Thursday, May 18, 2017

laurel burch

I am participating in the art with fabric blog hop. (click on the button on your right for details)
The challenge is to make an art quilt inspired by another artist be it painter, sculptor, writer - anyone in the arts and must be related to women. I choose Laurel Burch who's designs ended up being licensed to big manufacturers and are on a lot of commercialized items. Some say that's selling out and I don't really care. I just like her designs :-) They are cheerful and upbeat.
I'm sure you have purchased something with Laurel Burch's designs on it.
I think I made a vest out of this fabric  back in the day.
and the dogs! how did I miss this?

In her early 20's Laurel was a single mom with two children to care for. She supported herself by claiming welfare payments and making jewelry and occasional help from her loving mother Ann.
Her mom was a sewist and taught Laurel to make outstanding dolls and sewn art.

  Her mother was seamstress and designer for the singer Peggy Lee . Laurel's mom Ann described a strange moment where she had spent weeks shopping for shoes, ribbons, hat, fabrics to make an Easter outfit for Peggy's daughter. She sewed all night before Easter morning and drove the beautiful outfit to Peggy's home in Beverly Hills dragging Laurel and Suzi out of bed before daybreak. As she returned to the car seeing her girls knowing they had no Easter outfits waiting for them, their hair all messy with sleep Ann felt heatbroken and vowed to encourage her daughters to have a better more successful life.

Well it must have worked because Laurel went on to launch her own business, now called Laurel Burch Artworks, in February 24, 1960. She began making paintings and was commissioned by restaurants, businesses and private collectors. "I found metal in a junkyard and hammered it out on the back of an old frying pan", she stated during an interview with the Marin Independent Journal in 2005.

She began making jewelry and selling it on the streets of San Francisco from tackle boxes. Some local stores began stocking her creations, and a businessman, Shashi Singapuri, took samples of her work to China. She went to China in 1971 and discovered cloisonné, a kind of enamel work, with which she designed paintings and had the designs made into earrings.

With Mr. Singapuri's financial backing manufacturing began. Burch went on to work on cast metals and wood, and to include spinoff products on paper, porcelain and fabric. In 1979 she split with Singapuri, and started Laurel Burch Inc. She was president and chief designer. In the 1990s she licensed her designs to a dozen or so companies that now make and distribute her creations worldwide.

Laurel Burch passed away in 2007 at the age of 61 from a painful bone disease but left us with her beautiful and vibrant art work to enjoy for years to come.

 Now on to my creation
this is the inspiration made by Laurel Burch

and mine made of fabric
 the quote is from another strong woman whom I greatly admire.

I started out by out by making a drawing of the face and doing my usual fusible / freezer paper applique. The tricky part was getting the words printed out on the right part of the paper to land next to the face. Lots of experimentation later I had it right so ironed fabric onto the back of a piece of freezer paper and trimmed it to 8.5 x 11 inches, then ran it thru the printer. This works pretty good although the type does come out a little faded. If anyone has any ideas on how to do your own printing on fabric I would love to hear. I'm using a laser printer at my work so maybe that has something to do with it.

To the right are more photos that I took along the way as she progressed. My version is pretty heavy handed on the under eye liner - makes her look like she has a mask on or something. But let's just go with the fact that she is going out on the town in New Orleans and it's Mardi Gras. Yes, I like that.

I shall call her Eleanor and since it is one of my favorite quotes I think she shall reside in my home so I can be reminded every day not to give my consent to ANYONE to allow myself to feel inferior.

what is your favorite quote?

check out the other bloggers on this week long hop by clicking on the button at the top right . the others on today's roster are

- Kat:
- Jennifer:


  1. Great background on Burch. Your interpretation does her artwork justice. I mainly see examples of Burch's jewelry. My favorite quote? "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Former POTUS Theodore Roosevelt

  2. What a fantastic piece! Thanks for sharing the story of the artist that inspired you as well as your process: it's always interesting to see how these pieces come together (and I have no tip for fabric printing, never tried that). My favorite quote: everything from "The Sword in the Stone"... one example "It was worth it, lad, if you learned something from it." Thanks for joining the blog hop and for sharing your talent and inspiring work with all of us!!

  3. Hi Carol, that's a great piece. Two very strong women indeed! Thanks for telling us about Laurel Burch. Now that you mention it, I see the link between her art and cloisonné (which I also love).

  4. I remember in the early 80's visiting a shop of hers in San Fran and being in love with all the color and content. Nice choices!

  5. I hav always loved her fantastical animals. Thanks for revisiting Laurel's wonderful designs.

  6. Absolutely love your quilt! Laurel Burch is one of my all time favorites, too.

  7. Have always loved Laurel's work. Thanks for sharing her story. Your piece is so bright and fun! Love it.

  8. Your "Elenor" is quite strong and beautiful!
    One of my fav Laurel Burch's work is a journal of ice blue with two magnificent silvery horses upon it; this is my Lily journal.
    " Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" said Oscar Wilde and i cheered!