studio. Benoît Barbé photo, Siara Johnson, model, MUA Mona el-Chebli, shoe decorations and clothing Granaté Prêt by Annina King

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