Anyone who has known me since my middle school days can tell you that I get an inordinate amount of joy out of arranging food artfully before serving it.
This pastime may very well have its origins in the little Leslie that spent more time peeling and arranging peas than eating them.
To me, design is not something that confines itself to the page, the blueprint, the prototype. Although my formal education has been in industrial design, rather than saying I get joy out of designing solely products, it would be more accurate to state that I get pleasure out of designing the things that make life enjoyable.
This school year I have been working part time at an awesome fabric shop in Lawrence called Sarah's Fabrics. I love working there because not only are my coworkers and our clients wonderful and friendly; I also get to cut and organize a huge array of lovely fabrics. I always get excited when a favorite designer comes out with a new collection, and being around so many pretty pieces always makes me want to do some sewing. So, I've decided to share with you some of my recent sewing projects!
First, I made these cute little rice and lavender hand warmers with a piece from Kaffe Fassett's stripe collection. They're great for the 10 degree days we've been having here in Kansas. All you have to do is pop them in the microwave for a few seconds :)
My latest project is to design a jewelry collection fabricated with the lost wax casting technique. My partner and I decided that we wanted to design a unisex collection influenced by the minimalist movement for young people like ourselves.
Our concept involves two parts:
1. The arrow, which symbolizes the one-way direction and constant forward flow of life and time.
2. Yin and yang, which will be embodied in our final collection because all of the pieces come in pairs (one silver and one black) that are stackable. The silver pieces are yang - energetic and vibrant because of their polished silver finish. The black pieces are yin - more subtle and withdrawn with a satin finish.
Above, the rings from my partner's and my Doble V (Double V) jewelry collection are shown directly after casting in silver and brass, along with the original copper rings that we sculpted by hand and used to make the mold for the others. All of the pieces will be polished and the brass ones given a black patina.
This past semester I took my second design drawing class. Here are the highlights of my work from the semester.
All drawings I did in this class were completely freehand (no ruler or tracing, except for logos).
My latest school project is to design a product that is inclusive. That is to say, designed in such a way that most people, including people with special needs, can use it comfortably. For example, for this faucet design we are aiming for something that is comfortable for children, the elderly, left-handed as well as right-handed people, people with motor problems, and the blind. But not just a product designed for a specific type of user with special needs; a product that virtually anyone can use.
Here are some of the first sketches I did of ideas for a faucet design.
My latest project was to design a product that was inspired by a playful moment. My partner and I chose hide-and-seek as our inspiration and decided to design a teapot-cup set. I started by sketching existing products.
A few months ago I decided to try my hand at bookbinding! I made two journals, one for each of my travels abroad this year. The first one was for my summer in Kyoto, Japan. I was extremely lucky to get the chance to continue my study of Japanese language in the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Program. Not only did I have an amazing opportunity to substantially improve my proficiency in Japanese, I also got to experience an unforgettable summer in Japan, which I recorded in my special sketchbook. If you'd like to take a look inside the sketchbook, you can do so here.