Sunday, June 28, 2015

Textile Jewelry

Several years ago I made and sold textile necklaces, collars really, to a sweet little shop in Carmel, California.  Findings was tucked back off the street so you had to know about it or wander back exploring to find it.

Nancy King sold fabrics, buttons, ribbons and other new and vintage findings that were perfectly chosen.  It was a beautifully curated shop.  But alas, it's no more.  Many of us still mourn it's passing.

She was kind enough to take my collars, she probably sold 20 or so.  You can see a couple of them on  the "Remade Stuff" page on this blog.  Those collars were very similar in shape to ones I learned how to make from Kay Khan a year and a half ago at a Design Outside The Lines retreat.  But the shape is where the similarity ends.

I was so taken with the technique she has developed I joined Peninsula Wearable Arts Guild just to take another class from her a few weeks ago.

Kay is a phenomenally talented artist.  And a very generous and fun teacher.  Most of her work is quite a bit larger...vases, urns, armatures, various sculpture.  But she does make beautiful, sculptural necklaces.

I'm a rank novice at this but it's just so much fun!  It's like painting or sculpting.  For me it's very freeform.  It's about color and shape.

The pieces begin with a layer of thick felt that is sewn on to a base fabric, front and back.  From there, you just take off adding pieces of fabric, cutting out, turning around, sewing back together, cutting, sewing, adding...on and on till it's "done".  

I love how you can use little scraps of fabric and I especially love that I can use pieces I've created that are painted, silk screened and stenciled.  I have many such small fragments that I can't bare to throw out.

And, I can use my grandmother's buttons!

This one is from the first class.  It was originally way too big (yes, I know, you think this is big, too!) so I worked with Kay to cut it down.

All of these are very comfortable to wear and will travel well.  I love wearing black but I need some color around my face these days.  

If you ever get the chance to study with Kay I highly recommend it.  Both of her classes were very fun.  The time just flew by, you get so absorbed in the work.

I don't know if I'll ever do more pieces but I hope to.  I'd like to do some that aren't quite so colorful-crazy.


  1. I can picture in my mind how to make these, so I hope to experiment soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Wow, I love these neck pieces. Your versatility is amazing. You're so lucky to get a class with Kay Khan not once but twice.

  3. These are wonderful! I love the sculptural element as well as the softness of the fabrics. Very pretty, very wearable, very artistic.

  4. Findings was a perfect little shop. How sad it is gone.

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Because I love your wonderful work and always come away from reading your blog with new ideas. Thank you.

  6. It was such fun, Gayle, taking this class with you. Your pieces are beautiful! Working on getting Kay back here for an intensive five-day class. If I am successful, it's going to be in beautiful Soquel! Woo Hoo! leilani bennett

  7. Just terrific! You have such a great eye for such objects d'art. Now I'm off to check out this teacher. Thanks. Martha


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