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Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

Recapping an entire summer’s worth of experiences in one post? Let’s do this. Essentially, this summer I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Lilly Pulitzer’s print design team in King of Prussia, PA. I when I say wonderful, I am not exaggerating. Lilly is a relatively small, close knit company devoted to their brand, and that really shines through in the fun-loving, community-oriented atmosphere that permeates the Pink Palace. (Seriously. I worked in a pastel pink building. How cool is that?)

Immediately on the first day, I was thrown right into the mix, helping to finish up Summer 2012 artwork and send it out to vendors. From there we jumped right into concepting and designing for Fall 2012. The pace was fast, the work challenging, and I loved every minute of it. Whether we were hard at work or giggling around a table, there was not once a dull moment at Lilly. In between designing and cleaning prints, we took an inspiration trip to the local botanical gardens and sponsored a charity event with Oceana in the Hamptons. Okay… maaaaaybe those days spent cleaning prints for what seemed like forever were a little dull, but even those weren’t too bad.

When I wasn’t working on Summer and Fall artwork, the other interns and I were working on a collaborative project to design and market a proposed line of products for Spring 2013. With interns representing many different departments at Lilly, we had a lot of great minds from a variety of backgrounds each bringing a unique perspective. Large group projects are always challenge…. but we pulled it together and wowed our audience in our final presentation.One of the things I really appreciated was that in my 2 months there I was never just an intern. I was part of the team, working side by side with seasoned print designers. Because I got to work so closely with them, I really did learn a lot this summer. Now I understand better how products become reality. I know I can paint giant canvases with ease (one of mine even ended up in the Lilly store in Ardmore, PA!). Most importantly, I have learned to just do it, also known as confidence in your first attempt. I think that in coming out of art school many of us think too much about what we make. To the point where the focus is on whether or not what we are making is good/right/valuable/worthy of an A and not the actual product. I have learned the value of an idea and the importance of editing. Get your idea out there. Let people see it and give feedback. Adjust from there.

Now that I am home, job hunting and enjoying time with old friends. I have had the chance to gather my thoughts about this summer, as well as some of the things I’ve made. So, expect a few more posts along this same vein. :)

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ITMA Tour

This past week I had the opportunity to attend ITMA (International Textile Market Association)’s educational industry tour that they hold ever year. Basically, they bring a bunch of textile students from all over the country to High Point, NC to show us mills and meet home furnishing industry people. Immediately after classes on Tuesday us fibers girls hopped in the car and drove for 5 hours to get there! Well, More like swam since it rained so much!

Wednesday, the first day, we toured Se7en’s  jacquard weaving facility in the morning. These are the giant warp beams that go on the back of the loom.

Since we have a jacquard loom in the department, seeing the technology of the weaving wasn’t so radically different, but the mechanization of it was. The looms went so fast!

Also, we went to visit a yarn dye facility owned by that same company that owns Se7en. Here they are winding the yarn onto special perforated cones.

The holes in the spools are what allows the dye to penetrate the yarn completely, assuring one shade throughout. The second day was definitely my favorite! We toured the P. Kaufman printing facility that catered almost completely to the home goods industry. We saw the whole process from mixing up the dyes to printing and finishing. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the printing (to keep the patterns confidential), so you’ll have to believe me when I tell you it was really neat!! We got to see rotary screen printing up close and personal. They have these metal rods inside these metal cylindrical screens (which are bigger than I am) that squeegee out the ink. You guys, it’s all done with magnets! The whole things was extremely quick and efficient, no waiting patiently with your hair dryer for things to dry before moving on! Here’s a pattern-free picture of the giant barrels of dye that they use for printing.

Later that night we also had a portfolio review with some people we had met on our tours and other home industry people. Even though it was nice to get feedback on my portfolio from a home standpoint, what I loved most about that night was seeing how other schools structured their programs and the type of work they produced.

Friday, our final day in High Point, we went to Pearson’s furniture making plant, and they showed us how a piece of furniture gets made from building and staining the frame to upholstering the body and packaging the finish piece for shipping. All the carpentry, sewing and upholstery is done by hand. The biggest piece of machinery is computer-controlled pattern cutter that could cut pattern pieces out of fabric, except only plain fabric since each type of patterned fabric requires precise matching. They had racks and racks of red pattern pieces.

The seamstresses weren’t working that day, but this is where they sewed together the upholstery. The finishing area. And lastly because I can’t resist, I present to you the Muffin Ottoman. I think it’s cute.

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