Old Images. New Forms.


Where I work. My home/studio workspace in morning light. 


Image selection. Viewing slides with my grandfather’s 3-D slide viewer. In the 1920’s, this is how you shared your travel pictures with friends when you got home. And this was really the best way for me to start the image selection process.


The glass slides. A lot of time was spent handling the glass slides.  Each slide box holds 20 slides. When I found an image I liked, I would take it out of the box and gently clean off the dust and mildew stains with lens cleaner and cloth. These I would put aside for scanning. I probably viewed close to 500 slides.


Digitizing the slides. Using the Epson Perfection V750 Pro flat bed scanner, I could scan 4 slides at one time. Because the slides have an exact double image for 3-D purposes, I had to hand select one of the images to tell the computer which image to scan. Overall scan time was long due to the high-resolution files. This step took a lot of patience! Adobe Lightroom, my go-to photo editing software, allowed me to create consistent tones and remove the thousands of age and dust spots.


Fabric printing. There was lots of trial and error with this step. I found a company that could do the fabric printing, but I had to do a lot of tests to find the right fabric, get the right final print tones, and learn how to get a consistent size with each print run.  It was recommended by the printer to wash the cotton linen fabric after it was printed, but what I didn’t take into account was shrinkage.  My tests were all done on swatches, but the final printing was done on 54” wide yardage allowing for multiple images on one print run.


Fabric backing. Somehow I have found my way back to working with a passion of mine: fabric.  I LOVE looking at fabric.  In the beginning I started by going to the San Francisco Design Center where you can see and touch an enormous collection of textiles! I ordered lots of swatches and laid them out on every flat surface of my studio in part for pure enjoyment, but also to help in designing the look I was after.   


Other details. This is somewhat self-explanatory, except there is a whole language in the zipper world, like zipper chain, stops, and sliders. There are many teeth & ribbon sizes and FYI, 300 yards of zipper chain is A LOT of zipper! The cloth label design stage was fun because it took my pillows to a new level of professionalism, but always take the time and spend the money to get a sample made especially when you’re dealing with Pantone® colors. The color you see on your computer monitor is never what you get in the output. As a digital photographer, I know better. I was rushing and my first label order had a strange purple hue.


Assembly and fabrication.