Monday, December 6, 2010

Roses and ribbons

On Friday I received a heavy box of new ribbons from my partner in all of this, Renaissance Ribbons, who manufacture and wholesale my designs.  It contained designs which I worked on last fall with Sheila Rolfer, their elegant and stylish head of sales.  She came to visit me last fall and we spent a hard & fast 4 hours in my studio, rummaging through all of my design files, flipping through dozens of colorings in Photoshop, and coming up with a number of new ribbons which have slowly arrived across 2010.  It was loads of fun, a dream for both of us.  Renaissance Ribbons is in northern California, I am in southern Indiana, and though we meet from time to time at trade shows our main communications are by email and telephone.

Getting together in person and going through my hundreds of designs was both intensely creative and efficient.  Shelia has exquisite taste, and a finely tuned sense of our market through years of selling ribbons for Renaissance (which is the most exclusively wonderful American ribbon company, period)  While I will project colorings from an artist's point of view, frequently coming up with challenging palettes not yet seen (I have an intuitive grasp of when the world has seen enough of a trendy color and what the antidote is likely to be), Sheila understands what our customers want now, and how that fits in the worlds of fashion and interiors to which ribbon is linked.  Our collaboration -- along with owner, Edith Minne, who has a deep love of ribbon and adds a keen business perspective -- is balanced then by the points of view of many camps.  Getting together in person is almost giddy with ideas, we talk until our minds are spinning and then it is time to part and get it all done from our various corners of the ribbon empire.

Sheila sometimes makes design suggestions to me, and sooner or later I manage to catch the vision through her eyes and come up with something new. She had wanted a two-tone rose design for some time, and because we were together last year I could draw and color it as she watched, we looked at the thread color book together, and we came up with this dramatic beauty, which I call, of course, "Sheila's Rose".  It is a heavy satin damask in either warm antique gold or rich crimson, with black.  More colors to follow in the spring.