Modern meets craft at the 39th annual American Craft Council San Francisco Show at Fort Mason Center on Aug. 8 -10. Amid this eclectic gathering of artists and craftsmen is the “Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft” home decor showcase featuring six celebrated Bay Area interior designers. This year’s theme “Let’s Entertain” focuses on the symbiotic relationship between craft and design in entertaining. The designers have selected craft pieces by the show’s 220-plus artists to inspire their vignettes; three of them found inspiration in the work of fiber artists.
Interior designer Alison Damonte’s vignette is inspired by the work of San Francisco-based fiber artist and textile designer Ealish Wilson of Design Bahn (www.ealishwilson.com)—specifically, Kimono, dye sublimation printed sail cloth smocked with mizuhiki strings, or Japanese paper ties. Wilson’s constructions are inspired by travel, fashion, photography and traditional sewing techniques. Over the past years, she has developed a line influenced by her artwork and inspired by trompe l’oeil. Early samples, images and textures are often converted to digital form and then returned to textile. This process of photographing her 3D work and converting it into 2D allows her to perfect traditional sewing techniques, such as smoking and pleating.
Much of Wilson’s work is reflective of traditional Japanese aesthetics of the arts and crafts movement. She participated in Through the Surface, a mentorship program for textile artists where she lived and worked in Kyoto, Japan, with artist Michiko Kawarabayashi. During her three-month stay, Wilson learned not only traditional Japanese aesthetics, but also adapted to Kawarabayashi’s way of life. Her overall experience transformed her view of art in daily life and influences her work today.
Damonte describes her style as happy and exuberant, utilizing bold colors, graphic patterns and geometric shapes to create lively spaces. Thus, Wilson’s work spoke directly to Damonte who capitalized on the fiber art and textile designer’s abstract compositions full of pattern, texture and color. The space created by Damonte is intended to be fantastical and kaleidoscopic, contrasting Wilson’s vibrant work with sculptor Lilith Rockett’s simple, geometric forms.