Today’s sneak peek is inside the studio of local Charleston, SC pattern maker and designer Heather Rose. Last week was Fashion week here so it seems fitting that today’s post is about Heather and her business Charleston Garment Manufactory. I learned about her work through teaching classes at Spacecraft Studio and met up with her the same day I interviewed Kristy Bishop, she kindly agreed to let me interview and photograph with NO advance notice, thanks Heather! Their studio spaces are just a few doors down from each other, how fun!
I met Heather at her business studio space where she shared with me some of the ways in which organizing affects the creative process and outcome of her business as a seamstress, product developer and sewing teacher. Heather studied Fashion Design/Product Development at Stephens College earning a BFA in 2005. Heather then attended the Paris American Academy where she was introduced to straw-hat assemblage and couture sewing techniques. Heather began Charleston Garment Manufactory to fulfill a need she saw in the local market for a fashion resource center and production facility committed to elevating the quality of locally made clothing (think-Slow Foods for fashion!). She also aims to educate consumers about design and craftsmanship and finds joy in teaching others these disappearing skills.
Have you always known you were an artist? HR::Yes, I started making things at age 5
What mediums do you work with? HR::Pencil and water color illustrations, fiber arts and clothing construction.
Where do you make Art and how big is your studio? HR::Studio’s Inside and outside my home, about 350 sq ft total
Do you consider yourself to be an organized person? HR::Yes, I’ve learned this behavior over time.
How or where did you learn your organizing habits and systems? HR::Family Members and by trial and error.
Above::Sample sewing and pattern making in process in the studio.
Does your artwork/style tend to be cyclical in terms of being neat vs. disorganized? What are your observations about the process? HR::Pattern making tends to be messy so I clean up at the end of a project (which could be a day, week or month). I don’t like to thrown things away as I’m working because those scraps on the floor can sometimes save you!
Do you ever have problems locating specific materials you want to use? HR::Yes, it depends on the material but sometimes I do have trouble finding certain things.
Do you purge or declutter your supply stash on a regular basis (due to space or other constraints)? HR::Yes, about once a month.
What creative cycles of organization/dis-organization affect your process? HR::I pull things out as I’m working on projects and some mess is part of the process but I try to tidy up what I can as I go.
Do you have any systems, tools or tips for staying organized you would like to share? HR::Since I custom design garments for clients or I assist in product development for independent designers I have strict deadlines I have to keep up with I have lots of calendars, on the wall, on my phone and my computer to keep track of everything. I’m also a very visual person so I need to be able to see what I’m working with, I hang things and use clear bins to keep things visible.
Thank you so much Heather for inviting us to see your studio and explaining the way that organizing affects you as a working artist and designer. Please check out the Charleston Garment Manufactory website for more information on her services such as pattern drafting, sample sewing, design consultation and her sewing classes! I’ll be back with another artist ‘Inside the Studio‘ feature next month!
If you missed my last Inside the Studio with Kristy Bishop please take a look!
*Inside the Studio was my brainchild in 2011. There are a lot of popular studio features on the web and in magazines but I’m specifically interested in showing how organizational process influences the artists studio work. These photo’s are not styled or changed in any way from how the artists studio looks on any given day. I arrive having requested that they not clean up before hand (just like I ask my clients). This series highlights how artist REALLY work rather than showing the STYLED shots so popular in home and organizing magazines and blogs. I’m sure just like me, you will be fascinated by the “behind the scenes” sneak peek into these artists working lives!